Thursday, November 3, 2011

WHAT a Bargain!

I LOVE to get a deal. I am one of those people who will spend HUNDREDS to say that she SAVED hundreds (or even fifty!). Back when I used to buy clothes for myself that A. didn't have an elastic waist or B. weren't made of old sweat pants, I can remember returning home with my purchases and leading with, "Guess how much I SAVED today..." My husband--who would pay double for YOUR old sweat pants if it meant saving HIM a trip to the store--would just assume we not buy anything. EVER.

Since that simply isn't reasonable, I try to get as many things on sale as possible and to make my purchases serve at least two purposes. For example, my daughter's birthday is in July...we need new pool toys and the first day of school is coming. She gets a raft, a dolphin water- basketball game, some diving rings, crayons, pencils, notebooks, glue and paint. The school supplies were purchased at the beginning of the LAST school year and the pool toys have been hiding since last Christmas. I also have a Christmas Barbie that has been hiding since last year's sale She is THRILLED. So am I. My husband? Not so much, but that man won't be happy until we operate on a barter system, so it's fine.

I stopped by Target yesterday to pick up...huh. I don't even REMEMBER what I intended to pick up at Target yesterday because I was pulled in by the 50% off sign on the Halloween stuff. I have a theory that all holidays need to be celebrated the week AFTER the holiday. I'm not saying we should ignore it [the holiday] completely, but the exchanging of the gifts and maybe even some of the decorating can wait. Nothing sickens me more (yes, I'm sure you can think of SOMETHING that would sicken me MORE, but don't) than seeing something I paid good money for on the clearance rack for pennies. That is why I try not to purchase anything just before a holiday...I either buy it months (maybe weeks) in advance, or (preferably) after the holiday.

Take Halloween for instance. When my children were younger (I know--at almost 5, 6 and 7, they are STILL young!), my mother decided that SHE wanted to but their Halloween costumes each year. Of course, that was when I only had ONE and that lasted...two years. I think it was an unfair situation--we were shopping together and saw the cutest monkey costume at Old Navy. I'm of the mind that if a costume is over $10, I don't want it. It's simply the principle that annoys me. My mother on the other hand felt that my son HAD to have the costume. We almost threw down at Old Navy, when she took it to the register and paid for it. In retrospect, I am SO glad that she did. All three children have worn the monkey suit and my son's nickname was monkey, so it fit (so to speak). Even when it didn't... My daughter was a chick another year and she was precious! The only problem was that the costume was so soft--SO SOFT that everyone would touch her. She wasn't the biggest fan of THAT. My neighbor gave us the most adorable witch costume the following year and there was a ladybug from my parents in there somewhere...These costumes served us well from Virginia to Montana--and my children never minded sharing or being the same thing two years in a row. They did, however, grow, so we needed to pass on our goods to others who would appreciate them.

I was in Walgreen's a few days after Halloween about three years ago and I saw that their costumes were 75% off the last sale price. SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OFF. I couldn't BELIEVE it and I couldn't resist. A previously marked down Batman costume (a REALLY nice costume) which was originally SIXTY DOLLARS (who pays that really?!), I bought for almost ten. A flower child costume, I got for a dollar fifty. A vampire? five dollars. I wasn't sure how I was going to justify buying all of these costumes when my husband saw them, but I kept stocking up on them. Mermaid? Three fifty. Princess? A buck and a quarter.

As I was ferociously searching through these costumes, I realized how perfect this was. My children LOVE to dress up. EVERY DAY. Why wouldn't I buy them costumes AFTER Halloween? They get a ton of costumes and I am all set for next year. THEN an even BETTER idea came to me. WE celebrate St. Nicholas's Day, (December...5th?! 4th?!) and the Feast of the Three Kings (January 5th?! 6th?!) and St. Nicholas usually leaves fruit, candy (usually left over Halloween candy!) [sometimes] nuts and a little present for each child and the kings usually leave gifts. THIS year, St. Nicholas would be bringing them each a costume! THEN on Christmas, he (this time as Santa!) will bring them ANOTHER costume and the three kings will bring another. THEN (if I can wait that long!) the Easter Bunny will get on board with this whole costume thing, too!

 That plan worked for that year--and my kids LOVED it! The following year, I waited too long to get to the stores. I was there at 50%, but decided to hold out for 75. Too greedy. By the time I went back, everything was gone. I would NOT make the same mistake THIS year! When I saw the 50% off signs, I was like a madwoman. I must have had fifty costumes at one point and even I saw the absurdity of THAT. Not for FIFTY percent off. Seventy-five, maybe...

 We now have a fire fighter, Iron Man, two Transformers, Frankenstein, The mushroom-top guy from Mario Kart, a Storm trooper (or something new that may not actually BE a Storm Trooper), three light sabres (ALSO fifty percent off!)--I couldn't let only one child have one, a "midnight" fairy, a cheerleader, a cowgirl, an Eskimo girl, a little devil, a princess, a butterfly, a purple wig and a pink wig with leotards that match--all for $100. Why WOULDN'T I buy them?! (My HUSBAND--I know!)

THIS Halloween, my children wore costumes that they already had. They went trick-or-treating THREE times (four if you count Brayden's trip with me to Shop Rite) and wore a different costume to each event. I was not able to do my costume thing last year, so these were costumes that were either given to them by others or were worn by them for other things (dance recitals, karate, etc) and I am very impressed with what they did with them. If I had purchased a costume for each of them at the regular price, I would have spent at least sixty dollars. Now for a hundred, I have costumes done and gifts ready. You may even get one for your child on his birthday--be careful what you say! THIS makes me very happy. My husband? Let's just say that THIS makes ME very happy...


  1. I absolutely love buying clearance halloween costumes after halloween. Last year my two boys got a whole shopping cart full for less than twenty dollars!

  2. THAT is AWESOME! I need to shop with YOU!


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