CHICAGO (CBS) — Many people wait until after the holidays to scour through winter clearance racks to save money.

Sinora Wright knew that and had been doing it for years to clothe her four children.

What she didn’t know: She was missing out on even bigger savings.

Shopping expert Jill Cataldo showed the Wright family where they could find those extra savings.

“These sweaters started off at $16.99. I paid $1.50,” she tells CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker.

The closets of Cataldo’s two children is filled with new clothes bought on sale. So, the queen of bargain shopping was just the right person to guide Wright.

Like many people, Wright’s main problem was not knowing what to buy and when to buy it.

“It’s hard for me because I don’t know how to discern what’s a good bargain,” she says.

With a few good tips, Cataldo turned her shopping confusion into success.

First, she says, visit discount stores — frequently.

Sears outlet, for example, is full of $5 clothing racks every day.

Though she advocates outlet store shopping, Cataldo visits department stores but sticks to the clearance aisles.

Another tip: She told Wright to look for things off season and stock up.

“Cargo shorts, T-shirts, little tank tops — these things aren’t changing style too much year to year,” Cataldo says.

For a good price, Cataldo also takes advantage of winter clearance item for next year.

She paid $6 for a $44.50 jacket by combining a clearance sale with department store coupon.

Local newspapers and department store websites offer incredible deal saving coupons, Cataldo says.

With a coupon, she paid only $1.99 for jeans that were originally $23.99.

At the end of the day, Wright’s shopping trip was a success. With Cataldo’s help, she saved about $28.

“It’s awesome, it’s great,” Wright says.

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