Hip Mom’s Smart Shopping Resolutions

Smart shopping is something I could go on and on about, and will surely come up again in this column. I have strong beliefs when it comes to shopping: don’t buy only the trendiest things, don’t spend money to “save” money, and always look for a discount. Especially now, with high gas prices and rising mortgage rates, we are all counting our pennies.

Here are some easy-to-keep resolutions all of us Hip Mom’s can feel good about!

1.Set up a secondary email account specifically for shopping.

I love Gmail, from Google. it’s easy to use and has hasn’t flooded the market with usernames, so you may actually get a good one instead of the ever-so-easy to remember “mom3hx62005@aol.com.”

Getting a second email account is important and helpful for many reasons. First, we can monitor our coupons and updates easily. Second, we can separate email from family and other Hip Moms from the sometimes spam-like offers from retailers. And lastly, if there is no money in your budget for the month, DON’T LOG ON TO THAT EMAIL ACCOUNT!

2. After you have set up your shiny new email account, it’s time to load it with updates from your favorite stores.

(And, remember, if you notice that you never open the emails from Bluefly.com, for example, just unsubscribe.) Daily Candy at dailycandy.com has a sign-up for weekly deals at great online boutiques. Remember to use this new email address at local stores, too. Many locally owned stores send birthday coupons and keep you informed of their sales. Spas and salons also send email offers. For example, Jara Herron Salon and Ihloff Day Spa send last minute specials on hair and spa services.

3. So now you’re ready to shop!

Wait — the discounts! Never, ever bypass the “Do you have a promotional code?” section without searching for one. Simply Google the store’s name and “coupon code” or “promotional code” to find the latest offers in cyberspace. Personally, I love the site retailmenot.com, but there are many others. You can almost always find a “free shipping” and sometimes can “stack,” or use more than one coupon.

You can even find printable coupons for stores here in Tulsa. Just type “printable coupon” and the store’s name in Google. There are not as many, but it is worth the time before heading out shopping. And always remember, just because you have a coupon, that doesn’t mean you need to shop!

4. Open a new credit card.

I know, you’re thinking, “How is that smart or hip?” Debt is never cool, and I’m certainly not advocating adding to the growing debt crisis. In fact, if you are currently in credit card debt without a working plan in place to get out, STOP READING THIS! (Sorry Moms, we’ll catch up next month!)

I am not a financial advisor by any means, but I do know a good deal when I see one. I love the Gap family of credit cards. If you are like me and buy at these stores for your families anyway, this card is for you. They send many coupons and merchandise certificate rebates. Target also has a good thing with their Redcard.

Besides the rebates back on your spending, Target will give up to 1% back to the school of your choice. As with any credit card, you must remember to plan for purchases in your budget and always pay the balance in full. No coupon is worth the 22% APR for a cute pair of $60 jeans.

With these manageable resolutions, you, too, will be able to start 2008 with the shopping confidence of a true Hip Mom! Now, where can I get a deal on some Webkinz?

Hip Mom’s Trend of the Month: Election T-Shirts

With less than a year away, and one of the most dynamic field of candidates our generation has seen, this November’s presidential election is something all of us Hip Mom’s should be talking about. And what a better way to show our support than by making a fashion statement for your candidate! If you feel too preachy advertising your own candidate, put one on your baby!

The cutest are at babywit.com with “Obama, Baby!”, “Kucinich, Baby!” and all the rest of the democratic field. (Sorry Republicans!) But politicians are surely jumping on the “graphic tee” bandwagon by offering cool t-shirts at their official sites. I especially like the Huckabee site with clever shirts like the reminiscent “I like Mike” (Is that an omen?) and “I Huckabee.” There are also plenty of unofficial ones at online retailers such as cafepress.com for more trendy Tees.

Categories: Hip Mom