Ever wonder how to spend that rainy weekend day without feeling like a prisoner in your own house- held hostage by the boredom that has taken over your brood?  Or maybe you’re stressing about finding time to hit up the mall to buy your kids their fall wardrobe?  Forget trying to find time, or a sitter to keep them occupied while you shop.  Take them with you, shop, grab lunch and make a daycation out of an otherwise chore!

One of my favorite things to do with the family is to spend a day on the Connecticut shore.  Nope, not on a beach blanket under a canopy at Hammonasset, but at the Clinton and Westbrook outlets.  You can pretty much please everyone (and your budget) with stores for you and your kids, with an amazing up-to-date collection, all at very reasonable prices.  When my husband and I make the trek down to the outlets, we usually pick a weekend day that we have totally free.  We head out after our morning walk, and hit up the Carter’s and Old Navy outlets at the Tanger Outlets in Westbrook, first.  I go through there like a Tasmanian devil- attacking the sale racks in Jake’s next size (24 months!? for serious? already!?), and then pick up the basics- jeans, cargo shorts, pajamas, and long sleeve tees.  I can fill up both mine and my husband’s arms for around $100, and then Boom! Jake’s set for the next season.  You can find coupons on the Outlet’s websites- print them out before you go, and you could save an extra 25% on everything- including sale prices!

Next, we hit up the Pepperidge Farms store.  Jake has taken on my affinity for goldfish crackers, so we fill up a shopping cart for all of us, and take in a haul that lasts us for months at a fraction of the grocery store price.  SCORE!

Finally, we round it out at a trip to the J.Crew outlet for myself and my husband.  Again, attack those sale racks first, fill out your closet with the basics for the season, and grab some statement jewelry near the check out counter to round out your outfits.  Entertain child with the previously purchased goldfish crackers, avert meltdown pre-lunch, give clerk your coupons, and bust outta there. 

Tanger Outlets, Westbrook: http://www.tangeroutlet.com/westbrook

Teaching Jake the values of Lenny & Joes’s at an early age.

You’re now on your way to lunch! We always (ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS) go to Lenny & Joe’s in Westbrook.  There are always lots of families with small children there, so Jake and our crew fit in nicely.  They have some of the best local seafood on the shore, it’s a great break time from shopping, and they have a very VERY generous pour of wine.  Oh, and pair that with a bowl of their clam chowder and thank me later.  As you pay your bill at the register, don’t forget to pick up one of their $6.50 tee shirts for each member of the family.  Yes.  You read that right. Six Dollars and Fifty Cents.  (see, you can fit fashion into every aspect of your life on this blog!)  Now that you’ve eaten your weight in fried clam strips, grilled salmon, and chowder, it’s time to round out your trip and head over to the Clinton Crossing outlets in nearby Clinton.

Lenny & Joe’s Fishtale: http://ljfishtale.com/

 At Clinton Crossing it’s more for Jake, and more for us.  The Crocs outlet where Jake and Mike pick up a pair (no, not work appropriate for Mike, but he loves them to mow the lawn and do yard work in- don’t judge!), and a stop at kate spade for me to ogle at the beautiful new Fall arrivals (and add them to my Christmas list, hah!)  You never quite know what you’ll pick up at Clinton Crossing, but with the luxury brands for more than half the price of retail, you can pick up some high end pieces at prices that you will literally call up your mother on the way home to brag about.  True story. Happens every time I go! 

Clinton Crossing Outlets: http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=12

Next thing you know, it’s time to leave, and you’ve just filled up your trunk with both your clothes, your husband’s clothes, and outfits to last until your kid’s next growth spurt.  Oh yeah, and you’ve found out a way to conquer that free weekend day!  So, you fashion forward money saving momma- time to head on home and savor the moment of conquering it all… or at least the weekend 😉


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