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Super Savings Saturday: I think I’ll just stick to shopping the Target clearance racks!

We didn’t buy a whole lot in the way of groceries this week other than a quick trip to the store to get the basics: bread, peanut butter, milk and cheese. We had plenty of fruit and frozen veggies and meat already on hand, so we didn’t need anything else to round out our simple menu for the week.

We also popped into the store three other times this week because I was trying to get free tuna. My friend had tipped me off to the fact that Dillons had Bumble Bee tuna on sale for $0.99 this week and there were blinkie coupons right next to it which would make it free. Well, I didn’t make it to the store until 24 hours later — and that store was completely out!

My husband stopped by two other Dillons stores during the week and they were also completely out, too. He did manage to pick up some of the coupons, though, which I’m holding onto for another sale. And I’m still holding out hope that maybe our nearby store will restock because I’d love to score some free tuna.

But if I don’t, oh well! I’ll just be glad for all the people in our area who were able to get the great deal and next time I’ll know better than to wait a day before getting to the store.

In non-grocery-store deal news, I headed to Gap today to spend my $50 Groupon. I’d purchased it for free with Gap referral credit and was pretty stoked because I’m in serious need of a few new tops for Fall and Winter. Believe it or not, I’ve never been to Gap in my life so I naively thought that $50 could cover the costs of at least two or three tops for me.

I walked into the store and immediately could tell I was out of my league. Not only was I the only one in the store wearing flip-flops and jeans and a t-shirt from the Target clearance rack, but when I walked up to the jeans display, the first pricetag I saw was over $60! For a pair of jeans! Um, I could buy over 50 pairs of jeans for that price at the thrift store Dollar Days!

Not to be deterred, I started on the hunt for the clearance rack. When I finally found it, I only had to do a quick scan to determine that it was one of the most measly, overrated “clearance” racks I’ve ever seen. And the “clearance” prices were anything but clearance in my book.

So I quickly nixed my original plan of buying clothes for myself and went over to the children’s section hoping maybe the clearance racks over there would have more to offer. Once again, I was thoroughly under-impressed.


I finally ended up with a pair of jeans for Silas, a denim skirt for Kaitlynn, some underwear for the girls and a headband for Kaitlynn. I calculated that this should be right under my $50 budget and so I wouldn’t have to pay anything out of pocket. The register would only let me pay with the Groupon if I had a total over $50, so I ended up throwing in the turquoise hair band (which was priced at over $3!!! for a little hair band!).

I have no idea what happened, but when the manager told the sales lady how to key in the Groupon, it took off the price of my entire order — including the $1.07 over that I owed. I tried to pay since I pointed out that I owed them money, but they said that since the Groupon took everything off and that’s how their register read it, that I didn’t owe them anything.

After that kind gesture and them refusing the money I was trying to give them, my view of Gap was bumped up a little bit. But I still am guessing that will be the first and last time I shop there.

Now, please don’t think I’m saying that you shouldn’t shop at Gap or pay $60 for a pair of jeans. I know some people have special sizing requirements or just find that Gap clothes work better. And from the comments on my Facebook page, it would seem that some of you really know how to find bargains there!

We all get to choose where and how we spend our own money, so if you prefer to shop at Gap, go for it — provided you can afford it in your budget. Hey, after all, you might shop at Gap and make your own homemade tortillas! As for me, I think I’ll stick to buying tortillas and shopping the Target clearance racks. 😉

___________________

Did you snag any great deals or bargains this week or save money in other ways? If so, be sure to post about them on your blog and leave your link below. Please remember that this weekly round-up is to share deals you personally got and/or money you were able to save this week. In order to keep this weekly round-up focused on helping and inspiring others in their efforts to save money, links which have little-to-no content other than promoting affiliate links, etc. will be deleted. Also, to make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your link must link directly to your Super Savings Saturday post.

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166 Comments

  • Anna S. says:

    LOL, I thought the same thing when I went to spend my groupon at Gap. Luckily, the jeans were on sale for $35 each that day, but I still thought they were over-priced at that price!

  • Angela says:

    As you suggested, I think this just comes down to one of those areas of what’s a deal for you may not be a deal for someone else. I used to always buy the super duper cheap jeans. Until I met my hubby. He’s convinced me of the power of quality clothing. I’m not saying that everything in my closet is name brand – I could not afford that, but I do have a few very nice staple pieces that were not cheap, but have served my wardrobe well for years. Yes, jeans are one of those items. 😉

    Is $50 too much for jeans? If you’re struggling to feed your family, it certainly is! But I’m of the mind if fashion matters to you and you can afford it (e.g., you make cuts in other areas of your budget), go for it! It’s all about balance.

    I think clothing is one of those categories that’s so subjective when it comes to “deals.” 😉 I also think it’s not a deal if the clothing is so cheaply made it’s going to need replacing in a short time.

    • Crystal says:

      I totally agree that higher-quality is the way to go if you’re like me and you re-wear your stuff over and over and over.

      One thing I like to do is get quality brand jeans at the thrift store. Sure, they might not always be the latest and greatest cut and style, but I’ve found some cute pairs there for less than $2 which have lasted me for hundreds of wears. Of course, I have to dig a little and if you’re short on time, this option might not work for you. But it’s worked well for me.

      For the most part, I’ve found that Target clothes hold up just as well as the quality brands I’ve gotten at thrift stores. Walmart clothes, on the other hand, I gave up on long ago!

      • Angela says:

        @Crystal, I think Target’s quality is pretty good, but there is another store (which shall remain nameless!) that frequently puts out hot “sales” – but the quality of their clothes has gone down in recent years. I have several items from this store in my closet with holes and rips – and I didn’t play football in them! LOL!

        I’ve heard of folks having luck at the thrift stores, but I never seem to have it! I’d love to see a post on how to find deals at the thrift stores! I do think that’s a great route to take if you can find the gems. 😉

        • Laura says:

          @Angela, I worked at Goodwill for a couple years before I had my daughter and that helps, I priced sometimes so I know what brands are better quality. When I’m in a rush and looking for, for instance, pants, I run down the aisle and look for frays at the bottom, style I like, and size. This narrows it down dramatically. Then look over carefully for any other flaws. Also, shop earlier in the morning when they put the clothes out to get fresh picks!

        • Kelly says:

          @Angela, Target, Gap and Old Navy are ‘sister’ stores. It is all together possible that the clothing is identical but with different labels.

        • Christy says:

          @Angela, @ Kelly–Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic are sisters stores (just check out their website). I don’t think Target is related.

        • Noelle says:

          @Angela, Target is not related to Old Navy or Gap. It was once a sister store of Daytons (mostly in the upper Midwest). All the Daytons stores are now Macys.

        • Trinity says:

          @Angela, I always find some really great things at the Thrist stores. A few suggestions. Go by yourself or a friend and take your time. They really do have some great things there. Just the other day my daughter and I went to our local Goodwill and she got (1) pair of jeans (1) pair of khaki pants (1) pair of demin shorts (2) t shirts (1) fancy dress and (1) summer dress. I also found myself a really pretty shiny green shirt , a quilted purse in a lovely pattern and a great zip up hoodie jacket by Old Navy as well as a cheese grater and a beautiful wall hanging for my husband! All for about $26.

        • Diana says:

          @Angela, check out balancingbeautyandbedlam.com and she has some “tutorials” on how to navigate a thrift store. Good thoughts on buying quality clothes though–even if the price tag is a little higher, you’re also saving the time of not having to shop as frequently! 🙂

        • Laura D says:

          @Angela,
          I think the quality of thrift store finds really varies depending on your location. I grew up in the Midwest, where thrift store “finds” were cheap (although not as cheap as what Crystal gets!) and plentiful–I never paid more than $1.50 for a top. But we’ve since moved out West, first living in a smaller town and now in a city, and the shopping has gotten much worse. More competition? I don’t know, but it’s actually cheaper for me to shop Target’s clearance than it is the thrift stores. Out here, they charge $10+ for jeans that would have cost $3 in the Midwest. So it may not necessarily be that you’re a bad thrift store shopper–in some areas, it really just doesn’t seem to be worth it.

    • @Angela, I have a pair of J Crew shoes that cost a bundle but I have had them each for over five years and they are still in decent condition after wearing them almost every day. I used to buy cheap shoes at Target but they would always hurt my feet and I would end up getting rid of them and having to buy a new pair.
      The same goes for my Coach purse- I have had it for almost five years and it still looks brand new. I won’t have to worry about buying a purse for a really long time.

