Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How to be thrifty in Stockholm (kinda)

In Atlanta, I had a money-saving system that took years of research, experience and practice.  I could save tons of money by leveraging coupons, in store discounts and store credit from previous merchandise returns.  For baby stuff, I used the Subscribe and Save option on like it was my job.  Jon would joke that I was "saving us into the red."  I couldn't help it! The more ways I could "save" money, the more I would spend.  "Exclusive deals" websites made it even easier for me to expedite my impulse buying while giving me the impression that I was saving TONS of money.  Do I need another pair of oversized sunglasses? No but they are 75% off!  Such deals CANNOT be passed up!

Stockholm, however, is a COMPLETELY different story.  Not only am I brand new and have no idea when sales might pop up but there are virtually no coupons to be found (or at least I haven't seen any).  I've seen second hand stores that carry clothes for ~$60 USD for a regular (and I don't mean name brand) sweater.  Sooo, I'm paying essentially what I would pay in the States for used clothing? Really?  Okay...

Buying anything in Sweden means you are paying 40% more than you would anywhere else since they have such a huge VAT (value added tax).  So far, I have attempted to avoid buying clothing while we are here since its so much more expensive than in Atlanta AND because I'm cheap (see previous blog on how this usually pays off).  I just won't pay more than $60 for a sweater (new or used). I don't care what country I'm in - that's ridiculous.

So imagine my surprise when I wander into a Lindex store that lured me in with a mouth watering 50% off sign in the window and find a few items that are fairly priced.  Calvin and I perused the merchandise and my eyes nearly bugged out when I found regular shirts and light sweaters that didn't break the bank.  A tall, skinny blonde woman (aren't they all?) was pawing through my recent finds and I almost went American on her ass and started to get my elbows out.  She moved on though and was spared a little retail tussle.

I didn't want to get too crazy since I had Calvin and he was not in the mood to wait for me to hem and haw over how cheap I wanted to be today.  I guessed my size and crossed my fingers that they would be flattering enough to make it into my closet.  The prices alone were enough for me to pry my wallet open for 4 decent purchases.

Originally 299 SEK ($44) on sale for 149 SEK ($22)

Originally 149 SEK ($22), on sale for 75 SEK ( $11)
Originally 99 SEK ($15) on sale for 25 SEK ($3.69) - now we're getting somewhere
And the big winner is...Originally 199 SEK ($29), on sale for 25 SEK! ($3.69)
Nothing beats the cold weather like a hat for 90% off!

So far in Stockholm, the easiest way to save money is to window shop (hah!) or if you do need to buy something, wait until the 50% off sales start rolling.  There is no reason to EVER pay full price because the seasons are so mixed that buying mittens and a warm hat in April is not so ridiculous. The massive snow storm on Good Friday showed me that you can never have too many cold weather items. 

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