How to Stretch $100 – A #WalmartFrugalHeroes Challenge

One hundred dollars is a funny amount of money. As a child, $100 seemed huge and unattainable. Still now, as an adult, spending $100 feels like a big chunk of change when we are trying to stretch a budget. Yet, you can’t get much for $100 these days. We’re lucky if our weekly grocery bill hovers near the $100 mark. It usually soars above it. It is near impossible to get a new outfit for Mom or Dad under $100. Heck, even a nice pair of jeans or a well-fitted bra can push you over the $100 limit. It seems like we are shilling out $100s more and more and getting less and less in return.

Sometimes, it is hard to be an adult.

Recently, I was given the challenge to stretch $100. I was encouraged to see exactly how much $100 could get me at Walmart. So, on Friday, May 3rd, along with bloggers from across the country, I went to Walmart in search of a brand new outfit for me and a few extra things for my boys.

It started off as a hard trip for me. Had I been given this challenge in a few months from now, I would have chosen to redo a room or decorate an outdoor space for $100. But at the moment, given our tiny little apartment situation, that challenge simply didn’t fit my lifestyle. As a Mom who rarely spends money on herself (and who has a continually changing body shape), I can always handle a few extra items in the wardrobe. Additionally, as any Mom knows, it is nice to have an excuse to pamper yourself once in a while. But it has become so unnatural for me to buy for myself that I was wandering the store for a long time before finally feeling right about picking something out.

My goal was to pick out an outfit that would be appropriate for work, warm-weather friendly, and comfortable enough to want to wear on weekends. I also made a concerted effort to not buy anything black considering my wardrobe has been pretty monotone for the past few years and it certainly does not reflect my colour-loving personality.

I was surprised at how the clothes at Walmart definitely kept up with the fashion trends of the time, while still offering options for different body types and style preferences.

I tried on a number of different outfits and styles (partially because I have no idea what size I am, and also, looking in a dressing room mirror is pretty darn horrifying). Eventually I decided on a pair of white capris ($10), a yellow tank top ($10), and a blue cable-knit shrug ($12) to make the whole outfit work appropriate. Because summertime means air conditioning in my office, I also picked up a multicoloured, long-sleeved cardigan ($12) that I fell in love with.

Outfit

After feeling sufficiently guilty for spending so much on myself (despite still having $66 left to spend), I picked up a Spiderman short & t-shirt set ($14) for Cameron (Mom of the year!) and a similar Superman set for Gavin ($12). A $5 t-shirt for Gav and a pack of Spiderman undies ($12.87) for my big boy completed my mission and left me feeling like a Super-mom for spoiling myself while still filling some of my family’s needs.

When it was all rang up, the outfit for me, outfit for each boy, additional sweater, t-shirt, and set of underwear all totalled $96.66 with tax.

Checkout

Challenge met. That’s how you stretch a hundred bucks.

What is the best $100 that you’ve ever spent?

The small print: I was given a $100 Walmart gift-card for the sake of this challenge. The opinions and experience is entirely my own. Google WalmartFrugalHeroes to see how other bloggers stretched their $100.

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About Laura ORourke

Laura is a working Mom of two (but soon to be three) living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She juggles work, blogging, and life at home with her husband Dan and two sons Cameron (age 4) and Gavin (age 2). When she has time, she can be found reading, writing, snapping photos, or awkwardly running. Laura has been recognized as one of Canada's Top 10 Mom Bloggers by multiple publications, including Reader's Digest. Keep up with the fun by following @LauraORourke on Twitter or liking Mommy Miracles on Facebook. Like what you see? Have something to add? Be sure to leave a comment!

Comments

  1. Wow this makes me want to go shopping at Walmart and find some summer clothes that I am in desperate need of!! I am having a hard time with this in-between after baby sizes that my clothes fit, but not comfortably or right anymore.

    Your outfit is super cute!

  2. Carolyn
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great choice of outfit! You look great in the bright colours.