      • Angela says:

        @Erica @ Just Call Me Cheap, Yes, that’s exactly the sort of thing I’m referring to. I actually spent a LOT more than $50 on a pair of designer jeans a few years back. My husband talked me into trying them on, and I have to be honest – they just looked and fit way better than anything I’d ever put on!! To me it was worth the splurge. I just wouldn’t (or couldn’t!) spend that amount on every last item in my wardrobe.

        But it does make a difference having a few nice pieces that make you feel in style and put together. 😉

  • Stefanie says:

    I went back to CVS after I saw they had Snickers, Twix, 3 Musketeers and Milky Way candy 2/$1. I had 28 or so of the B1G1 FREE coupons, so I bought 12 of each kind (48 total) and guess how much I paid….$3.76!!! 😀 People were looking at me crazy and I was like um…Halloween people!! LOL The cashier was very impressed b/c each coupon took off 89c even though 1 bar was only 50c with the sale. It wouldn’t even take the last 2 coupons b/c of the tax. Had to hide it from the kids and the hubby so the trick or treaters would get some LOL!

  • Michelle says:

    I have to laugh! I too usually shop the target clearance racks and won’t pay more than $5 or $6 for anything there. However, before I became a SAHM I always shopped at gap or banana republic. It’s funny how when I go there now I still think $10 for a shirt or $30 for jeans is a good deal there! I have to admit they do last forever! It’s just funny how we’re programed to think a price is good one place and not at another because of the name. It’s nice that you got to have that experience though without spending anything! 🙂 hope the kiddos enjoy their new stuff!

  • ann k says:

    Shopping at Gap is all about timing… In my opinion everything is overpriced at such stores because of the advertisement, ‘Brand Tag’, fashion, quality, fit, etc. If I walk in there even with a coupon, its expensive and I cannot afford it. However, the best time to shop there is when they have their ‘Get and Give’ sales. They had this sale sometime in August and a coupon for ‘30% off, including clearance’. Thats when clothes were flying off the shelves and i got 1 pretty top, 1 capri and 1 t shirt for my hubby- all for $11. That was the first time I shopped there.. I was on cloud nine. 🙂
    Enjoy your day!

    • Ashley says:

      @ann k, I totally agree! We went there to stock up for my daughter during the Get & Give sale, and we got TONS of clothes for $50 (granted they were infant clothes). Many were $1-4 per item. We got her whole winter wardrobe. It is totally about timing with the Gap. Also, periodically, they have an additional 25% off of clearance items that is awesome. The key is that adult clothes are not worth buying at the Gap – only baby/kids clothes and only on clearance with a sale.

  • We have a Gap Outlet (not sure if those Groupons where good at the outlets)- But the few times I have gone there I have seen an picked up a few great deals- a couple years a go I picked up some sweaters for a couple dollars (but.. it was summer and I had to save them for 6 months).

    jen

    • Christy says:

      @Jen@FrugalFreebiesandDeals, The Groupon was not good at the outlet; that is why I did not buy one. You can find great deals at the outlet and sometimes can find great deals at the clearance rack in the regular store–just timing. In my younger, child-free days, when I clothes shopped more often, I would often browse GAP, see things I liked, then go straight to the clearance rack. A few months later I would buy the things I liked at the regular GAP at the outlet. Now I just hit the outlet when in need of pants for work or jeans since their pants fit me perfectly w/o even trying them on. I know Old Navy is owned by the same people, but their pants don’t fit the same way for some reason. Banana’s do, but are way too expensive unless the outlet has a great clearance sale.

      • chelsea says:

        @Christy, we also have a Gap outlet near us, and the prices in the clearance section are pretty good (and the section is HUGE!). The kids’ section is usually pretty picked over, but I score a good deal every now and then. I love Gap clothing because of the quality, and my kids can get by with the minimal amount of clothing from there because it lasts through so many washes and still looks good. Their women’s clothing has served me well too- I still wear sweaters and pants that I bought there 6+ years ago! (if I can still squeeze into them 🙂

      • Nikki says:

        I shop at all three stores and although they are all sister stores, the quality and fit are not the same.

    • Ellen says:

      Call me silly, but when I saw that Groupon I thought “well, there’s not possibly going to be enough clearance stuff out there for all of us bargain-shoppers out there to take the fullest advantage of this deal, so I’m going to pass!” And from everyone’s comments, I’m kinda glad I did! Do not be discouraged, though! There is a Gap CLEARANCE (not outlet) store in Hebron, KY that is absolutely amazing. It is full of slightly damaged (we’re talking surface dirt marks), irregular, or out of season clothing that Gap is trying to liquidate. Most items are in the $2-$5 range. I’ve had lots of luck there! Unfortunately, the Groupon wasn’t good there, but it’s worth the trip otherwise!

    • Erin says:

      @Jen@FrugalFreebiesandDeals, We have lots of outlets near us (I live in Orlando) and they often have great deals, but I have noticed recently that the clothes at the Gap outlet are much lower quality than at the regular Gap stores. Same thing with Ann Taylor. I asked about it at AT and was told that they actually sell different clothing but from the same popular styles of the previous season. Banana Republic outlets do seem to have good quality clothing though and you can score some great deals there. Crystal, are there any outlets in your area? I think outlet shopping would make for a great post!

      • Elizabeth says:

        @Erin,
        We also have an outlet near us, which is wonderful! I recently had a baby, and went into the outlet to find some pants to wear while I lost the weight. Great timing! They had walls full of jeans for $5.97! I stocked up on jeans then, for then and for after I lost the weight.

  • Megan says:

    Target clearance is still my absolute favorite, especially when the apparel coupons are released…can’t wait for them this month…last month I scored 2 pairs of jeans for $2.74 each after the $3/1 adult denim item coupon

  • The only thing I don’t like about clearance racks, especially at Target, is that usually by the time something is on clearance, they don’t have it in my size anymore. I’ve gotten things from thrift stores, but it’s often hit or miss, and you have less choice over what you end up with.

    I occasionally score a deal from a thrift store, however, through my friend who is a religious “digger.” I had been considering paying full price for a high-quality pair of boots (and don’t ask me how much they cost – you would have fainted if $50 is a lot to spend on jeans), but I couldn’t bring myself to buy them yet because I wasn’t sure how often I would wear them. Then one day, my friend asked me if I needed any boots, because she had found an amazing pair of high-quality, made-in-Italy boots at the thrift shop, and they were too big for her. They were a perfect fit, and in just the size and style I was looking for!

    • Christy says:

      @Jenni @ Life from the Roof, Several years ago, I bought a brown pair of boots and a black pair of boots for $80 each. I wore them for about 5 years. They started wearing out. I went to a dept. store and was stoked about buying a brown and black pair for $30 each. They are scuffed and the soles and heels are wearing out after only one winter. So I have learned my lesson–I wear boots to work a lot in the winter-under/over pants and with dresses/skirts so I probably wear them a lot more than a lot of stay-at-home moms on here. When I’m at home, I usually dont’ wear shoes.

    • Jillbert says:

      @Jenni @ Life from the Roof,
      Ooooh! Lucky score with the boots! I buy 90% of my clothes from the thrift store (all great quality, designer stuff) but bought full priced leather boots last winter. I had been looking for over a year and just was not seeing them in my size. They were pricey but I love them! And since I spend so little on clothes, I had no guilt about my splurge.

  • Beth says:

    Their clearance racks are definitely hit and miss. They have certain times a year when they clear out tons of stuff. I think their clothes are hit and miss too. Sometimes they have tons of cute stuff and sometimes I can’t find a thing I’d wear. I really haven’t shopped there in quite some time. I too get my entire wardrobe from Target and Old Navy (extra 50% off of course) clearance racks. I’m am surprised at the prices you found. From what I remember, jeans were more like $30 and tops around $15 to $20, regular prices. I have one of those Groupons too, I hope I can find something worthwhile.

  • Kimiko says:

    Will Dillons give you a rain check for the tuna? I’ve been able to get sale items that way when the store’s out of them.

  • Dana says:

    Clearance at Target is usually my choice too. A few year ago, like 5 of them, I did happen into a BabyGap (or whatever it’s called) in February or March where I happened to find a NICE winter coat in a size 5 for $13–and my oldest daughter was 3. It was nice and heavy and had a snap-off hood, so I bought it and put it away for 2 years.

    Well, Daughter #1 wore it, and so did Daughter #2. I always looked like the day I bought it, even after several washings. We’ve since passed it on to someone else, but I’d say we got our good out of that $13 winter coat.

