6/3/09

The Reduced Retail Gene

I was raised to appreciate a good bargain. My mother laboriously instilled a passion for the clearance rack in all of her children. She dragged all three of us kids (OMG, taking THREE kids out in public!) to many a discount, circled plenty of clearance racks and hit up her fair share of sidewalk sales with kiddos in tow.
For this, I can both thank her and damn her for this cursed retail magnetism I have. I have honed my ability to seek out the nicest stores and beeline to the back for the half price racks. I know when Nordstrom's Half Yearly Sales are (which started last week, by the way) and I can find a bargain needle in a fancy mess of a haystack.
My mother has passed on a long family tradition of marathon shopping to my sister and I (I'm ashamed to say my brother refused to carry the retail torch). And after a minimum of 8 hours scouring the racks for cheap (but nice quality) finds, we return home to continue a series of customary rituals.
A. Review said items and verbally apply them to current wardrobe. For example, "That new silk top will look amazing with those black slacks I have!"
B. Calculate a grand total of the day's shopping expenses and announce it immediately after saying the words "I ONLY SPENT ______"
C. Arrive home and assemble remaining family members on living room sofa. Conduct fashion show (remember music). At this point I must add that all family members are participatory at this point. My father, for example, is an excellent commentator. My brother does a great, "OOhhh! Auughh!" and "Hot! That's really cool!"
D. And finally the family scripted "Retail Report", justifying all purchases made today, which goes something like this:
Family Member, "Check out this amazing _____(insert description of purchase) I got today!"
Listener, "__________(insert compliment)."
Family Member, "How much do you think I paid for this?"
Listener, "_______(insert gross over estimate, being polite)."
Family Member, "ONLY ____(insert ridiculously low price)! And it was ORIGINALLY PRICED at _______(insert MSRP $ on original price tag)."

So when I rocked up to The Coverings Annual Warehouse Sale Today in SLO, I certainly had entire generations of my game face on. And the final price tag was "ONLY $___!!" (ouch).
And even though I've been married to my husband for an eternity, I am still working on his role in the customs of my family's bargain hunting expertise. So, NO, I have not conducted my fashion show and NO, I have not shared the total price tag with him out loud (I don't think I can even say that number aloud to myself). But I'm sure, this time, we can let tradition slide.
And the minute I returned home with my sack of fab fashion, I glanced over my calendar in search of ways to redeem a few pennies expended on my wild shopping spree. "There's gotta be some way to undo all this awesome retail spending without actually giving it up, right?!" Today's bargain hunting spree was totally unexpected, and completely unplanned. It was a luxury item all itself, and I'm sure there are a few luxuries I can trade for that cashmere sweater I have attached myself to since purchasing. So mommy doesn't need that second facial this month. That's definitely a luxury item worth trading for cashmere: soft face? or soft sweater? Oh, and we'll skip the pediatrician's follow-up appointment tomorrow (What?! The girls are both healthy as horses...). Okay, okay, to even the field, I'll skip the gynecologist's appointment this year, too. Are you happy? Now, I've recouped at least half of today's TOTAL, which was ONLY $____. And I can feel slightly better about it.
Maybe if I cancel the kid's swim lessons this summer I could go back to The Coverings Sale tomorrow.....

3 comments:

NewportJaime said...

My friends always say that I find the best deals. I will share with your readers the tools I use.

I always save a little extra cash by using Ebates, Mrrebates, and Bing cashback. It takes another couple of clicks to purchase something, but it is worth it IMO. I saved $10.00 yesterday on something I bought on E-bay just by taking another 20 seconds completing the transaction. There are even times I have clicked through more than one site and gotten multiple rebates. Sometimes I am surprised at what discounts are on these sites. One time I was given $30.00 for getting a credit card I had planned on getting anyway.

www.ebates.com

www.mrrebates.com

http://www.bing.com/shopping/

"Retail Me Not" and "Moms View" are great places for coupon codes (online and offline).

www.retailmenot.com

http://www.momsview.com/astorelist3.shtml

I use three shopping search engines to find the best deal.

www.shop.com

www.amazon.com (On the item's page, click on the link towards the middle of the listing that says "x new from $xx.xx".)

www.pricegrabber.com

Anonymous said...

A little tiny part, I mean really small part, of me was glad I still am not back to my pre-prego size meaning tyring on clothes is out of the question so no trip to SLO for me. My husband and bank account are better for it....did your girls rock the sale with you?

JO said...

Good for you! I went to the sale armed with my cash budget that I could freely spend. Of course after trying on numerous dresses, jeans, pants, skirts and t-shirts all I came away with was a couple of t-shirts and a scarf. My problem is that I have a hard time buying things off season. Like the pair of Frye boots that are EXACTLY what I have been wanting for a couple of years, marked down from $250 to $125. I need a dress for a wedding I am going to next month and should not buy the boots, but get something for the wedding! UGH - when did I become responsible - I think I need to get a job so I can lose the guilt of spending money. Let me know if you go back today, I may need you to pick up a pair of those boots for me (black, size 6.5)!