Monday, July 10, 2006

You Might Find It Sad That This Is The Highlight Of My Day

Since I grew up with a daddy who is as frugal as the day is long and a mama who would rather stay inside the house indefinitely than to leave it wearing a Cheap Shirt, I am a unique financial personality: someone who likes good, quality stuff but doesn't want to spend any money on it.

A salesman's dream!

You can imagine how fun Christmases could be during my childhood with Mama's and Daddy's polar opposite money personalities: Mama would give Daddy an expensive suit that he would in turn vow could be found down at the men's discount store for a fraction of the price, and he would buy her hubcaps for her car because, well, she needed them.

Mama still hasn't gotten over Hubcap Christmas, by the way. Even if it was twenty five years ago.

So I don't think it requires much of a mental leap to realize that growing up with those two people definitely shaped my deep desire to find quality products (Mama) for inexpensive prices (Daddy). And when I do? I'm GIDDY.

A couple of years ago I was in Steinmart shopping for a comforter set for our guest room, and I always think of that particular shopping experience as a highlight of my bargain shopping. I found a Ralph Lauren comforter set that had been $399.99, then marked down to $279.99, then marked down to $189.99, then marked down to $139.99, THEN marked down to $99.99. I practically skipped to the front to buy it.

But wait! There's more!

When the cashier rang up my purchase? There was an additional discount.

Unadvertised. Which I feel is the most beautiful of all words in regards to sales or specials. Melodic, in fact.

So the comforter set cost me $70.00. Marked down from almost FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS to SEVENTY DOLLARS.

I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that I heard angels singing.

These days, though, aside from finding a cute jacket on clearance or a having a particularly good run with coupons at Publix, I haven't had many banner bargains cross my path. And truth be told, I don't really think about it as much now that Alex is here, because 1) it's harder to shop when he's around and 2) if I need baby wash, I just need baby wash, and I don't find entertainment from running all over town to find the best baby wash price. (But, in case you're wondering, it's the lavender Target brand - only $.99 - works just as well as Johnson & Johnson's - not that I pay attention to that kind of stuff anymore. Or anything.)

ANYWAY, today Alex and I had to make a trip to Walmart. I wasn't really happy about going, because I wanted to stay home and clean and nest today, but I was out of some of the supplies required for cleaning and nesting. Like, you know, Endust and vacuum bags and detergent and fabric softener and dryer sheets, not that we need to open up that whole laundry quandry again. ;-)

We drove to Walmart, went inside, started making our way through our list, and I spied some items that I thought were certainly mispriced...but upon closer inspection, I realized that no, they weren't mispriced, it's just that they've gone all cuckoo and bonkers at Walmart and have obviously decided to practically give away the merchandise.

(And now I feel sort of bad, because MY WORD this is a lot of build-up for what I ended up buying, because you're going to think I found a car for, like, five dollars, and that's so not what it is, so just remember that I LOVE ME A BARGAIN, especially when it's a good product.)

So here is what I bought. For Alex. Not for me.

A 24-pack of Rose Art crayons for TEN CENTS. TEN CENTS!
A 150-sheet pack of notebook paper for FIFTY CENTS. FIFTY CENTS!
A 10-pack of Rose Art markers for FIFTY CENTS. FIFTY CENTS!

It's prices from YE OLDEN DAYS!

For $1.10 (plus tax), I purchased what amounts to Big Art Fun for the young'un.

Aren't y'all excited for me?

Of course - as is always the pattern in Walmart - I had $59 worth of other random things that were NOT on sale, but still. I'll take my bargain successes where I can find them.

And I thought, when I got home, that those three items would make both my mama and my daddy happy...Mama because they were "real" brands, not some beige cardboard carton with "MARKER PRODUCT" written on the outside, and Daddy would love them because, well, they cost A DOLLAR AND TEN CENTS.

So I'll wrap this anti-climactic post up now, because I need to have a little art time with Alex.

And he'd better enjoy it. Dadgummit.

Because we've got a dollar and ten cents' worth of quality merchandise on the line. :-)


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