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How to Save Big at JC Penney



Oh, JC Penney. Your grandmother’s department store. Everyone’s grandmother’s department store. That’s now struggling to survive and avoid the same fate of Sear’s.

JC Penney has been a company I’ve followed for quite some time because I’m morbid and am just waiting for it’s impending demise. Just kidding. I’m actually rooting for them. They’re a mall staple. I even think they can turn it around. Or at least I thought they could. Now JCP stock is hovering around $1 and the future looks bleak. But the future has looked bleak from the start of the Great Recession - 11 years ago.

And it’s been interesting to watch. Somehow just when you think the company is done they do something crazy - like hire Apple retail guru Ron Johnson to revamp everything and change the breed of the department store. Then before they see results they give him the pink slip. Now it looks like Johnson had the right idea. Hindsight really is 20/20.

Besides just hoping they avoid retail doom, I like Penney’s (as everyone I know for some reason calls it. Maybe it’s an upstate NY thing? Or maybe we just like to make ish up?) I’ve gone through phases where I don’t like Penney’s and end up walking right by, but then I get drawn in again. Mostly for clothes. Because no matter what, they always have clothes that are just right and they’re usually on sale.

So let’s talk about getting a good deal at JC Penney. Because they’re more than willing to give you one and they need our help!

1) Know the markdown and sale schedules. According to my idol, the Krazy Coupon Lady, JCP marks down their merchandise on the first and third Fridays of each month. Weekends are typically when the biggest sales happen including “Super Saturday” sales and doorbusters.

Another big sale? JCP’s Black Friday sale. One thing I’m always looking for on Black Friday is new boots and Penney’s always comes through with a ton of $19.99 options.

2) Hit up the clearance racks. As always, check the clearance sections! An item that has reached final clearance will have a pink price tag. Like Macy’s Last Act sections, the clearance section is the best place to find a good deal. Unlike Macy’s Last Act items, Penney’s lets you use coupons on their clearance items.

My last JCP purchase

The last time I bought something at Penney's was last September. I purchased the two pairs of shoes above for $10.90. Both pairs were on clearance. Which was a good deal to begin with but then clearance items were an additional 50% off. I can't walk away from $5 shoes!

I know what you're thinking about those funky boat shoes - they're kind of hideous - but I will be super patriotic on the 4th! I love funky shoes. They were a perfect match for me.

Ironically, coupons was something Johnson wanted to do away with. Rather than markup the product and offer coupons, Johnson wanted to have a more transparent pricing strategy and start off by offering the lower price. It was a no nonsense idea, and honestly it was a good one.

Ah, but what is done is done. But don't worry there are a ton of ways to score those coupons!

3) Sign up for JCP Rewards. For every $200 spent you’ll get a $10 off any purchase reward. If you have a Penney’s card, you’ll earn rewards twice as fast, for every $100 spent you’ll get a $10 off any purchase reward. Full disclosure here: I absolutely hate store cards and would never recommend opening one.

4) Take the survey on the bottom of your receipt. Just about every store offers you something for telling them how they did, including JCP. The survey info will be on the bottom of your receipt. Just complete the online survey and you'll receive a 10% off coupon.

5) Check your local newspaper. There's nothing wrong with the old fashioned way to find coupons! Friday newspapers will often include a JCP circular with $10 off a $50 purchase or $15 off a $75 purchase coupons.

6) Join the mailing list. Sign up for emails to get a 25% off coupon. I totally get it if paper coupons aren’t your thing. They’re not mine either. But make sure to check for a coupon code before buying anything online or in the store. Penney’s is cool enough to even post their coupons on the main page of their website.

7) Don’t forget about price matching! JCP has “Our Lowest Price Guarantee,” meaning they’ll match a competitor’s price before you purchase or within 14 days of purchase. Or they’ll match their own online price. For the love, why do stores do that? Just give us the lower price, don’t screw us over for going to your brick and mortar store. Unfortunately, Sephora is not included in the price matching.

8) Know what to buy and what to avoid. One final bit of wisdom from the Krazy Coupon Lady, the best things to buy at Penney’s are linens, jackets, bras and boots. I told you I’ve gotten some great deals on boots from JCP in the past!



The worst things to buy? Specific brands like Nike, Converse, Colombia, Disney and Levi’s among others. Why? Because JCP excludes these brands from coupon use. You can see a full list of brands here.

What do you think about JCP? Are you a fan or do you walk right on by? Do you know of any other ways to score a good deal? I’d love to hear all about it!
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4 comments:

  1. We don’t have any of their stores in the UK but I think it’s really useful that you’ve shared ways to be more efficient about shopping and the types of things you can get good deals on!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We also don't have this brand in Australia, but thank you for sharing your lovely money saving tips! I can't walk away from that!

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  3. Thank you for stopping by! I honestly didn't know JC Penney was only in the US, I guess I just assumed since it's been everywhere I've ever been lol

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