This weekend, I shopped at one of my favorite stores, Kohl’s, for Christmas presents and a few things for myself. I purchased roughly 35 items valued at over $1,000 together, varying from clothing to jewelry to housewares, for a total of $158.69, including tax. I saved a grand total of $1,049.94 off my purchase, and I’m going to tell you how!
If you want to save hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars off of your purchase at Kohl’s, please do NOT do what these three women did in Collinsville, IL. Theft is a very real and very serious crime that should not ever, ever be committed. There is no pride in taking something that you have not worked or paid for. Theft is a horrible crime that affects the economy, the employment of workers, the folks who deliver the product, the folks who create and quality check the products, etc. Theft is not a victimless crime. This is unacceptable behavior, and I hope justice is served swiftly.
Now that we’ve touched base on human ethics, there are many ways that you can purchase several hundred dollars worth of merchandise and spend only 10% of the total cost. It’s called couponing, and it’s an honest practice for people who have a tight budget or just enjoy the thrill of shopping and saving. Couponing is one of the basics of shopping savvy, and can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars on each purchase. I utilize coupons with just about every purchase or service, including oil changes, groceries, concert tickets, dining out, and more. Couponing has changed my life significantly by improving the quality of goods I purchase, and increasing the number of pennies in my piggy bank.
This weekend, I had the opportunity to take advantage of great sales, sift through the clearance rack, utilize coupons, and use/earn Kohl’s Cash – the Kohl’s version of store-credit/gift certificates. You can learn how to save the most money at Kohl’s, and save money on your next trip.
I purchased a total of 34 items, and paid roughly $4.47 for each item. As you can see from my receipt, I had three types of Kohl’s Cash and two 25% off coupons, which saved me a grand total of $269.68 off the tagged merchandise! While the cashier had quite a look of favorable surprise at my $150 Kohl’s Cash coupon, those discounts alone weren’t enough to save me over $1,000. So, how did I manage to save an extra $750.26 off my order?
Know What You’re Willing to Pay
I, like many other people, didn’t pay attention to the number of things I was putting into my Mary Poppins-type black Kohl’s shopping bag, but rather the cost of each item.
I set myself a budget of $150 cold, hard-earned cash. Therefore, even if I managed to rack up a sky-high subtotal of $300, my $150 Kohl’s Cash would bring me back down to Earth. It wouldn’t be difficult to stay within or under my $150 budget, but I was determined to get the most out of each dollar, so I worked a little bit harder at my selections.
To start, I avoided items that price checked at more than $20. Kohl’s has Price-Check scanners all over their stores, with at least one within close walking distance of every department, so it was very easy to maintain this financial boundary. I knew that with my 25% off coupons, the price per item would drop down closer to my favorite price range of under $10, maximizing my savings and my budget. Even if I had found 15 items at $20 each, I would still be within my budget, and save at least 25% off on top of that!
If you have an understanding of the real value of various types of products, based on quality and brand name, it’s much easier to set price boundaries. I won’t pay more than $30 for a high-quality shirt or jacket, but I would be willing to pay up to $50 for a well-made pair of pants that could last for several years. Keep in mind, I try to avoid paying full-price for anything, so these prices are after sales, coupons, and any other discounts.
The Hunt For A Good Deal
Over the course of 2 hours, I ravaged the clearance racks of every department in Kohl’s. There’s a clearance section for each category, including Jewelry, beauty, kitchen supplies, and of course, clothing! I skipped over the “grab me, I’m on Sale!” racks and headed straight to those steeply discounted, red-tagged, often heavily ransacked racks.
Every single item I purchased yesterday was either on Sale or Clearance, up to 90% off! The most expensive retail priced item I purchased was a men’s dress jacket originally retailed at $199.99, but marked down to $39, which was only 80% of the original price on the Clearance rack. My coupons and Kohl’s Cash brought that gem down to only $13.62, a staggering 93.19% off the original retail price.
For a price that low, there must have been something wrong with it, right? WRONG! There was nothing physically wrong with the dress jacket. More than likely, it was marked down because it was out of season or in storage from years past. It’s complete garbage for a fashionista, but treasure to those of us whose last name isn’t Kardashian.
Another score was a ceramic deep-dish pan that matched the new pot set I purchased from Kohl’s on Black Friday. The MSRP was $69.99, but it was on sale for $54.99. My coupons brought that lovely piece of equipment down to only $19.17, which isn’t too bad for a high-quality pan that should last for several years!
Save & Use Every Coupon You Find
Since October, I’ve been saving up my coupons for shopping trips at Kohl’s. On Black Friday, I shopped at Kohls.com and purchased roughly $500 worth of merchandise. I scored a sweet $15 Kohl’s cash for every $50 spent, which equaled out to $150 Kohl’s Cash. I used that Kohl’s Cash on my in-store order yesterday, and earned another $30 Kohl’s Cash back on my $150 purchase that can be used this upcoming week!
Sometime in November, Kohl’s sent me a really sweet $5 off $5 or more coupon which rung up as “Kohl’s Cash” on the receipt. It was going to expire in the next few days, so this was the perfect opportunity to use it. Kohl’s will send these types of coupons for your birthday, or in the same ad package with percentage off coupons. Typically, they are either $5 or $10, and you can use them on just about any kind of merchandise, and in addition to other coupons!
On December 1, Kohl’s issued me a $5 Yes2You Rewards voucher, which also rang up as “Kohl’s Cash” on the receipt. I would have had a $30 voucher for December, but the system miscalculated my points for November, and didn’t apply them for my Black Friday order. *sigh* Don’t worry, I’ll see those points accrue into a nice voucher in January, and it’ll be like Christmas all over again!
On top of my Kohl’s Cash, I had two (2) Friends & Family 25% off total purchase discount coupons, and each coupon had a different barcode. The first 25% off coupon took $62.67 off, and the second 25% off took another $47.01 off my subtotal, saving me a total of $109.68!
The Bottom Line
There’s a good deal to be made hiding within every corner of any store, you just have to take a little more time to find them. Coupons are effective on their own, but they are only really effective when combined with sales and clearance prices. You never know what you might find on the clearance rack, but sometimes, you’ll be lucky enough to find a deal on something you never knew you wanted, but just have to have!