    Granted, I’ve never found a deal that good in there again, but I still pop in once a year or so (that’s how often I go to a mall) just hoping to find another deal that’s just as good!

    Blessings–
    Dana

  • jennifer w. says:

    Gap clearance racks for kids are hit or miss (and, the clearance items are not always isolated to the actual clearance “rack” — you have to do some digging for things that look out of place in the regular displays). I have actually switched to shopping there instead of Target as I am tired of seeing all the kids at my son’s day care wearing the same t-shirts. In the last several months, I have found numerous pieces of 3T clothing (and even shoes) for him for under $8 at The Gap. My lucky shopping day is around the 20th – not sure if there is any connection with that date and when the store puts stuff on clearance, but I am sticking to it 🙂

    I haven’t had the same luck with the women’s clearance section…but fortunately I don’t ever notice women rockin’ Tarjay fashions as much as I do.

  • Trish says:

    I think when it comes to clothing you get what you pay for. Don’t get me wrong, I love Target(just not their customer service) but I don’t go there for clothing.
    I shop at Gap, and I’m guessing it’s a YMMV thing because the clearance racks at mine are always full and they frequently have additional sales for an extra 15-25 or sometimes even 50% the lowest price!

  • Katie says:

    I laughed and laughed at your post. I feel like that too when I walk into certain shops – make up stores are the worst.

    For me, most of my day to day clothes are old and functional – after all what is the point of wearing nice clothes when you will be covered in food, paint and dirty by the end of the day? Curtsey of children! I do however spend money (a lot of money) on special occasion clothes i.e. weddings, work dos etc. I’m very fussy then on the quality of material and the cut of the clothes – these are very few and far between purchases.

    I have a kind of uniform i.e. summer clothes comprise skirts and T-shirts, winter clothes – jeans and jumpers. The same bundles come out each year! I do think that spending excessive amount of money on branded items such as handbags is wrong – sorry I don’t want to offend people but I think it is wrong to pay $700 on a handbag when some people can’t afford food.

  • I really love the Gap and buy a majority of my family’s clothes there. I do most of my shopping online because I get free shipping with my Gap credit card (I make a payment to it as soon as I make a purchase so it always has a zero balance). I never buy anything unless I am using a coupon (which I always get in my email) and only buy sale merchandise that is at least 50% off. I will not buy anything unless I have a coupon and there is a great sale going on. The great thing about Gap clothes is that once my kids grow out of them I will be able to sell them for at least half of what I paid for them because they are made really well and don’t show much wear. Plus with my card I basically get a $10 rewad back for every $200 I spend (sometimes every $100 when they have double points). I don’t really buy anything at Old Navy anymore becuase 99% of the time I get it cheaper at Gap.

    Saying all of this, I was not impressed with the in-store sale selection when I used my groupon. It kind of killed me to use it on so-so deals but I wasn’t sure when I would be able to get to the store again so I know how you feel!

    I used to work at the Gap when I was younger and was amazed when I saw moms coming in and buying clothing at full price for their kids- the full price is very expensive and if they just waited a bit and were patient the same items would be marked down! I was already a cheapskate in the making back then!

  • vickie says:

    I was going to say maybe get a rain check but I did the exact same thing on the Bumble Bee Tuna and was just too busy and forgot the rain check.
    It will come on sale again soon.
    vickie

  • Roxanna says:

    Crystal, I am with you on your love of the Target clearance racks! I found an awesome fitting pair of Mossimo jeans on clearance at Target over the summer. I spent $14.99, added them to the jeans in my closet that I already own and am all set for the fall 🙂 It was great to find them off season and have them waiting for me recently when the weather cooled off.

  • Jessica says:

    I have an Old Navy gift card (given as a gift) that I have been holding onto for nearly a year for the same reason. :-p Of course, I didn’t realize until recently that I could use the Old Navy card at Gap… I did end up buying a few maternity items there while I was pregnant. (Maternity clothes are so overpriced anyway, I felt lucky enough to get them for near regular clothes’ price off the clearance rack at Gap.)

  • Renee says:

    I’m from Canada and I would never shop at Gap here; same reason even the clearance rack is over-priced. I have gotten great deals though at the Gap outlet in Michigan using 20%-30% off coupons and if you’re allowed to combine that with Groupon even better.
    Looks like Groupon is coming to Windsor soon 🙂 can’t wait!

  • RuthS says:

    Gap is insanely over-priced and I don’t like their adult styles much anyway. I did score a super great deal on pjs and a few t-shirts for my girlie this summer.

    I get my best deals and fitting clothes at Kohls. Target’s clearance rack never seems like they take that much off the price (20% maybe) and Kohls is usually more like 50-70%, plus the 15-30% off for using my Kohls charge. (Which Dave R might not approve of, but I pay off right away 🙂 All depends on the person I think.

    • RuthS says:

      @RuthS, Oh, and I forgot to mention that my favorite place to shop is the outlet stores about 45 min from my house. Bass and Van Heusen gets me and my husband clothes for almost nothing.

    • Sarah says:

      @RuthS,

      I buy all my baby’s stuff at Kohl’s too. They have amazing sales online every month or so. Last month I needed to get him a convertible carseat, and baby gear was B1G1 half off, so I got him a REALLY good seat, and got a Baby Bjorn for half off (both at sale prices). Plus, 30% off with my Kohl’s charge (we also pay it off immediately), free shipping, plus I got $30 in Kohl’s cash back. So I used the $30 in Kohl’s cash to buy all his winter clothes! I would have paid $250 for just the carseat at another store, but got everything for less than that.

  • trisha says:

    Its all about when you shop at gap……over the last few months I’ve been able to almost fill my 5 month old daughter’s next year wardrobe with $2-$3 items from there. This time of the season not much. If u ever get another groupon deal….definitely worth to save for end of a season! You can rack up!!

    • elizabeth says:

      @trisha, I agree 100%. I bought all of my kids back to school clothes in June (at the Miami Beach store, no less lol) for under $100. 15 pairs of shorts, 15 shirts (polos and T’s) a pair of flip flops, 2 pairs of swim trunks, 1 men’s tshirt and 1 pair men’s shorts. 35 items. Under $3 per item, which is better than I personally ever do at Goodwill. I was very pleased since we wear shorts most of the year. Other times I can’t find anything.

  • Dorothy says:

    I do not shop target very often either but last time I was in there (5 months ago) I found myself a jean skirt on the sale racks and after the discounts taken at the register I only paid $2.50!!! Best deal I have ever got on a jean skirt (at any store)!!!!

  • FrugalMom says:

    It is possible, but yes it can be difficult to find good bargains at the Gap. I used to win these gift cards through an online site, but the Gap in the mall sure did not have many great deals. We do have an outlet store in the area, and at certain times I am able to find some great deals there ….and other times not at all.

    I would like to invite you to link up your savings at the Weekly Savings Linky @ Frugality Is Free.

  • Shantique says:

    Ok, I know this post was mostly about the jeans 🙂 but back to the Tuna at Dillons, can’t you get a rain check for the tuna and then still get the good price and use the coupon whenever its in stock? Also, you didn’t have the PB in your pantry already?? LOL

  • Shantique says:

    Now that I made it past the food portion onto the clothes. I love Banana Republic clothing and the quality is excellent, but the prices are ridiculous! I walked by and saw the cutest little blazer. I went online to check it out when I got a 30% off coupon and was shocked to see the blazer cost $250!! It was sweater material (not even one natural fiber) and I could not believe, that this place can stay in business in this economy! Who spends that? That being said, I have been able to buy cashmere sweaters from them off the clearance rack for $20 when stacked with coupons.

    Old Navy is a tad disappointing…my kids’ stuff from there lasts really well, but every time I buy a cotton shirt for myself from there it ends up with holes in it after a couple of washes (and I don’t wash with every wear) I had gotten a couple of nice shirts that were work appropriate and had to end up tossing them for all the little holes!

  • Shelah says:

    Love it! We DO make our own choices with our budgets! Clothing is the very budget area that I have increased over the years; I’m spending more for better quality. I was a bit amazed at the response you received with the tortillas…..most didn’t seem to notice the the story was time=money, not if homemade tortillas taste better.

