Joe Boxer http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8946/all en-US What's To Love About Kmart http://www.wisebread.com/whats-to-love-about-kmart <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/whats-to-love-about-kmart" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kmart.jpg" alt="man getting ready to place number on sign next to large 0% off today sign" title="0% off sign, getting ready to be fixed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Kmart isn't&nbsp;perfect. Compared to its mass-merchant counterparts, its merchandise selections are generally slimmer and prices higher. And, its retail execution can be&nbsp;sloppy (apparently coupons need to be presented with correlated products, like in the olden days, rather than matched with products by the point-of-sale system based on barcode technology; see <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/double-coupons-%E2%80%93-they-could-cost-you">Linsey's post</a>, a shopper's recommendation on how to <a href="http://bargainbriana.com/2008/11/kmart-super-doubles-1130-to-126/">present coupons at Kmart</a>,&nbsp;and an <a href="http://www.salespromo.co.uk/article/814">industry article </a>mention that most large retailers in the U.S. adopted coupon-product matching technology in the 1990s). But, with a Kmart store close to me and congested drive to Target or Wal-Mart, I have discovered what to love about Kmart. Here are the bargains I've found.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><b>Joe Boxer socks</b></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">These are incredibly comfortable and durable socks. While other socks wear thin, Joe Boxer&rsquo;s retain their thick, soft fabric. Other socks get holes; Joe Boxer remains hole-less. My son, who is generally oblivious to brand names (he once asked who the heck&nbsp; <a href="http://usa.tommy.com/#/home_page">Tommy Hilfiger</a> was, after seeing the name emblazoned on his classmates&rsquo; clothing), asks for this store brand.&nbsp;The underwear is made nicely as well.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><b>Basic Editions shorts and pants </b></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I&rsquo;ve been buying these shorts and pants for years now. They are reasonably well-made and though I don&rsquo;t think they would last forever, the clothing has lasted for the wear-time of my kids. I can often find these items on sale before the season ends, and recently bought a few pairs of pants for 40% off ($5.99 per pair); while I can sometimes find better bargains at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-cents-an-item-for-high-end-childrens-clothes">children&rsquo;s clothing consignment sales</a>, being able to find inexpensive clothing in my children&rsquo;s sizes <em>nearly anytime </em>is helpful. At the end of each season, I have picked up shorts for just a couple of dollars and, if needed, saved them for the next year; the loose fit and consistent sizing make the shorts easy to buy ahead and use later. (See <a href="http://parentingsquad.com/childrens-consignment-sale-clears-closet-yields-cash">this post on holding a&nbsp;children's clothing consignment sale</a>, a great community fundraiser)</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I have also bought ladies&rsquo; clothing made under the Basic Editions label for myself.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><b>Route 66 jeans </b></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">These are well-constructed jeans; the shirts are also well-made and durable. &nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><b>Licensed t-shirts and sweatshirts</b></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Affinity wear is something I can live without but it is nice to have a t-shirt and sweatshirt emblazoned with the names of my favorite teams, especially during basketball season. Having shopped at campus stores and frequented websites dedicated to team sports, I have found that Kmart&rsquo;s tees, especially in the men&rsquo;s department, are a pretty good deal. A nice t-shirt there will often run 50% less than similar ones at specialty shops. And, though my kids typically don&rsquo;t like getting clothes for Christmas, they love getting clothes with the <a href="http://www.unc.edu/">UNC Tar Heels logo</a>.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><b>Shoes </b></div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">There&rsquo;s nearly always a shoe sale at Kmart, usually a buy one, get one 50% off. If you have children or are generally need 2 pairs of shoes at one time, rather than just one pair, this arrangement is a good deal. When my kids were younger and changing shoe sizes fairly often (it seems like every 3 to 6 months), shoes for Kmart were perfect: they wore out about the time I needed to replace them. Since then, I&rsquo;ve had mixed results: some shoes have lasted a year or so; one pair, though, seemed to fall apart within a few days. I should mention though that I&rsquo;ve had the same problem with name-brand, pricier shoes.