Sunday, November 22, 2009
I Came, I Saw, I Couponed
The Couponed Caped* Crusader is back to save the economy with a single income! In less than 30 days I've gone from prudent and responsible to the poor house. (Thank goodness I have that luxurious new down coat and snazzy cranberry snow boots to keep me warm as I winter living in a Corvette parked in an closed-for-the-season RV park somewhere...)
Did a day of shopping on Randall Road (motto: Didn't See that Economic Downturn Coming) and wondered why is there still so much traffic during a depression. I had a husband, a fistful of coupons and part of a Saturday to use up, so I best get to work. After wandering through some furniture stores with no inspiration, it was time to start using the coupons.
First up was the Ulta store - I had a frequent shopper coupon for a level one gift. Those are pretty paltry freebies, and I can't understand how I fail to earn the big free-miums, but whatever. I also had a $3.50 off your purchase coupon from the newspaper, not to mention their holiday promotion was going on: buy any fragrance of $30 or more and get free candle holders. Dazzled by the implications of free, I pushed Al towards the Men's Fragrance section and told him to pick something while I quizzed the sales clerk as to which coupons I could redeem. I found a cute little Halloween package of lip gloss on clearance for $1 and met Al up at the register with his $35 Polo selection.
I handed over the coupons and received a free package of cotton squares, two huge and heavy hurricane candle holders and checked out for $35.02. Yay me!!
Then it was over to DSW to spend the $10 off coupon. Spent hours trying on every shoe only to be disappointed the ones I wanted weren't in my size. Saw some nice summer shoes on clearance, but wasn't in a summer mood. Picked the fluffy cream-and-cranberry snow boots with a higher but very comfy heel for $25 after coupon and bought some $60 sneakers for Al. He has no concept of shoe shopping. First, he would have left without any, had I not offered to purchase them. Secondly, he only went with one pair, and his are so worn out, I wish he would have looked at some dress shoes for work as well. Sigh. Can't count on men to save the garment industry, that's for sure.
Over at the Loft, I really splurged on a Civil War type jacket I've been seeking forever, but the problem is, this one is white. I wanted navy blue. Would have settled for grey. But white? It looked too good to pass up, so I went for it. I'll figure something out. Al and I discussed my history with white garments, and agreed the coat had a lifespan of about two wearings ahead of it before being soiled forever by some strange food substance that would magically adhere when I wasn't looking. I decide if that happens, I'll just dye the jacket navy blue. Problem solved. Also bought a white blouse.
Unfortunately, I left more behind than I purchased. There's a Maria Von Trap jacket with my name on it - as soon as I can find some pants to go with it. The pants didn't come in "stumpy", er petite, so I took a pass. Hope they send me another coupon. Hmmm... only about a bazillion children's books have been written about outgrown, unloved, lost or forgotten toys awaiting a new child to love them. What about garments? Bet they sit there hoping to go to a big ball or something. Great idea! Note to self: Re-work story of Cinderella from the ball gown's POV. Get Vera Wang to sign on for promotional tie ins.
Went to Victoria's Secret and received my Free Cotton Panty. I have to give them credit, they hand you a fancy bag with your wrapped purchase and there's no obligation to do anything but stand in their insane lines to redeem the coupon. I want to open one of these franchises. I have yet to shop there and not wait in line for half an hour. What are they doing right? Their product is not cheap. Quality is good, advertising and image high, coupon promotions adequate. I wonder if they just have the same five hundred customers in front of me purchasing less in the recession? But wouldn't the lines move faster then?
Ended at the TJ Maxx where I would have Maxxed out my shiny new credit card from them, but apparently the employees want to go home at 9:30 p.m. On a Saturday night? Near Christmas? What kind of retailer is this? One that won't be in business long, that's for sure.
I have exactly 15 minutes to buy a down jacket. I find several excellent candidates and ask Al if the long puffy one makes me look too much like the Michelin Man. He assures me there's a reason you spend more for those tires, and if the coat gets the job done (keeping a reptilian like myself warm in a Midwest winter)who cares what it looks like? I do!!! I need to be stylish. Warm, yes, but could I look good too? Must be another unicorn like the fashionable shoe you can walk all day in. As they start shutting the lights off (pushy crew!) I grab the cream concoction with with the removable fur hood and head for the checkout. This too will have a short lifespan due to color, despite the tag claiming machine washable. I've had down coats before, in darker colors than this, and there's no getting out motor oil. My Acura is pretty new, so hopefully no poking at the motor will be needed. Hmmm. New battery might be on the horizon. Don't think about it. Just buy.
* a very fashionable cape. Think more Nanny 911 than Supergirl.