  • Christy says:

    I often buy GAP childrens’ clothing for my son on consignment–I really don’t care what brand I buy, but when I get home and go through my purchases, there seems to be a lot of GAP, Gymboree, and Children’s Place mixed in. Those brands must wear well and must sell to the consignment shops well. Of course I usually get them when they are clearanced at the consignment shop for $1 or at a fill a bag sale for less than $1 each. Almost all of it has worn well and I am saving it for boy #2 who arrives in Dec. So he will be at least the 3rd child to wear most of it (I realize that some of it may not have been worn before I purchased it, but some of it probably was). So, anyway, I guess GAP is good quality, but you can pay a lot less for it!

  • About the GAP mishap, just something to keep in mind: the term “Clearance” does not mean “sale.” Clearance simply means that the store needs to make room for other clothes and so it is trying to get rid of things. Either that, or those are items that people didn’t want to buy.

    *Quality Not quantity*
    One of my grandfather’s farm hands when on errands would wear very good quality and expensive clothes. When my mom asked him,
    -“Don ‘Jorge’, you are always so nicely dressed, how is it that you manage to wear such good clothes?” (I don’t remember her exact words, but she did approach him respectfully, tactically and P.C.).
    The man simply said,
    -“Well ma’am, one has to shop like a rich man for things to last for a poor man.”
    In other words, quality shopping is an investment! My family has lived by that motto since then.

  • Sommer says:

    I love Gap. If you time it right you can get really good deals. I only shop Gap online in their clearance section when I have at least a 40% off code. The last time I did this (June) I got Gap shirts for my boys for $2 and jeans for $5.50. Considering the quality of Gap clothes, this was a great deal in my opinion. Even with my wild 3 year old, their clothes will easily last through both my boys and be able to be handed down to family. Please don’t count them out just yet. Definately sign up for their mailing list and try their website first.

  • Chelle says:

    I shopped the thrift store a couple of weeks back with my sister and found several pairs of gap jeans, cords, and dress pants for under $2. They looked brand new! My sister even snagged a pair for 50 cents. I even got a BRAND new skirt with the tag still on it from Ann Taylor LOFT there as well for $3. Now those are great deals and the best part is that no one can tell I bought them at the thrift store versus GAP or the LOFT.

  • Laura says:

    I do like Gap especially the Gap Outlet for me (I’m fortunate to have one in my home town). I also love their clothes for children and have found them reasonably priced – in my opinion. I do, though, prefer Old Navy (same parent company) since they too have cute clothes for kids and they’re much more reasonably priced. I don’t find much at Old Navy for me since the styles seem really “young” for the women section and as I approach 40, I don’t think I can pull that off any more!

  • I am one of those people that is really hard to size. I also don’t generally shop much, so I have very little clothing. I used to buy cheaper clothing, but long term I spent so much more money that way because stuff would wear out really quickly! It drove my husband crazy, so he actually was the one that encouraged me to start buying better quality (I won’t say more expensive because I only buy when the sale is amazing).
    So I have started buying better quality clothes when it’s deeply discounted (like the lane bryant sale this past week!) and wearing it until it just isn’t presentable anymore.
    And THEN…I take those clothes that aren’t presentable anymore and I turn them into something new! I just took some of my holey jeans and made an entire outfit for my daughter out of them! I couldn’t have repaired them for myself because of where the holes were, but I could cut them apart and make them something else! So I took the fabric from the legs (using the existing side seam as the side seam on her tiny jeans), added some ruffles to the bottom and made a cute little top to go with it and it’s adorable! I posted a pic of it on my blog.
    If you aren’t crafty, and the clothing isn’t that bad off you can donate it. Or if it is, see if you have a friend who sews and ask her if she wants it. I would take ALL of my friends old clothing for sewing material!

  • Tonya says:

    I definitely agree about timing your GAP shopping trip just right. Last time I went to the GAP “outlet” (it sure isn’t outlet store prices!), they were running a deal to spend $75 and get a certain percentage off, can’t remember what it was now since it’s been a while, by showing your military ID. I scoured the store for bargains and walked away with 3 tops, a dress and a pair of shorts for me along with 2 pair of boxers, a button down shirt and I want to say a belt for DH….though it might have been socks for about $58. Since the clothes last and last, that was an awesome deal for me and I get compliments every time I wear the dress. Sure wish they’d have another military discount soon, I could use some new tops!

  • Laura says:

    Oh – one nice thing to know – when your children have outgrown their clothing, Gap clothes do sell well on ebay getting a much better price than what you might get at a garage sale. HTH!

    • @Laura,
      Very true! Also:
      gap
      babygap
      gymboree
      old navy
      jane and jack (or is that janie?)
      and a few other brands…

      are ALL over the consignment stores. Since they are better quality, the kids just don’t fit in the clothes long enough for them to wear out much. So I can buy gymboree jeans for my kids at the consignment store for the same price I’d pay at walmart. Plus consignment stores are kind of fun, like a hunt!
      Oddly I don’t sell my kids clothes. I can’t seem to part with them!

  • Jillbert says:

    I can totally relate to your shopping experience. Thrift store shopping has spoiled me too! It’s been years since I’ve browsed through a Gap or most retail stores but I find their clothes all the time for just a few bucks second hand. Isn’t it funny how even though the items you bought were free, they didn’t seem like a deal?

  • Angie Thier says:

    I just spent my Groupon as well. I’m very frugal, but I love me some Gap jeans! I’ve never spent more than about $20/pair though. I went in quite a few times lately, but coming out emptyhanded. This time I bought some that were $60 + a pair of kids shoes $8 clearance, took off 25% for the promotional = $56. I handed her the groupon and it came out to $.65. Then I realized that the $25 coupon went against the cost BEFORE taxes. So that’s why the confusion – I think.

  • I smiled because I am also a clearance rack girl. I *heart* Macy’s clearance racks with a coupon or an additional 50% off the markdown. You do have to hit Gap and such stores just right to really get any decent clothes on a good clearance. I have been know to spend $40 on a pair of Express jeans (my favorite). However, I still have and wear jeans from 12 years ago, so I figure I’ve gotten my money’s worth. To clarify, I’ve been pregnant twice so they haven’t been worn a consecutive 12 years 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    You’re awesome! Love the post. Glad Gap did you right!!

  • Allison V. says:

    I just got a pair of Lee Slender Secret jeans for $15 at JC Penney. I’ve been wearing them for days at a time! Jeans are the only thing I’ll spend more money on, and by “more” I mean up to $25! Everything else is less than $10 on clearance, and usually less that $6. I can stretch Christmas gifts or birthday money a looong way!

  • Laura says:

    I’m not a big fan of the GAP. I think their sizes are a little small. I’m spoiled too. We have some great thrift stores in my area so I never pay over $3 for a name brand pair of jeans.

  • Jessica says:

    I want to know where everyone lives, LOL! All we have here is Goodwill, and IMO it is overpriced.

    I have paid $60 for my Gap Long and Lean jeans- being petite it is hard to find jeans- and have been wearing them for 3-4 years and they look great. I will spend money on jeans.

    Now tops? Not so much. They always fade, or I spill something on them….so Target tops it is!

  • Kayla says:

    Please don’t take this the wrong way…. BUT YOU NEED TO LEARN TO SHOP AT GAP!!!!!!!!!! The Groupon offer does state you need a total of $50… Also, when you use “Money coupons” at gap such as Groupon and Gap Rewards certificates they don’t charge sales tax because they charge it in the base purchase or can be considered a gift meaning you file it on your taxes.

    With that said… I continually get OUTSTANDING deals at Gap. I’ve gotten maternity dresses for 6 dollars (then add on percent off sales), etc. Earlier this summer I picked up 27 items for $37 dollars!!!! This included two maternity dresses for next summer (we will be TTC in Dec.), a cute top and 24 items for my 2 year old. It’s really about paying attention to the website and shopping on a Tuesday/ Wednesday. Gap marks their clearance down in the middle of the week.

    Plus this weekend there was a huge sale a Gap for members and their friends that started on Thursday. The sale racks get picked over and fast. Just pay attention to the lines you like, they receive new lines every few weeks and start to clearance out the “old” lines then. All of our families clothes, including, jeans, tops, etc. come from Gap and I’ve never spent more than $10 on denim, $8 on tops and $8 on dresses for us. I DO spend full price on dresses for my daughter. Pants don’t fit her so I buy them as soon as they hit the rack or we’d loose out on most of them.

  • Kim says:

    Did you ask for a rain check on the tuna? You could at least get a few cans that way.