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">I&rsquo;ve also bought shoes at Kmart for myself. My <a href="http://www.meldisco.com/md_cuddlers.html">Cobbie Cuddlers</a>&nbsp;have been reliable and comfortable shoes for a few years now. I&rsquo;ve also noticed that Kmart carries shoes by <a href="http://www.meldisco.com/thommcan.html">Thom McAn</a>, a brand that I remember considered trustworthy&nbsp;from&nbsp;my childhood.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">While I&rsquo;d rather <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-stuff-that-lasts-forever">buy things that last forever</a>, I&rsquo;ve also paid a premium, even at sale prices, for clothing and shoes that I thought would last forever but didn&rsquo;t.&nbsp;Getting a decent&nbsp;life on some everyday basics is nice.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><em>Are there any great items that you buy at Kmart?</em></div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-to-love-about-kmart">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-stuff-that-lasts-forever">How To Buy Stuff That Lasts Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kmart-settles-refunds-gift-card-fees">Kmart settles: refunds gift-card fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-for-teachers-that-theyll-actually-like">15 Unique Holiday Gifts for Teachers That They&#039;ll Actually Like</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Basic Editions college apparel Joe Boxer Kmart private label brands Route 66 Sat, 06 Dec 2008 17:06:16 +0000 Julie Rains 2630 at http://www.wisebread.com How To Buy Stuff That Lasts Forever http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-stuff-that-lasts-forever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-buy-stuff-that-lasts-forever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/blue shirt, hiking boots, wine opener.jpg" alt="shirt, hiking boots, twistup wine opener" title="stuff that has lasted forever: shirt, boots, wine opener " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="249" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband bought a pair of gym shorts for my oldest son a couple of weeks ago. The shorts lasted for one day before having a small tear at one of the critical seams. Contrast that with a shirt that I’ve worn and washed almost weekly for over 15 years with no seams tearing or buttons missing. How can I tell if something will last? </p> <p>I wish I could give a precise formula for projecting the lifetime of any given object. I can’t. But I will share with you what I have observed: </p> <ul> <li>Prices tend to be slightly higher on things that last forever, compared to their not-so-long-lasting peers; I have noticed a 10-30% price differential (more for furniture). </li> <li>Paying more for an item, compared to its alternatives, doesn’t guarantee that it will last forever. </li> <li>The more fashionable something is, the less likely it will last through several seasons.</li> <li>Mass merchants tend to offer items that meet short-term, rather than long-term, needs (the shorts came from Target) with the exception of Joe Boxer (Kmart brand) socks.</li> <li>If it looks cheap in the store, it won’t last long. </li> <li>Things that are orange or yellow last a long time (see below in reference to my rust-colored London Fog raincoat, orange Tupperware measuring cups, and deep yellow laundry basket)</li> <li>Companies known for quality usually make or sell things that last forever.</li> </ul> <p>Here is my list of things that have lasted nearly forever. </p> <ul> <li><strong>Hiking boots from <a href="/save-big-at-l-l-bean-every-thursday" title="http://www.wisebread.com/save-big-at-l-l-bean-every-thursday">L.L. Bean</a>: 21 years</strong><br />These are lightweight boots that have served me on mountain and forest hikes, traversing streams, keeping my footing on damp, muddy ground, and walking on gravel, on wet leaves, and over tree roots. </li> <li><strong>Bookcases</strong><strong>: 24 years<br /></strong>These are the heaviest, sturdiest particle-board bookcases ever; I bought them at my favorite home improvement store. Since then, I have purchased particle-board bookcases that have not held up and then moved on to real-wood bookcases. But none are as sturdy as my 1983 purchase: <em>they just don’t make particle board like they used to.</em> </li> <li><strong>London Fog raincoat with wool lining: 18 years <br /></strong>I bought this coat at a Tanger outlet mall in Blowing Rock, thrilled to find a quality item of clothing at a great price. My mom encouraged purchase of classic, well-constructed clothing, calling such moves “investments.