  3. I love yellow, so I am loving your cute outfit, and that is such good value for money!!
    Alison recently posted..The Good StuffMy Profile

  4. Dominique
    Twitter:
    says:

    I much rather have 100$ to spend on clothes at Frenchy’s! :)

  5. I’m glad you got to pamper yourself with some colour! :-)
    Lady Jennie recently posted..Life in the Trenches – Chapter 18My Profile

  6. That outfit is really cute, and true confession time… I try to buy all of my “work” pants at Walmart. I normally buy black or gray (because they go with everything), I can throw them in the wash, and I can wear them over and over and over. We have a “professional” dress code where I work, and I can usually find a pair of slacks that fit the bill at Walmart. It’s nice to be able to get a basic wardrobe staple without having to spend a lot of money.
    Jennifer recently posted..Raising Strong Daughters: You Are Worth AdmirationMy Profile

  7. Look how cute you are! Great stretching. It seems to add up so quickly, doesn’t it?
    Leigh Ann recently posted..An apology to my husbandMy Profile

  8. So confession time: will you be buying more clothes for yourself from WalMart? Are you willing to do a followup post in 3 or 6 months and let us know how they stood up to your wearing cycles?

    Also, uber cute in that outfit. Good choice.
    Michael Lombardi recently posted..How Far Would You Go to Catch a Prostitute?My Profile

    • I buy clothes from Walmart on occasion. This was certainly not the first time I bought clothes there and won’t be my last. When I need to go buy new clothes for work or an event, Walmart might not be my first choice, but if I find I am missing a staple item, I’ll go there and see if I can find something quick and cheap.

      Also, I’ve never found Walmart clothes to wear down on me. I used to buy Walmart a lot in university, and I wore them until I grew out of them (*cough*got pregnant*cough*gained weight*cough*). I could probably do a followup post if Walmart wants to pay me for more air time on my blog. ;) I always have a million things I want to blog about but don’t have the time. :)

      Thanks for the compliment, Michael!
      Laura O’Rourke recently posted..How to Stretch $100 – A #WalmartFrugalHeroes ChallengeMy Profile

      • When I was a child, my parents bought my clothes at WalMart until maybe 1st or 2nd year of high school. I do not currently buy clothing at WalMart, so I wasn’t implying anything at all. I do associate inexpensive with more likely to have longevity problems, but that’s not an always. In full disclosure, I actually very rarely shop at WalMart. For a multitude of reasons, but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to if the circumstances of some of those things changed. It’s possible that in 2012 I didn’t shop there once. Well, I did shop at a WalMart on vacation in Canada, but you guys have nicer WalMarts, so it’s not quite the same.

        No thanks necesssary; I calls them as I sees them. But you’re welcome. :)
        Michael Lombardi recently posted..Mental Health Days and Sexism in the MSMMy Profile

        • :) I wasn’t offended. It was a fair question that bloggers should be asked. I think the thing with women – especially Moms – is that it is so hard to spend money on clothes for ourselves. Not only do we feel guilty for not spending it on our family, but our body size is constantly in flux (or, we hope it will be soon!). So Walmart and other bargain stores may not be our first choice but is a good compromise.
          Laura O’Rourke recently posted..How to Stretch $100 – A #WalmartFrugalHeroes ChallengeMy Profile

          • I’m a stay at home dad, so with one income we don’t buy clothes nearly enough. In other words, I completely understand. Even my daughter’s clothes almost exclusively are bought used, unless gifted from grandparents. We clearly value other things than expensive clothes. ;-)
            Michael Lombardi recently posted..Rape Doesn’t Take Your ValueMy Profile

  9. What I love about these pieces is that you can inter-change them with other outfits. I love layers! Those colors are great for you .I love Walmart and their deal too. Personally I love the thrift shop and Goodwill. I can usually find cuter things for myself, the kids and the home too. I dont mind spending money there I know its a good deal .
    Alma recently posted..A Buddleja lace knit /#IPPPMy Profile

  10. Great job Laura. You can totally mix and match. You have the cutest smile and look too young to have kids #jealous.

    Thanks for following me via BlogLovin. I’m a new follower of yours too. I’d love it if you linked up to my weekly BlogLovin Hop at Journeys of The Zoo (http://www.journeysofthezoo.com/search/label/BlogLovin%20Hop).

    Looking forward to connecting further.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo
    Finding Humour in Everyday Life
    Sarah De Diego (Journeys of The Zoo) recently posted..Link Up to The Zoo’s Weekly BlogLovin {#BlogHop} May 9My Profile

  11. Andy Brockamp says:

    Woohoo! It’s always nice to get a deal.

    My best was getting $600 worth of clothes at Marks Work Warehouse for $100. The down parka alone was $250 and worked out to about $13 with the discounts. :)

  12. Chrissy Blake says:

    You were really able to stretch your money. I just did our summer shopping at Burlintgon Coat Factory. They have great prices, but they always have really high quality designer clothes. I saved $200 on our summer purchases and bought everything we needed for the warmer weather in one trip.

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