Saturday, July 30, 2005

This cat can SHOP!

If my parenting/momly duties were like school classes, I would surely have gotten an "A" today in shopping. And this MomCat knows her weak areas. I come from a long line of kitties who "don't have the skills" with the dollars and cents. I'm married to someone who IS money-wise, so this helps. I'm also pretty frugal, mainly because I'm quite paranoid that I will follow in other family members pawprints and make poor money decisions. So, awarding myself an "A" in this area is a big thing for me! MEOW!!!

Recently, I was sucked into that great shopping vortex that is known as Gymboree. They chewed me up and spit me out $75 later feeling used and stupid. But, today, I confidently set foot in this store and walked away proudly. For those who don't have this store near them or have kids to shop for, let me just say they have the most adorable, most coordinated and trendy clothes in the mall. If you want to get socks, a hair bow and a matching purse for your 16-month-old for every outfit you buy, why you most certainly can! And you can also find matching hats, scarves, sunglasses to boot!

I didn't fall prey to this store with my son. Shopping for a boy is so much easier really. My son was pretty active and so most of the clothes in that store would have been either too babyish for his style or just foolish to buy because they'd be destroyed by the outer elements on one of his backyard adventures.

But, I was prime for the "sucking" when I had a daughter. Their girls' clothes are too cute and my daughter's cuteness just requires cute clothes, if you asked me. Plus, a pal of mine with two daughters and a penchant for smart shopping clued me into "gym bucks" and how they work. During certain periods, you can earn $25 in gym bucks for every $50 you spend in the store, which you can later redeem by spending $50 again. (Yes, I know it is a gimmick and it gets people to spend more. But, you can get good stuff at half the cost there which is enough to make me shop.)

A few weeks back, I saw two huge racks at the vortex that had a big sign proclaiming 60 percent off and jumped for joy. Why there was an adorable lime green bathing suit that actually would be a decent price at more than half off! A few shirts, a dress, and socks later, I was happily checking out. As the clerk rang things up, I saw no sales prices coming up on the register. I asked if it came off after she totaled it, as some stores do and she assured me that it did. Only, when she hit total, it came to $75...not close to the $50 I had estimated.

So, I told her there MUST be a mistake. The shirts and suit were on the 60 percent off rack. She got a smug look on her face and informed me that in small print, the sign said "up to" right above the 60 percent. Up to 60 percent off? So, what I bought was zero percent off? And that falls in the "up to" range? I am still miffed thinking about this kind of false advertising--damn them!

My husband and kids were waiting outside the store for me, so I gave her what she wanted--a sucker for the day, and walked away with my $25 in earned gym bucks for the day. But, the next week, I took back that lime green suit and got my overall total down to almost exactly $50. And, even better, I retained my precious gym bucks.

The sale for gym bucks was going off tomorrow. So, today I cautiously walked into the store again. I was determined to stay right at $50 so that my end total would be only around $25 with my coupon. I gave myself mental pep talks, "You can do this. Just go in, find one really nice dress. Ignore those accessories. You can buy something similar at Walmart or Target later. Just stick with one big item. A nice dress for a special occasion in the fall. No cute socks. No hair bows. Stay focused."

And, ta-dah! I went to the register and the clerk actually marveled at my skill in getting the total so close to $50. She said, "Wow! I'm impressed. I don't even have to send you back to get a pair of socks or something to get your total up!" Awww...shucks ma'am...I just looked at my feet and grinned modestly.

So, I now have a beautiful Burgundy jumper with little ribbon flowers and a matching shirt for her to grow into for the fall/winter. I will find some cheap tights and accessories at another store and "complete" her outfit in the Gymboree style as best I can without having to donate plasma or something to afford it. Or, I'll wait for another gym bucks sale and get the rest of it without feeling guilty or stupid or chewed up and spit out.

So, take that Gymboree! I am Shopping MomCat, hear me ROAR!

3 Comments:

Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

I Gymboree, all right. But I'm one-upping those overpriced bastards. My weapon: E-bay.
That's right, E-bay has every single item you can find at Gyboree for LIKE PRACTICALLY NOTHING. I bought an entire Gymboree line for Baby, because it has her name embroidered on it (by coincidence) and I think I paid about $30 total for a bunch of new-with-tags dresses, shirts and accessories.
Also, I'm physically addicted to baby consignment sales. They are everywhere here, and while I'm not really into adult consignment sales (because of the wear factor), I soon realized that Baby outgrows about 25% of her clothes before she really even gets a chance to wear them. And THOSE ARE THE CLOTHES OTHER WOMEN ARE SELLING AT BABY CONSIGNMENT SALES. Eureka!
So all of her "play clothes" are gorgeous, expensive new or nearly new dresses and rompers that I got for like, nothing at consignment sales. And as a bonus, they usually have awesome, easily washable CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP baby toys, too. I'm a sucker for the new stuff at Toys R Us, particularly since my dad sends Baby hundred dollar bills all the time, which I love to use on toy shopping sprees. But when I think about it, 80% of her absolute favorite toys are from consignment or garage sales. Go figure.
In fact, two sales are coming up this month. I'm drooling!

9:49 PM, July 30, 2005  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Oh, man! You have really opened my eyes, Lucinda! Ebay! Ebay is the WAY! I tease my husband that he should become an Ebay consultant because he knows the ways of the Ebay force so well. Wow. I can't wait to go out and look for stuff there now! I wish we lived in the same city so you could fill me in on the good shops too--but I guess I'll have to perform my own search!

Thanks for the tip!

11:37 PM, July 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the answer here Pre Parent Teacher association kiddie kloset resales you line up at 7.30am to get in at 8am and pay $5 addmission and get awesome stuff but the secret is to buy a table at $20 sell your own and get there early and run around like an agressive mad woman saying over and over again do you have any gymboree in size etc. have exact change and zoom around the hall, 2nd hand stores like goodwill are another goldmine and gymboree outlet malls are all over and huge deals to be had. I have closets brusting at the seams and then there's e-bay for those lines that are a must have god its SO MUCH FUN!

7:44 PM, March 25, 2007  

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