In this down economy, we are all looking for the best bang for our buck.  Money is tight for most of us, but who wants to give up shopping.  By finding the best bargains out there, we can have our cake and eat it too.  We should all know the 411 on how to save money with coupons, clearances, and seasonal discounts, but don’t forget about the outlet malls.


I remember a few years ago that I felt our outlet malls were nothing more than a ploy to get us in the door with “great deals” that were not all that great.  It was hit or miss and not worth the drive, BUT things have changed in our favor.  Some of the larger retailers have caught onto a need for lowering prices during a difficult time, therefore outlet malls are taking off and there are deals to be had.

There are a few things to keep in mind.  It is true that outlet stores offer name brand merchandise at a 25% to 90% savings off of retail prices.  However, much of the merchandise has either been discontinued, excess, seasonal or merchandise that did not do well in their flagship stores.  You also have to watch for irregulars and merchandise specifically made for the outlet stores using cheaper materials. I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind purchasing a purse or a pair of shoes from last season at an incredible price.

A well-planned trip to your nearest outlet store can offer you deeper discounts.  Sign up for all the shopper member cards or reward programs.  An extra 10% (or more) off helps.   Call or look online for seasonal or special events offered during the year.  If you are a senior citizen, know your “perk” days.

Carol and I visited one of our outlet malls last week and were more than amazed at how well we did.  I will let Carol tell you about her finds and the money she saved.  Watch for her blog on Monday.

Good Luck!