Thursday, March 08, 2012

This Place is so....Expensive?

It's been about six months and I have been getting the majority of my clothes and Maggie's from secondhand sources; thrift stores, swaps, etc. Every morning I play a little game with myself thinking of how I acquired the things I am wearing. It's usually like this: Pants-thrift shop, blouse-swap, jacket-thrift shop, shoes-on sale with a coupon. I rarely have an outfit anymore that I purchased wholly off-the-rack at full price.

Lest you think I was just a crazy spender back in the day, I was always a bargain hunter. I usually bought things on sale---but it was a sale at, say, Target. I loved to troll the discount shelves every Friday to see what was marked down. In my mind, Target=cheap, therefore sale Target=about as cheap as possible.

Last night I needed a swimsuit, and that's one thing that's tough to buy secondhand. So I went to Target to see what I could find. Usually when I'm at Target alone, I walk all around the store for a little exercise, and enjoy looking at the things. Without realizing it, I started to cruise for "bargains". And with each thing I found, no matter how deeply discounted, I felt myself involuntarily wincing at the price.

I saw a rack of pants that were 70% off. The prices were still up near $10 though, and the pants I've been wearing have been between $0 and $6. The pants I was wearing that day were free from the thrift shop since they had a broken zipper and a missing button. I replaced the zipper, which cost $3, so I guess they ultimately cost $3, but that's way less than $10!

I had to laugh at myself though; $10 is too pricey! Now, if I actually NEEDED pants, and had not had any luck at secondhand sources, I would absolutely put $10 pants into consideration. If those didn't work out, I would move to the full price rack. But no more can I just walk into Target and grab a pair of $25 pants straight off the rack and feel like I'm not getting fleeced.

I wandered over to the toy section. Maggie has been loving doing puzzles. I thought I'd see if any were marked down. They did have some for relatively inexpensive--$5. But the last time I was at the Salvation Army thrift shop, I got her 6 puzzles for less than that (2 @ 35 cents, 2 @ 25 cents, 2 @50 cents). Those puzzles are every bit as nice as the ones at the Target---and she enjoys the heck out of them. She has much more variety than with only 1 $5 puzzle.

I ended up finding a swimsuit and did purchase a bag of cat food. The swimsuit was discounted some, but still came out to $45. But it fit well and I knew I hadn't been able to find any at the second hand store (and second hand suits are usually not all that great). And I knew I needed a suit because none of the ones I had fit comfortably. And so I didn't really feel much distress over that $45 suit because I knew it was a good buy.

But I still have to laugh at thinking "All this stuff is so EXPENSIVE" when a few months ago I would have been crowing to myself about how many bargains I got.


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