Brooke’s Bargains: Turn Snowy Days Into Rainmakers! Plus, Coats Under $10

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

Written by Brooke Wagner
DENVER (CBS4) - In our house, items that aren’t being used don’t last long. Gloomy weekends, like the one we just had, are the perfect time to pick a spot in the house that’s overflowing (drawers, toy cabinet, etc.) and pare it down mercilessly!

This week, I picked our big bookshelf and our whole family chipped in, sorting the books into keep/give away piles. Most of the books will get donated to our local library book sale, doled out to younger neighbor children, or sold at our garage sale — but when I can group like items together to sell, I do it. For instance, I grouped all of our Dr. Seuss books together to sell on Craigslist as a set. I grouped learn-to-read books as a set for an upcoming consignment sale. My rule of thumb on books is 50 cents for soft covers, $1 for hardbacks. I cut the price even more for a set. Every little bit helps!

If you want to try Craigslist for some of the items you no longer need, make sure to give as much detail as possible, and include pictures. In general, whenever I’m re-selling any item, I price at 75 percent off the retail price or less, so they’re most attractive to buyers. You may have something very special you’re not willing to sacrifice at that low a price, and that’s fine, too — it just may take a little longer to sell.

What to buy NOW:  Coats! I picked up a $140 ski jacket for $10 at a local off-price retail store this weekend. I’ve seen children’s bubble jackets for as low as $5 lately, too — but they’re going fast, so now’s the time!

Many off-price stores stores (TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls, for example) have moved coat rounders to the front of the store and marked them $5 – $15 in hopes they’ll fly out the door and make room for Spring stock. I’m seeing gloves, hats and scarves for 50 cents to $1, and ladies’ angora blend glove/scarf sets were $2.50 at Target this week.

Our Wal-Mart had a big rounder of men’s and women’s coats as low as $6 and Old Navy had heavy duty cold weather jackets for kids for $15 recently. With my kids, I find it’s pretty safe to buy one coat size ahead for the next year, but everyone’s different, and it can be risky if your child has a growth spurt! Coats take up a lot of storage space, so make sure you LOVE it, at any price.  Feel free to post your finds, too!

By the way, I mentioned Upromise in my last entry — this week before Valentine’s Day, some online florist are offering 14 percent college savings on your purchase! (www.upromise.com)

And, I LOVE free shipping with no minimum purchase. Get it on any order from Lands End right now, code: SPRINGPREV (PIN#1010)- until 2-10-11.

Don’t forget to sign up for CBS4 Deals of the Day too!

Happy saving!

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