&quot; (see <a href="/killin-em-out-there-the-school-clothes-conundrum" title="http://www.wisebread.com/killin-em-out-there-the-school-clothes-conundrum">Jabulani&#39;s post on clothing</a> )</li> <li><strong>Knit shirt from J.C. Penney: 15 years</strong><br />I received this long-sleeved, blue and white striped shirt as a gift. During the fall, winter, and early spring, I wear this shirt at least once a week (it’s very comfortable). Every button is still in place and no threads are loose.</li> <li><strong>Oneida stainless flatware: 22 years <br /></strong>I became enamored with the Oneida brand when I did a research paper on the <a href="http://www.oneida.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/content.page/nodeID/c41889b4-6e42-48ac-bf36-c18f0861ff0b/" title="http://www.oneida.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/content.page/nodeID/c41889b4-6e42-48ac-bf36-c18f0861ff0b/">Oneida</a> community in high school. (It was started as a utopian commune that made quality flatware; the commune did not last but the business did.) I have the Dover pattern and use these every day. </li> <li><strong>Pyrex bowls: 22 years</strong><br />I received these as a wedding gift – they have minimal decorative appeal but they last forever. Since then, I have received plain glass, truly elegant Pyrex bowls. </li> <li><strong>Tupperware measuring cups: 22 years<br /></strong>Another wedding gift – I use these nearly every day.  </li> <li><strong>Keychain from UNC: 25 years <br /></strong>I signed up to become a member of the <a href="http://alumni.unc.edu/article.aspx?sid=206">Alumni association</a> before I graduated. The keychain was a joining gift – it has the university’s address and a code unique to me so that if I lose the keychain, the finder can drop it in the mailbox, send it to the alumni association, and the association will return it to me. </li> <li><strong>Wine opener from a local winery: 15 years <br /></strong>I got this when I visited a new winery several years ago. It is an unusual design. <a href="http://www.yvwt.com/" title="http://www.yvwt.com/">Vineyards</a> were new to my area then, now they are ubiquitous. </li> <li><strong>Desk: 14 years <br /></strong>I acquired a large, extremely heavy desk from a former landlord. It was easier for them to sell it to me than to move it. Now, it is part of a home office. </li> <li><strong>Clock radio: 20 years</strong><br />My husband bought this item for me. It has two alarm settings (according to the sales associate, his and her settings); I have yet to use this feature. </li> <li><strong>Large throw pillows: 27 years</strong><br />I bought these at a furniture store to serve as cushions for a patio frame that I converted to a sofa when I was in college. I still use these in my home; they’re not elegant but they are functional. </li> <li><strong>Laundry basket by Rubbermaid: 20 years (?)</strong><br />I can’t remember when I bought this so it must have been a long time ago. I have 2 of these baskets; my other baskets have torn plastic but the deep yellowish square ones are still in perfect condition. </li> <li><strong>Framed pictures: 20 years<br /></strong>I have limited edition prints made by the <a href="http://www.robertatinogallery.com/" title="http://www.robertatinogallery.com/">son of one of my dad’s former coworkers</a>. I had them custom framed and look at them every day. </li> <li><strong>Lane cedar chest: 25 years</strong><br />I bought this chest with my first credit card. I store my wool clothing in it and use it as a table.</li> </ul> <p>Having stuff that lasts forever can save money and time by avoiding replacement-item shopping and item disposition. Sometimes it makes financial sense to buy the less expensive item that lasts for a few years because replacement costs over your lifetime may still be less than buying the incredibly durable but pricey alternative. Doing an inventory of my forever items made me realize, though, how much I can save by buying the right stuff. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-stuff-that-lasts-forever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-to-love-about-kmart">What&#039;s To Love About Kmart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-for-teachers-that-theyll-actually-like">15 Unique Holiday Gifts for Teachers That They&#039;ll Actually Like</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-cameras">The 5 Best Pet Cameras</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping cedar chest hiking boots Joe Boxer L.L. Bean Lane London Fog Oneida Pyrex Rubbermaid Tupperware Fri, 14 Mar 2008 18:51:15 +0000 Julie Rains 1916 at http://www.wisebread.com