  • bambi says:

    After reading your post I thought let me share my deals when I used my Groupon. I went to GAP pretty much as soon as the Groupon was available. I ended up getting my husband 2 pairs of shorts and a couple shirts. I couldn’t find anything for me but I was ok with that. Also, there are a couple times of the year where they have a mega sale. I get almost all of my daughters clothes there. Last time the sale went on I found a ton of clothes for $3.00 for her and my son. It is one of those things though where you have to be there at the right time to get the really good deals. I can’t afford their normal prices, either!! lol

  • Lorea says:

    Gap is one of those stores that’s hit or miss. I’ve found a pair of clearance jeans for 6 bucks that were originally 65 and other times I can’t find a thing. I definitely love Gap Outlet though. They have different styles than the regular Gap, but I actually like the outlet’s styles better.

  • Carrie says:

    My name is Carrie and Baby Gap is my weakness.

    That said, my best-friend’s wife is a manager at a Baby Gap in Connecticut and their son is 18 months older than my little guy. We happily accept all of Evan’s hand-me-downs and our little one looks absolutely adorable (not that he wouldn’t in lesser quality clothes, but you know what I mean). I am also a consignment/thrift store shopper and I find amazing deals at my local stores – I completely agree that if you buy quality brands used, you get so much more for your money.

    I used my Groupon last month and hit the jackpot. I walked out of there with six pairs of boys shoes/sandals/sneakers, a GAP logo zipper hoodie (not a huge fan of my kids looking like advertisements for companies, but it was a great deal), two long sleeve tees, one thermal shirt and five pairs of socks, and all I had to pay was $3.00. Pretty good considering that most of the items can be worn through the winter.

    I agree that it’s all hit-or-miss in stores, but sometimes you can get AMAZING deals in there. My friend who’s the manager recommends shopping on later Wednesdays in the month, fyi 🙂

    • Carrie says:

      @Carrie, I just wanted to add that although I have no problem shopping thrift/consignment for my boys, i have TERRIBLE luck finding thrift/consignment clothes for me. Therefore, i live in the same jeans, tees, flip-flops, Converse and hoodies i have worn for years. I also wear my younger sister’s hand-me-downs (ahem, I’m 37…). A post on how to shop thrift/consignment for ourselves might be nice 🙂

      Hint…hint…

  • LeMira says:

    You just made me feel good that I don’t shop at GAP either. In fact, I never catch the deals, but I always hear about them. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t fit into their clothes for over 10 years, and so I don’t look closely. Maybe one day. . .

  • t says:

    I’ve been picking and choosing at Gap stores for the last 15 years. Yes, the are typically overpriced, but when you learn the sales and tricks (just like ANY other store) you can end up with a great deal. I generally get my kids jeans there cheaper then I can at our thrift store! It’s all about your area and selections. Last week I visited the thrift store looking for jeans and the only decent pair I could find for any of us was $6, and this was on the sale day. I went to Target and the cheapest pair was $12. I went to Gap and bought 3 different pairs @ $4 each.

    When I used my groupon I checked the store several times before deciding to spend it. When I finally did, I paid $.35 oop and walked out with 2 very full bags.

  • Mandy says:

    They wouldn’t let me pay the overage on mine either!

  • Heather says:

    I love Baby Gap clothes for my kids – but only when I can find them in a thrift store. When my son was born last May I was given a $25 gift card for Baby Gap. All I was able to get with it was a one piece outfit for him (which was my favorite outfit he had last winter) and a pair of leggings for my daughter. I still had to pay 2 or 3 dollars on top of the gift card.

  • Claudia says:

    Hey Crystal, about your tuna at Dillons, I don’t know if Dillons does this as, we don’t have it in AZ, but have you tried getting “rainchecks” I do that when they are our and most of the time I find the item in stock a week or two after the sale. Just a suggestion. And can ask for one everytime you go in and they are out.

  • Kristen says:

    We have a Gap outlet here and the prices are really pretty good, especially around Christmas 🙂

  • Joy says:

    My best Gap find is a pair of boot cut black jeans brand new for $1. But not from the store. They were from a rummage sale at a local senior center. Kind of an odd place to find hip clothes, but one of the member’s granddaughters donated a bunch of clothes for rummage sale.

    That said, the only time I buy Gap stuff is at the outlet store. Last November, I was able to score my boys Gap fleece thick hoodies for under $10. They are still wearing them this year. I have never shopped at a regular Gap store before.

  • nancyr says:

    I find Gap jeans at Goodwill all the time. I also find many, like new, tees, etc. from L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, Old Navy and other high end stores. I can’t bring myself to pay retail prices, when I know I can find similar items at a thrift store. Yesterday, I bought two pair of jeans and three tops that looked new (L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, and Tommy Bahama and spent just over ten dollars.
    nancyr

  • Stephanie says:

    I will happily buy Gap at the consignment shop and will buy it on sale at a Gap store. My girls are 23 months apart and the stuff lasts through more than one child. when I am done with the clothes I can sell them for half of what I paid.
    The only jeans I will buy for my nine year old stepson are from the Gap – not the crazy $50 kid jeans but the basic $20 pair. He has yet to wear out a pair instead of outgrow them. Target, Children’s Place, Gymboree, Walmart all fall apart and we end up spending more money by buying twice.

  • Robin J says:

    I LOVE the Gap. I only shop the clearance racks for myself. I have four pair of Gap jeans and I’ve never paid over $10 for them. Just watch for the sales. The quality is great and they outlast my Target jeans by years!

  • haely says:

    I agree Gap is way over priced I did buy the groupon and walked into the store for the first time just like you I did find the jeans on sale for $35 but I didn’t want to pay that much when any store I buy from I never pay more than $10 for jeans or any pants and I’m talking JCpenny, Sears and Macy’s! But the kids department was even more disapointing since I don’t pay more than $5 per piece or $10 for a great piece of kids clothes. I also was disapointed with the clearance not cute and not cheap, if it was cheap it was not my size or even close.In the end I got my self a pair of jeans, yes, I don’t regret it now I love them 🙂 and a pair of athletic pants and two cami’s for the house. Maybe worth the $25 I paid for the groupon but not worth the $50 I sould have got. I think that Gap (just like all stores) if you shop there regularly you find the great deals.

  • Mel says:

    I had to laugh at this post. I’ve often had the same thoughts when walking into our local Gap store. However, we do have a very nice Gap Outlet about 45 minutes from our home. I’m a “curvy” girl and don’t look good in most of their clothes. But I’ve been able to buy quite a bit of clothes for my hubby and 3 year old son at the outlet store at super low prices. Also, the Baby Gap items are often on extreme clearance and they make for nice baby shower gifts. I realize now that we are quite fortunate to live in an area that is so full of outlet malls.

  • Tamarah says:

    Thanks for hosting!

  • Alison Armstrong says:

    I just got a bunch of nice cute stuff at the Gap outlet for about $1 each!

  • Kimberly says:

    I love the Gap, although a lot of the prices are kind of high, the quality of the items I have purchased there are top notch and last forever:)

  • Penny Fleming says:

    I grabbed the cutest Merona dress on clearance from $30 to $1.96! It said it was an online purchase on the tag, guessing that’s why it was such a deal. Wore it to church with a little blk jacket I had found at jcpenney for $5 last year. Woo hoo!

  • jen says:

    I do agree gap is pricey, but I have always loved there clothing. I do find some great buys on clearance sometimes. We have a gap outlet up north which has great prices and if you go black friday they open at midnight and everythings 50% off so you can’t beat that.

  • sj says:

    Old Navy has additional 50% off baby and men’s clearance and 40% off kids clearance this week until Thursday. You can also get a coupon on their facebook page under Barkers bones tab after you like them. Keep refreshing for more coupons if you didn’t get a good one at first. I got the $10 off $50. I got about 35 pieces for $42.xx after coupon. Many summer shirts for baby girl are .98 each, I got 5-6 for .20 each.

    Happy shopping!

  • Kelly Hess says:

    Sometimes you need to splurge on yourself! A $50 pair of Gap jeans may look and feel real nice!

  • Crissy says:

    I agree! I went in after I got my 2 Groupons, armed with my 30% off friends and family and $75 worth of GC my husband received from his job ready to buy clothes for my daughter for preschool. Found out I couldn’t use the 30% off with the Groupon, so they rang up an outfit separately. For $300 worth of clothes, I still ended up spending $100 out of pocket because I couldn’t get the discount on the Groupon items and the whole thing was an err in my judgement. And all-in-all, I may have received 5 outfits for my daughter, which sounds like a great deal since the original total was over $300, but had it been Old Navy (same company/quality) or Target Clearance we could of made out with much much more. I guess live and learn, but won’t shop at Gap again.

