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Friday, June 29, 2018

Bargain price on a staple of my summer wardrobe

A simple white t-shirt is a staple for my wardrobe in summer. I wear them with jeans, capris, shorts, and casual skirts. A plain white women's t-shirt, bought in a clothing store, runs about $8 to $12. Thinking outside the box, and shopping in a craft store, a similar t-shirt can be had for a fraction of that price. This past week, I found a great deal on a summer shirt.

One daughter and I were picking up t-shirts at Jo Ann Fabrics for a family project. Jo Ann's had the Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal going on for a few days with the t-shirts used for tie dye, painting, iron ons, and silk screening. The regular price is not horrible, at $6.49 for women's styles, and $4.49 for kids and basic adult t-shirts. But with the Buy 1 Get 1 deal, that made the women's t-shirts (more body hugging style with a slightly lower scoop neck or v-neck) $3.25 each, and the basic adult shirts $2.25 each. With this deal, my daughter and I each got an extra shirt to keep as a white t-shirt for summer. Later in the week we went back for 2 more shirts for other family members. The B1G1 deal was no longer on, but I had a 50% off coupon with me, and my daughter was able to pull up a 50% off coupon on her phone. So, we were able to buy 2 more shirts at the lower prices of $3.25 and $2.00. In addition to white, these shirts come in a variety of colors, BTW.

I checked Michael's crafts, online, and this week they have the basic style, short sleeve t-shirt  for both kids and adults, in a bunch of colors, for $2, even cheaper than my deal at Jo Ann's. Hobby Lobby's shirts are slightly more expensive at $2.79, on sale. I consider a casual shirt in the $2 price range to be a great deal. My guess is these shirts are offered at such low prices because crafts stores expect that you will also buy paints, dyes, and transfers to enhance the shirts.

You may be thinking, "but the sales will have passed, soon." True. Here's the thing, when the shirts are not on sale, I can often find a 50% off (or more) coupon that is good on 1 regularly priced item, yielding that same great deal on a simple t-shirt.

For a casual weekend shirt, or a layer under another shirt, I think these shirts are a great addition to my family's wardrobes. Father's Day is past, but there are birthdays, and other holidays looming on the horizon, for which I think another couple of these t-shirts would make great gifts. My husband wears basic t-shirts around the house on weekends. For $2.00 to $2.25 per shirt, he could have 4 new t-shirts for $8.00 to $10, or about the price of 1 men's t-shirt at a store like Kohl's. Like I said, these comes in lots of colors.

Now, for that family project that I spoke of. . .

Sunday afternoon we had fun tie dyeing some shirts. And after using the dye for these shirts, 3 of us used the leftover dye, dumped into buckets, thinned with a little water and combined to make nice tones as over-dye for some of our existing clothing. I over-dyed a washed-out light blue t-shirt into a bright mint green one, a daughter dyed a pair of washed-out lavender long underwear/pjs a lovely shade of lilac, and the other daughter over-dyed her gray heather, short-sleeved sleep shirt into a magenta heather. one. Didn't want to waste that last bit of dye.


  1. Good idea! For my son's birthday one year, instead of a goodie bag, I bought fabric markers and had the kids sign t-shirts that I had purchased at the dollar store. Big hit! Your idea would also be fun for a kid's party--both for the activity and for a take-home prize.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I love your b-day party activity/favor. As we were buying the t-shirts and dyes, we talked about how fun this would be to do for a birthday party. It's not nearly as expensive as taking the kids on an outing, and it has the built-in bonus of the party favor being something that would actually get used (instead of a bunch of plastic toys which break or make their way to the bottom of the toy bin).
      Have a great weekend, Kris!

  2. Love that idea! I love checking on your blog - you always have such interesting ways of saving.

    1. Thank you, Ruthie. That's so kind of you to say.

  3. Good idea for checking the craft stores for a basic Tee. The other day my friend's daughters were wearing tie-dyed shirts they did at a birthday party. The shirts were big and they had cut the sleeves out of them and wore them over tank tops. They were very cute. BTW, they were twin daughters like yours. Only a bit younger-9 years old.

    1. HI live and learn,
      One of my daughters likes to re-style her tees, too. She cuts the neckline, and rolls up the sleeves. She also goes for the looser fit when she does this. Looks cute on her.
      The birthday party that your friend's twin daughters went to sounds like a lot of fun. I would have loved to have done tie-dye at a party growing up.

  4. Ooh, cute idea. Since my daughter moves in a pod of 4 girls, I may have to use that idea for the next birthday party (except her birthday is in November and much as I love the sleeves-cut-out idea, maybe that's not going to work at that time of year. I agree with Lili, I hate the typical goodie bag stuff with toys that immediately get lost or broken. A t-shirt is a great idea! I'm also thinking ... my daughter needs a beach coverup--buying a bigger t-shirt would be an inexpensive way to manage that, as well.

    1. A beach cover-up from an over-sized t-shirt sounds like a really great and thrifty idea, Kris, especially if you can find a high-value coupon or sale at a craft store.

      Tie-dying is so much easier now than it used to be. You can buy just the powdered dye, or you can buy the dye plus the containers. You mix the dye with water in the squeeze bottle containers, tie up the shirt with rubber bands (lots of info online for how to get different effects), then squirt the dye onto the shirt. We did these out on the lawn, with shirts set on cookie/cake cooling racks (had to take turns). The squirt bottles could be scrounged -- well-washed out hair dye squirt bottles, if you begin saving them now you may have a few, at least. by November. Then just start buying the tie-dye powder when you have a good coupon. The dye has to sit for 4 to 6 hours (we let our sit overnight), then rinsed, washed and dried. But you could do the rinsing later, then deliver the finished shirts to the girls, or you could pack the shirts up into bags, and have instructions for rinsing afterward. Or, you could turn this into a slumber party, dye the shirts in the late afternoon, rinse around bedtime, then wash and dry and have ready in the morning for them to take home. Lots of possibilities.

  5. Are you ready for this comment? I don't own a white T-shirt! I can't even think if I've ever owned one. I'm thinking if I ever got one, would I wear it and the answer is probably not. Hmm, I need lightweight, no layers at any season because I get too hot too quickly. I wish I could be normal (in regards to being too hot all the time.)


    1. Hi Alice,
      I'm sure being on the hot side is a help in the coldest days of winter. I like t-shirts because they're flexible and stretchy. I have always had a semi-active lifestyle, and freedom of movement in my clothing is important to me. But I understand if they don't work for you.
      have a great evening, Alice!

  6. I bought a lot of plain t-shirts at end of summer clearance sales for many years. These hardly change in fashion, especially since I stick to neutral colors, white or black. These days, I prefer printed shirts, so I will have to try crafting, as you did with your shirts. The tie dyed shirts came out so beautiful BTW!! I love grunge, boho and hippie, don't think I ever outgrew that era of my youth lol



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