Have you hit the sales rack yet?

Just like the ants that invaded my apartment to stock up for the colder seasons, I've been strolling through sales racks (real and virtual) for things I can wear next spring or summer. Why? Because I'm cheap. Really cheap. That, and because Southern California weather allows me to eek more mileage out the clothes before I have to pack them up. How does it work? Well, I look for pieces that aren't too trendy but looks chic year after year. Sounds cliche, but that's how I've managed to look good and still have money for gas (to do more shopping or more constructive things).

Over the summer, I rediscovered the joys of shopping at Target. I went there to nab a couple of deals, such as a movie poster frame for $6.24 (down from $25). Only once (ok, more like twice on the same trip) did I break my rule of not paying full price for anything, but it was money well spent. I bought a pair of blue Mossimo sandals at $17 and Issac Mizrahi faux-croc pumps at $28 (which is a monstrous sum for me), and I got lots of compliments for them when I was at work. In fact, one of my co-workers liked the sandals so much that she went to Target that very night to get a white pair for herself. Now I want a white pair too--the thin straps look good year after year without looking dated. My blue ones really stand out, which may or may not be a good thing. At least blue is "safe" enough a color that it'll still see daylight in another 250 days or so.

Unfortunately, the sandals are no longer available in Target stores. I usually wait for further reductions, but nowadays Target move their old stocks out pretty quickly. They're on sale for $8.49. If my bank account isn't in danger of flatlining, I would have gotten the white ones already.

In anticipation of rainy season, I did comparison shopping for wellies. I didn't want monochrome ones that make me look like a fisherman, so I aimed for something with cute but not too kiddy prints. After an initial search for boots that had designs on them, Target was the next lowest price at $19.99. They were cute, but they ranged from overflashy (cabana stripes) to underflashy (polkadots that were too small to be appreciated). Bluefly had the next lowest price, but the Ralph Lauren ones starting at $25 a pop were just not "me." Boutiques had cute ones, but they were, of course, boutique-priced. Then I remembered seeing some cool ones from Esprit for $40. I had been eyeing them once in a while, just waiting for the price to come down. Lo and behold, it's now 50% off, up from 30% just weeks ago!

But even then I was debating whether I should buy it. If the price dropped to 70%, that's another $8 off. I'm accustomed to waiting it out and winning, but this time I wasn't so sure; by the time it takes the price to drop further, there might not be any left. Since the 50% price is still cheaper than Target, I decided to go for it. Good call, since my size was gone the next day. Those who wear Size 9's and above can probably wait another few weeks and snatch it up for $11.

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