But wait – there’s more!
December 15, 2006
Aspen, CO ColoradoI’m not big on gambling, but I think I should buy a lottery ticket. Lady Luck has been on my side lately.Everywhere I go I seem to stumble onto a sale. And although shopping has never been high on my list of preferred pastimes, my rising credit card debt is pretty concrete proof that I just can’t seem to pass up a bargain.My string of good fortune began in September when I was in San Francisco for a long weekend. Walking through Chinatown, Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf, I found my visit coincided with an apparent city-wide four-day-only blowout sale. Granted, there was nothing in the range of items being offered that I would normally look at twice. But ultimately, when faced with a limited-time-only opportunity to own a pair of authentic fake Riker’s Island handcuffs for just $3.99 (down from $9.99!) and buy one, get three free floaty pens in which a grinning Jerry Garcia glides through the intersection of Haight and Ashbury, I couldn’t resist.While at the Cartier of household paraphernalia stores earlier this month – Alpine Ace Hardware – I discovered when paying for my Soft Scrub and Fun-Tak that prices on everything in the store were being slashed by 20 percent just for that day. Because of that, I decided I should finally buy the Swiffer Sweeper that – somewhere in the deepest recesses of my mind – I had been sort of thinking about acquiring for the last two years or so. And as long as there was a sale, I also figured I might as well buy the wet and dry refills for it, just in case I took a liking to Swiffing. Plus, that was as good a day as any to buy AA batteries and a butter dish. After all, 20 percent off at Alpine Ace Hardware lowers the price almost to what regular, non-discounted hardware stores charge anywhere outside of Aspen.I was trying on down jackets at Eastern Mountain Sports over Thanksgiving and plastered around the store were signs promoting the markdown of all merchandise in honor of the holiday season. And customers whose purchases totaled $125 would receive $25 gift cards. After loading up on a jacket and, because of the sale, socks, running shirts and a head lamp, I found myself slightly shy of being eligible for two gift cards. So I tacked on some hand and foot warmers to up my tally. When I got both my $25 gift cards, though, I read the fine print and learned that in order to redeem one $25 gift card, I had to spend $50. So, if I were to benefit from both gift cards (with fast-approaching expiration dates), eventually I will have spent a total of $300 when, originally, I went in the store to buy a $75 jacket. Still, it was a deal.Noori’s Rugs in Aspen held an 80 percent off sale last month, which was perfect timing given my house’s need for an area rug downstairs. Of course, the absolute cheapest rugs at Noori’s hover in the mid five-figure range, and I had a maximum budget in the three figure neighborhood to clothe the floor of my living room. But, to walk away from anything at 80 percent felt criminal, so we compromised – I went up a digit, Noori’s went down a digit, and I bought a rug priced in the low four figures. But, it’ll be fine – I plan to recover from my new deficit (that feels as if it rivals the national one) by cutting down my grocery budget for the next nine to 13 months. After all, who needs food when you received 80 percent off a rug suspiciously similar to those offered for the same (but full) price in the current Pottery Barn catalogue?As it turns out, Pottery Barn has been the one anomaly in my recent lucky sales encounters. I’ve had my eye on their Malabar chairs for ages. The chairs went on sale about three years ago, and I’ve been biding my time until I had a room in which they would be a good fit. That moment finally arrived a few months ago when I moved, so I called to buy the chairs only to find they had just been discontinued in the catalogue, and if I really wanted them, I’d have to buy them through one of the retail stores – at full price.Still, that was just a bump in the road. I still run into deals everywhere. I bought a book at Amazon.com and was informed if I bought another one, I would qualify for free shipping. So, even though I spent more on the second book than I would have spent shipping the first book, the shipping on both was free. Then I was in my old neighborhood in Manhattan and saw that the same electronics store that was having a going-out-of-business sale when I moved over three years ago is still hanging in there, albeit with the same sale. And I kicked myself for not taking advantage of the Gap’s 10 percent-off Tuesday promotion a few weeks ago, only to find that sale only applies to Gap card holders, and when you open a Gap card account, you get 15 percent off anyway.So, I’m holding off on the Pottery Barn purchase. After all, I’ve spent so much money lately on sale items that I didn’t need that now I can’t possible afford to pay full retail for a pair of chairs. Besides, I have a new rug – I can just sit on that.E-mail coupons, questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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