Saturday, October 31, 2009
I've done a much better job than imagined with my 'giving up shopping' experiment. Oh, sure, we've got enough groceries to last us to February 16th, but hey, there were no clothes or shoes bought. Or makeup. (there was the facial cleanser, with the $5 off coupon, a minor purchase to be sure). A few visits to the dollar store, but those were strictly food item purchases. Cashew pieces, anyone?
Thank God for the Internet. The online shopping can begin at 12:01. Hmmmm.... does the time change count? I recall hearing something about 2 a.m. being the official change over time or something. Oooh! An extra hour to shop. Hold on, United States economy, I'm coming to your rescue!!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Check out the slideshow of cool car colors! Even magenta can't save a Fiesta, however.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Still planning on using the $5 Ulta coupon, but there's a whole pile of others slowly expiring over to my right. Let's see... Kohl's 15% off. Yawn. No biggie. Express $20 off a $60 purchase. Naw. Not interested. DSW 30% off a single full priced item. Is anything in there full price? Nothing I've ever purchased, that's for sure. Looks like a trick. No thanks. More alarming, however, is the fact that I have earned 0 bonus points this quarter. Wow. They'll be in Chapter 9 West soon.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Global Warming and the Dinosaurs: Fossil Discoveries at the Poles
Dinosaurs are usually pictured in warm, tropical environments, but fossils found at the poles are filling in the gap of knowledge about how and where these creatures lived. Evidence from bones and teeth to trackways and skin impressions raises important questions: How did dinosaurs cope with three months of total darkness in winter? What plants grew in the polar regions? How cold was it? What are the implications for today, as glaciers retreat, ice shelves melt, and permafrost thaws? The polar regions are a unique "library" of the past, and Caroline Arnold introduces readers to the gigantic prehistoric creatures that inhabited them.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Does it count as shopping if you return it in 59 days??
*Something tells me there's a hefty "restocking fee". I can't be the only one thinking about driving a Grand Sport for two months free.
Numbness in extremities from not toting heavy packages, glassy eyes unaccustomed to not being asked to read the fine print on coupons, feet that haven’t tried on new footwear in over a fortnight… still, I soldier on.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
My next mission is to visit the health club should the urge arise to shop again this week.
Of course, I’ve thought of another category of allowable purchases. I like to call it the Law of Scarcity.
Emergency Shopping Scenario #4
Me: Um, how much is that?
Leprechaun: Why, it’s your lucky day! Crystal here is only seven magic beans.
Me: Well, I’m really not in the market this month…
Leprechaun: She’s a wonderfully tame Unicorn, broke for riding. Make a nice conversation piece out grazing on your lawn.
Me: I’m pretty sure I could wait…
Leprechaun: Today only I’ll throw in a Pegasus free!
Happens all the time. In fairy tales.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
I’ve thought up another ‘exception’ to the shopping rule. A shopping trip instigated by a girlfriend I haven’t seen in a while. Or maybe, never even met…
Emergency Shopping Situation #3
Telephone: Ring! Ring!
Voice: Please hold for the First Lady of the United States.
Michelle: Good Morning, this is Michelle Obama calling. I just wanted to invite you to a shopping trip down the Magnificent Mile with me this weekend. The girls and I are going to be in town visiting some relatives and we thought you would be just the person to accompany us to look for some holiday outfits to wear for the annual White House Christmas special. Oh, I do hope you’ll be free.
Me: Um, well, see…
Michelle: Did I mention Carla Bruni is flying in too? She’d love to meet you. You’re one of her fashion idols, you know.
Like I should pass that up.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Emergency Shopping Scenario #2
Robber with Gun: Hands in the air! This is a hold-up!
Me: I’ll say.
Robber: Quick! Open that register and give me all your
Clerk: I-I-I-I can’t! It’s locked. You have to have a
transaction to open the till.
Me: Do I have to do everything here?
(heavy sigh) Ok, here’s my $10 off any shoe purchase.
I’d like to see those, those, and those in a size six. And I fully expect double points for averting a disaster.
I’ve decided to start a list of the things I would like to buy. Perhaps that will allow some time for introspection and allow for a cooler head to prevail. Plus, I really like making lists. At the top of my list is a military jacket. I see Banana Republic is advertising one for $170. This is at least four times what I would normally spend, but I may find at the end of the month I have surplus cash equaling the GNP of Chad, so I’m not ruling anything out. Or, perhaps I won’t even feel the urge to buy any more clothes. I can save up for meaningful, lasting things like a new Corvette, or a dinosaur.
So what do you think? Will I emerge having taken the Master Card off my back? Or will it be one huge Coupon Carnival when it’s all over?
Me: I’ve decided to give up gratuitous shopping for one month.
Mom: Why only one month? There are people going to bed hungry every night.
Me: That’s my problem?
Mom: You were always like that. You always thought ‘share’ was a singer.
Me: Very funny. I know darn well it’s a Ukrainian word meaning ‘less for me’.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Like most belief systems, my Consumerism needs a time of atonement. Reflection. Sacrifice of the self for the betterment of the soul.* Many religions require fasting, prayer, or the ‘giving up’ of some little worldly delight to strengthen one’s resolve and deepen one’s faith. I, my friends, intend to give up recreational shopping.
Swear off shopping?! Can I do it? If so, for how long? Minutes? Hours? What qualifies? What doesn’t? These questions and more need to be explored over the next month as I attempt to curb the consumerism.
First off, why a month with 31 days? Wouldn’t February be the natural choice? Short, crappy weather… Several reasons. Obviously, I’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time, so procrastinating more months is really a lame excuse. Secondly, I have no idea how long I could realistically go with out blowing it anyways, so if I’m only going to make it two days, it might as well be the next two vs. February first and second. Thirdly, let’s not go all crazy and miss birthday coupons, now shall we?? (Although the resulting “March Madness” would suddenly have a meaning I could embrace.)
I’ve attempted this exercise in various permutations before, usually by just limiting certain categories. Example: no clothes purchases. Accessories and shoes are fine, just no outerwear or lingerie. This method has worked, and I have made it for one month. This time I’ll try to limit all categories, and see where I fail. This could help me do break out months; i.e. no jewelry July, no make-up May… oh, we’d be looking at a sad Shoeless-tember.
Right now, I see the biggest obstacle as Coupon Cold Turkey. In my world, letting a coupon expire is a misdemeanor. Not something to be taken lightly. Can common sense triumph over cents off? Do I not secretly harbor a dark desire to flush a killer coupon out with this method? One that was so incredibly fantastic that it would be a sin not to redeem it??
A.A. advises their adherents to remove all alcohol from their houses. Destroy temptation. Make a clean start. This would most likely be the best course of action. I should throw away every offer and coupon I receive (and, oh, do I get them. Retailers are not dumb.) immediately. Don’t even read them. That way, I won’t know what I’m missing out on. Or not . What if I really, really needed one? It wouldn’t hurt to have them with me, as I always do. I just wouldn’t act on them. But what if?
I mean a true ESS – Emergency Shopping Situation could arise…
Terrified Woman: Is there a doctor in the house? My husband is bleeding to death!
GAL: I just happen to have a coupon for a free tourniquet with lip gloss purchase…
Terrified Woman: Please! Yes, please, for the love of God, I need the tourniquet.
GAL: Well, I guess it’s an emergency. I really should break my vow.
Terrified Woman: Now! Now!
GAL: Hang on. Hang on. Now which is better against my skin, the Pucker Up Peach or Shiny Strawberry?
It could happen.
* Ok, in my case, that’s spelled sole