  • Sarah says:

    I feel like I could have written this post. I was only able to get 2 shirts with my $50 which I was kind of bummed about. I feel like the fifty did not make it very far….I had never shopped at Gap before and I didn’t like it enough to go back.

  • Ann says:

    Why aren’t you asking for rainchecks – for your tuna? Most stores offer them 🙂

  • Chrys says:

    Your Gap post absolutely TERRIFIED me! I’d never gone to GAP either, but for some reason thought the groupon was a great idea (I’m losing weight and thought this would be nice to get some transition clothes) After the status on FB, I though about selling it to someone else, but decided to go in today just to see. I’m still very much ‘plus sized’ but was able to get 5 shirts and 1 pair of yoga pants for .19. The guy that rang me up at first didn’t think it would work because of the 25% store wide sale, but it did, and he was very impressed. Now I just need to sell the pile of clothes that I can no longer wear…

  • Jill says:

    I rarely step foot in GAP myself, but there are two things I will pay money for. Jeans (being 6 feet tall, it is much easier to just get ones long enough) and getting my hair colored! Other wise, I am cheap!

  • erica says:

    I almost exclusively buy my kids clothes at Gap. We have one a couple of blocks from my house so we frequently stop in on our walks and I can usually find things for very cheap. Last week ours had 40% off of the lowest sale price on all items, and I got a whole bag full of clothes for my kids for $1-2 a piece and several shirts and polos for me and my husband that are $5 each. Their regular price is outrageous, but they do mark things down! I love in Los Angeles and our Target has very little clearance, plus I usually pay less for clothes at Gap anyway.

  • Shirley says:

    So funny! In my younger years (before a husband & children), I shopped at the Gap quite often. In fact, I had a second job to support my clothing habit. Man how things change. I agree you can usually find quality items at a thrift shop or consignment shop for much less. We are lucky to have so really great shops in our area. One store that does have excellent clearance is Christopher Banks. I bought a sweater on their clearance rack last fall for a $1.50 that was very cute, well made, and one of my favorites. I actually felt bad for it being so cheap!

  • Maria says:

    I really like GAP, especially for my toddlers. But I only buy them from the thrift stores!

  • Nicole says:

    I find that shopping on line gives you much better prices. there are also tons more on line coupon codes. The only time i go into the store is during the give and get 30% off sale. Then i only shop the clearance rack. Sometimes i can score tons for great deals other times i walk out empty handed. I love that you can shop old navy and gap all in the same transaction on line.

  • Kara says:

    I have not stepped into Gap or even Charlette Rouse (sp?) in a couple years. I like the Gap’s spring bras. But can’t afford $30ea (or maybe that was just Hawaii’s price for them). I am quite content with Target’s quality of clothing. I have found Carter’s clothing at Sears on the clearance rack for about the same price as the outlet store.

    • jen says:

      @Kara, Gap bras can be nice, and I often was able to find them on the Clearance for under $15 which when your a larger cup size is a good deal. It seemed like it was hit or miss, but I always found there bras to be very comfty. I gained weight due to meds and am holding on to those bras for when I get back to that size again.

  • Sarah says:

    Crystal,

    I am right there with you. While I don’t only shop at thrift stores, (I am not as small as you and clothes tend to fit me weird) I do shop the Target clearance racks often and can get great deals! I also shop JC Penney’s clearance and get tons of nice stuff for super cheap (and it helps that my husband works there and I get a discount on top of the cheapest price plus it can be combined with any coupon or other discount out there).

    It’s funny how your perspective changes as time goes on. I know you never lived this way, but when I lived with my parents before I was married and when I had a job, I would spend a lot of money at places like the Gap and Abercrombie. I didn’t think twice about spending $80 on a pair of jeans and they did last a long time! Now that I have a kid and lots of bills to pay, I wouldn’t dream of spending $60 on jeans! Or if I did, it would be a super rare occassion with a gift card I recieved or a super sale. I have trouble spending more than $20 on jeans and $10 on a shirt! I guess some say I am cheap but you might say I am frugal right? 😉 And I guess we all have our different levels of frugality. One last note, a lot of times you get what you pay for so many times, it can be worth it spend that much on something you will wear a lot that will last!

  • SARA says:

    GAP has always had an issue with gift cards, discounts etc.
    I gave up on them. Far too much hassle.

  • I used to know how to shop The Gap, Banana Repubic and all those stores at great discounts. But that was pre-babies, when I had more brain cells and sleep.

    Now I just stick to being excellent at grocery shopping.

  • Jessica says:

    I am a die hard Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic shopper. I have been for 15+ years. I have scored some incredible deals at all 3 locations. I got a beautiful GAP black wool pea coat a few years back for $15. That coat will last a lifetime and was reg. priced at over $100. That is just one of the tons of deals I have scored over the years. I do believe you need to know how to shop at the GAP and Banana Republic though. You avoid every thing in the front of the store and you NEVER pay full price for anything. With that in mind many many savings and deals can be found. Maybe not every time you walk into a store, but quite often. I have purchased clothes at Target and sometimes they can last awhile, but often I find they wear out a lot quicker then many of the things I can buy for just a few dollars more at the GAP.

    • jen says:

      @Jessica, I agree I find these clothes last longer, and we have all 3 outlet stores up north, and Banana Repubic was great for my work clothing, I do accounting and I was able to get amazing deals at the outlet, I would say at least 70-90% off the reg store prices and black friday had 50% off and I would save extra money to get myself clothing on that day.

  • Debbie in PA says:

    Just curious…does Dillion’s issue rainchecks? They are not in my area.

    When there’s a hot sale on something I use and the store is out, I always get a raincheck. That way i can just pick it up the next time I shop there.

  • Emma K says:

    My total was 1.50 over $50 and I was surprised that I didn’t have to pay the difference. I made out okay with kids clothes, I didn’t even buy for myself. I was hoping for a Gap that had BabyGap, GapKids and adult Gaps connected so I could buy between them all. I ended up getting my son 2 long sleeve shirts, a long sleeve shirt and sweatshirt for my daughter, a pkg of socks for my daughter and last min a pair of socks for my son. I did okay shopping the sales rack but not the best. Could’ve been the store location too.

  • Leanne says:

    Crystal–I LOVED that post…back in my “charge it” days, I’m ashamed to say that I would have thought 60.00 is a bargain! Now that we have been doing Financial Peace, I realize that 60.00 is CRAZY!! (at least for my family)….I love Target clothes…and I love Old Navy, too…which I consider to be “Gap Clothes for the Financially Sensible”!!! You should do more posts on saving money on clothes:) I really enjoyed this one!

  • Elizabeth B says:

    Yes, you have to shop the sales and use coupons! 😉 But using my Gap card with coupons I was able to get maternity clothes there and I really like them. I looked at goodwill, but maternity in size 0/1 is hard to find.

  • Margaret Lind says:

    I’m with you on that! I’m just happy that this week, I got TWO 8-oz. packages of special flavored coffees from Boca Java, thanks to you, MOM, and ALSO due to their patience and perseverance with me A CUSTOMER I also scored the Canadian honey from Tropical Traditions THANKS TO YOU, MOM! And thanks to them for putting in some time to help me get registered on their website. They then honored the special pricing on the honey 50% off, I had to buy two, they plugged in the coupon for free shipping and so, for $17.50 I got two of their honey with no shipping costs! THANKS MOM! I will be a repeat customer to both websites at some time in the future, and I didn’t even feel guilty!!! Just blessed! BRAVO! for us! We’re all winners here!

  • Amy says:

    I agree with everyone who suggested Gap Outlet. I never find anything affordable at Gap in the mall (and I avoid the mall just because I don’t seem to need anything when I don’t let myself “window shop”! Amazing, huh?) But I almost always find great deals on pants and clearance tops at their outlet stores. I need sizes that come in longs, and their jeans wear fabulously, far better than their sister store of Old Navy. I generally pay no more than $10-20/pair. Wish I had good luck finding good fit and right sizes in consignment pants but I just never have.

  • Bonnie says:

    We live near a GAP outlet and often shop there. When we do rarely walk by or in a regular GAP store we are highly shocked. I score good items on the outlet clearance racks and do by my jeans there but only on sale. Maybe you can find a GAP outlet sometime!

  • brandi says:

    I’m another one that loves Gap! My hubby on the other hand thinks it’s over priced place for nerds LOL. I love it so much I worked there through high school and college so I could afford the clothes. I don’t shop there near as much as I used too because of life changes…kids, less money, etc. But I love it! I’m glad you were able to find a few cute things.

    O and I’m a jeans, tshirt and flip flops girl too 🙂

  • fairy dust says:

    I had to laugh at your post 🙂 I never shopped Gap until one Christmas years ago when my sister gave my son a $50 Gap gift card. I was surprised that when he opened the card and saw the gc, he wasn’t very pleased/excited. I offered to take him out to the mall to use the gc, and he said, “It’s for $50, Mom. That ought to buy me… a sleeve, if I’m lucky.” LOL! I still didn’t know what he meant till we got there. Luckily, in spite of prices that had me gasping, we were able to find some pants on sale that he really liked. And they were re-sellable years later on ebay, so it worked out well. But yeah, I don’t think I’ve gone back since then 🙂 I tend more toward Kohl’s or Target or Goodwill these days.

  • Jaclyn Rubly says:

    I never feel like I fit in at the gap. I’m a frugal Target shopper myself.

    I love your frugal tips and stories!

  • When you posted about GAP on Facebook last week, I wondered if you had been there before. I had a half off any jeans coupon last year…and thought with a sale would find a great deal on jeans for my sweet hubby. I was SHOCKED and walked out of the store in a fog. Headed over to Goodwill, and picked up 3 pairs of GAP jeans for him at $3 a pair. I understand in the end, money is just that…money…..and what is most important is that we wisely plan for what we have. Everyone’s standard of livng is different…..but I have a hard time stomaching one pair of jeans costing more than it would cost to feed a child in Africa for a year! My hubby and I are happy and content to utilize second hand stores…and let the money the Lord puts in our hands slip through to bless someone else, as best we can!

  • Megan says:

    New Target coupons are out!!! WHOOOHOOO!!

  • Emily says:

    Crystal, did you ask for a raincheck for the Tuna? I can’t get to my Meijer until the last day of their sales, and they are often out of the really great deals. They always give me a raincheck that is good for at least a couple of weeks, and I can always find the item restocked by the next time I shop and still get the item cheap/free, as long as the coupon doesn’t expire. (BTW sorry if you’ve already answered this question – didn’t have time to read through all the comments).

  • Betsy says:

    I have gotten some great Gap deals in past years – the secret is checking the clearance section regularly until you find something worth getting. I got a fall jacket there for about $6 that I wore for YEARS (I still wear it sometimes, 10 years later). Their jeans last forever, and I got some of the softest cutest underwear there one time. So I will vouch for Gap clearance sections, yet I do know that some days they don’t have many good sales.

  • Kim says:

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this today! We just got back from vacation and my wardrobe for the trip consisted of my flip-flops, thrift store tops and jeans I’ve had forever. I forgot how much I don’t get out to shop until I saw other people on vacation and looked in the windows of the stores as we walked around. Praise God for thrift shops, clearance racks and tortillas for $1.00! (Yes – we paid cash for the entire trip:) )

  • Amanda says:

    To everyone who bought the Groupon having never bought there before, did you not consider going on Gap.com to see what their styles and prices were? As at a grocery store, you’re not saving any money if you’re just buying things because they’re on sale.

    I don’t think you can go to any mall store and expect to find great bargains when you want them, you usually have to follow them. You can get great quality clothing for a steal at Gap if you keep your eyes open.

    Sure Target has some nice clothes, but they usually don’t last me more than a season, so I’m not saving any money if I’m having to replace pieces every year.

  • Shannon says:

    Perhaps you shouldn’t be too disappointed with your shopping experience at the Gap considering you did pay anything for the Groupon. You were able to get everything you selected for free —not one penny out of your pocket.

  • Erin says:

    I did not read all the comments but I will say that I do like Gap (and Old Navy) – especially their jeans. Last year I got a bunch of pairs for dirt cheap when they were redoing their names and cleaanced all of them. I am a tall woman at 5’11” and I need to order tall for their tops and bottoms. They are one of the few stores that carry my size Tall and X-Small/Small. It is not always affordable but I try to stack coupons and online cash back awards whenever possible. After growing up with “high waters” and constantly pulling at my long sleeve top sleeves to make them longer I found that a few pieces of their clothing can go a long way. I tend to stick to the classic styles not the trendy ones. I did get a groupon and also found the clearance thin – but that is also in part to how many groupons they sold me thinks. It was an overwhelming success for them according to the store personnel I talked with.

  • Whitney says:

    We usually shop at the Gap outlet, but since the Groupon wasn’t accepted there, I hit a Gap store last weekend. There clearance racks were a definite score for me. I ended up with a pair of swimming trunks and two pairs of underwear for hubby. I also found 4 shirts (that I LOVE) for myself on the clearance racks. Groupon covered my entire order too, even though I should have paid like $1.60. I couldn’t figure it out, but the cashier just said it was paid for- works for me!

  • Yeah, Gap is ridiculous with their prices.

  • Ashley says:

    Gap usually has two big sales a year… one in mid-January and one in mid-June or July. Here it always coincides with our mall sidewalk sale. You can get awesome deals on kids clothes then. I shop there periodically. One thing they do have is good underwear for little girls.. they have low-rise and boy short styles – things you can’t get in size 3T anywhere else 🙂 My 6 yr old still wears a 3t:) I get most all her panties there… and they are always on sale – usually i get them for around $1 per pair.

  • Jolie says:

    GAP is like most any other store, you have to learn how to “work” it to get the best deals. Like another comment said, you have to go in more than once. You have to sit on your gift card unless you are in need of something specific for which you want to pay more. The quality is good. I got a poloish style shirt there a couple months ago for less than $4 and a long-sleeve button up shirt to save for cooler weather for a bargain (less than $10, I know, but I can’t remember the exact price right now), too. Now, I also love Target clearance and have picked up some great items for my boys for next summer!

  • kara says:

    Sorry you didn’t have good luck with your groupon! I did great with mine–stocking up on all the items my girls needed to round out their fall/winter wardrobe and only spent $6.40 more. I got them 7 long sleeve cute tops, 1 pair of jeans and 1 pair of jean shorts (for next summer).

  • margaret says:

    I totally agree about everyone elses comments about the Gap, you just have to know how to shop there… I have gotten TONS of deals there because everything eventually goes on sale there. It’s also possible to get deals on brand name clothing if you know how to shop at the right stores at the right times.

  • margaret says:

    @Heidi,
    I totally agree with you Heidi!
    Target has a alot of stuff that is $$ but c’mon it’s target and its cheap.

  • Princess says:

    Its funny becuase I grew up only thrift store shopping. I never visited a mall until late in highschool. Now that I’m married and have four kids things have changed. There are no good thrift stores near us, and I find that I can get the kids clothing very reasonable at Target or Jc Penny, Gap and The Children’s Place or Macys on occasion. I just bought my kids jeans from the Children’s place, they had bogo 1/2 off. They came to 10.00 a pair, which I thought was great! (I know, to each their own!) Thats cheaper than Target (maybe not on clearence, but I couldnt wait) and a better quality. I also found a great website 6pm.com it has name brand shoes 50%-75% off! I will only buy shoes from there from now on and of course the occasional target clearance:)

  • Sarah says:

    I have one pair of jeans and yes they are Gap. I have been wearing second hand jeans forever it seems like, buying them at second hand stores or accepting used clothing from others. Its was fine for a while but the fit was never quite right for me personally.

    One day, I just tossed all the ones that just weren’t cutting it for me in the give-away bag or trash if they were too beat up. I talked to my husband and went and bought the most fabulous jeans at Gap that I may have ever worn. I love them. The fit is finally comfortable and flattering and totally worth it for me. It seems I hardly ever buy clothes these days because I’m usually satisfied with what I have or save up for quality pieces that make me much happier than lots of ok ones. That’s just my style at this point in time. So, the price may be too much for some, but the quality standard they have makes it totally worth it for me, even if I can only afford one pair!

  • A.S. says:

    I am one who loves Gap/Old Navy/Banana – about 80% of my wardrobe are from those 3 stores. If one is a subscriber to their emails and monitors the websites, you really can find excellent deals. I only buy what’s on sale and typically get free shipping. What I love best about shopping at these stores is that I know my exact size – I just monitor the websites occasionally and when there is a really good sale, I combine that with the promo codes (usually 25%-40% off your purchase or item). I rarely go clothes shopping at the mall because of this, and I love that!

  • Christi says:

    I think the big difference between Gap and Target is quality.
    Sure Target is a lot cheaper but so is the construction. I buy things at Target that I only plan to wear one season (like tees or trendy pieces) because that’s all they last before getting worn, holey or faded.
    But since you are buying for children, I can see where the $4.98 clearance at Target would be more appealing since they will outgrow that item before next year anyway.
    Gap clothing on the other hand, lasts for years and years. I have pieces that are 10+ years old.
    I’ll keep the $14.95 clearance jeans at Gap.

  • Nicole says:

    We have a GAP Outlet nearby, or if we are vacationing somewhere, I always try to check out the outlets. The key to shopping places like GAP, Gymboree, Children’s Place, etc., is to shop the CLEARANCE at the outlets, and buy OFF SEASON 🙂 I don’t even go into the regular stores. Right now, you could score some awesome deals on Summer clothes and shoes for next year. BUT, you have to be strong, and walk through all the cute, latest trends, to the back of the store. There is ALWAYS a great selection of clearance at all the outlets I’ve been to! NOTE: At Gymboree, you can EARN Gymbucks at the outlets, but you cannot redeem them there. But, you CAN redeem them online… and often there are great clearance items online 🙂 Happy Deal Shopping!

  • JK says:

    I agree that Gap is hit or miss, it is all about timing. I do a lot of Gap shopping with reward cards and you have to be able to visit often. I was able to get 3 pair of jeans for my daughter for 2.97 each, they we reg 24.00 each. The outlets are another great option.

  • Sherri says:

    I had no idea that I was such an anomaly- especially in the frugal arena! I rarely set foot in the mall, and have never been in a Gap, Old Navy, or Banana Republic store. I have not noticed that my kids’ clothes wear out any faster than those worn by their friends, even though we buy ours from yard sales and they are not always “name brands.” I am using clothes for #2 boy that were saved from #1 boy that were bought used and were probably Walmart to begin with. Since I bought them for a quarter, I’m pleased with the return on my investment.

  • Lissa says:

    Crystal,
    Did you get a raicheck on the tuna?

  • Anne says:

    I’m sorry you had a bad experience at the Gap. I have found that Gap jeans are one of the only brands that fit me correctly and modestly. They also last a long time! I buy them on e-bay to save money. One thing to consider when comparing stores is not only the price of the clothing but also the social responsibility the store has shown in manufacturing the clothes. I have not seen that brought up yet here in the comments. Gap has shown great improvement in manufacturing clothes with worker’s rights in mind. Target has not so much. As Christians who are concerned about our brothers and sisters around the world, we should be paying attention to this detail as well and not just the bottom line – our money.

  • Sydney says:

    I’m new to blogging and new to frugality, but I will be checking back frequently. I know I can learn a lot here! Thank you for providing such a great resource for families everywhere!

  • laura says:

    I used my Groupon and was able to score two pairs of leggings and three tops for my daughter (teenager) for her birthday, plus a nice sweater for work for myself and didn’t pay a penny OOP. Somehow it wiped clean what I should’ve owed them and I’m curious if it actually deducts the tax from our total. Dunno, but I personally was satisfied. For the record, no way I’d EVER pay their regular prices tho. 🙂

  • Michele says:

    I shop at Gap and Gap Kids all the time, but I never pay full price or anything close to it. I have found that I can purchase name brand clothing for my kids very cheaply if I do it mindfully. I shop ahead for my kids at the mall stores and get clothes very cheaply. For example, I just bought a ton of stuff at Gap Kids for them for next summer. They were having a sale which took an additional 40% off clearance items. My daughters now have some great looking skirts, tanks and capris and I didn’t pay more than $3 per piece. Most were $1.97. I’m able to find similar deals at Gymboree when I shop off-season and buy ahead. I haven’t had as much luck doing this for myself, but I always check the clearance racks for off-season merchandise anyway.

  • amanda says:

    I had a similar experience when using my Groupon at Gap. I thought I’d be able to get at least a couple of pairs of jeans or some khakis there with it, but a quick breeze through the adult side of the store quickly showed me otherwise. I also went to the kids section, picked out 3 pairs of sweatpants for my son, a pair of jeans for my daughter, and a pair of shorts for my son for next year. My total was about $53.00 but when they applied the Groupon, it said that I didn’t owe anything, not even tax? I was confused, the girl even asked her manager, but same thing, they said if that is what the register “said” I was good to go. Yay!

  • Tara says:

    The last couple of times I have hit the Gap, it seems that one particular store in my area has lots of items on their final clearance. I am sure now that I have a groupon, that will not be the case, but I have had alot of luck with them in the past. Their quality is definitely better than Target and there are several Gap items I have held onto for years, but I do think some of their cotton knit stuff does not retain the color or condition as well as it should for their retail prices.

  • Heather says:

    Sorry you had a bad experience. I was really excited about this even though there is not a GAP remotely close to me, because I have found that their jeans work best for me and they last a long time. When we were visiting family, I got my pair when they were $35, and some really cute stuff from the clearance section for my kids. Including the price of the Groupon I spent $30 for $90 worth of stuff.

  • Xela says:

    I can totally relate with your GAP Groupon experience! I went, hoping to find some nice things for my toddler, but found the clearance section was too picked over at the 2 stores I went to. I finally bought 2 t-shirts and a sweater for myself. I came home and told my husband about what I had bought and said “I can’t believe how expensive GAP is, even on clearance!” My husband (who group up in a very affluent area and is definitely the spender in our family) laughed and said “I was just thinking what a good deal that is!” I reminded myself that I really only paid $25, not $50 for my 3 items, which helped me feel a little better, but I guess I need to learn how to shop at GAP. I appreciate all the great tips from your other readers!

  • Maria says:

    I understand not wanting to pay full price at the Gap-my husband and I always head to the clearance racks and have found them to be not as great the last couple of years. However, we have found some great deals at Gap Outlet. The quality is good and the clothes wear well.
    An emerging concern for me though (and this was brought up by one other reader who happens to be my sister:)) is where the clothes are made, and who they are made by. So many of the clothing items we buy and think are “such a great deal” are actually items made by slaves, or by workers who work in terrible conditions and are paid little to nothing for their services. As Christians (and fellow human beings) I feel strongly that we need to be more aware of and active in researching and buying products made by people who are paid and treated fairly.
    I like a great deal as much as the next person and I shop at consignment stores and Goodwill and clearance racks. It is hard to pass up a $2 shirt at Target:) But the more research I do, the more I am convinced that we should be willing to pay more for a product that is made fairly.
    Target, along with WalMart and other large stores are buying clothing coming from factories who pay their workers less than any sort of living wage and have them working in terrible conditions. Gap–and many other stores, although far from perfect, is making strides towards greater transparency in the supply chain and fair treatment of its workers.
    I am not saying that we need to boycott these other stores, but that we need to be aware and be a voice for those who are oppressed. And sometimes we need to maybe pass up the “great deal” in favor of a product that may cost more, but represents fairness and equality for our fellow human beings.

  • Kim says:

    Well even if you are insecure about your Target outfit in Gap be secure in knowing that you probably have a net worth far greater than anyone else in there. if you haven’t already you MUST read ‘Stop Acting Rich.’ I read it after I heard Dave Ramsey talk about it. Totally fits in with this scenario 🙂
    Thanks for all the great deals!

  • Aubri says:

    I have never stepped foot into a Gap, but bought this groupon hoping to buy some quality clothing at a better price. Knowing that prices run high, I was still suprised by just how high !! Someone mentioned about timing and I have to agree. It just so happened that there was a sale on jeans when I went in. It took some work to find the sizes I needed for my boys in the styles on sale. However I did it and got 4 pairs of pants, first pair for $20 second pair half off. Total was just over $60. So I paid about $11 out off pocket(on top of $25 groupon) and got a card stamped to get a free pair of jeans. ( when you buy four, you get a 5th free). All in all, 5 pairs of jeans for my boys for 36.00. Quality, fit and style are much better than any $8 pair @ walmart! Not too bad in my book!!

  • Leanne says:

    I am fortunate to have an outlet mall nearby where I often shop at Gap. Their jeans fit and their clearance sales are great. Prices are comparable to Target. I have trouble finding clothes in my size at Target (I wear a very common size) and I think the quality of the clothes is terrible – everything shrinks!! I have tried to influence my daughter not to shop there.

  • I have found many great deals on the Target clearance racks! Some of the prices were as low as thrift store ones!
    Coupons do not make items inexpensive every time, obviously. Good to shop wisely. Walmart also can have some things that are good on their clearance racks as well, but Target is my favorite, by far.

  • I can’t believe how expensive clothing can be!

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