Discount Daze: Show Me the Money!

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where people shop these days.  Discountville, that’s where!

I made the discount rounds this weekend.  Mercy, there are a lot of people out there spending less, but spending  just the same. 

My journey began Friday at the 99-cent store.  The one I went to even had fresh produce.  I don’t buy food at this place but it does offer a number of items – plastic gloves, pastry brushes, aprons, clothespins – that I thought I’d already gotten the best price on at Target.  Trust me, there is no comparison in terms of selection, but the price difference really was at least a dollar cheaper in every case.  And the store was packed with shoppers.

Yesterday was a real discount doozy.  Was out of perfume.  Expensive perfume exclusive to two high-end stores.  Headed to an enormous outlet mall outside of town.  It was packed.  But I did get my perfume for 1/2 price.  In the old days, I would jump in my car, drive 5 minutes and pick up a bottle just like that.  Charge it!  Instead, the drive was 20 minutes and I saved more than $40. Paid cash.  This is good.  Wal-Mart was next where I snagged a few of the same grocery items I always buy.  The prices, again, were significantly cheaper.  And the place was packed.

After I’d unloaded my “discounts” at home, I decided to head out again.  This adventure was against my better judgement, which is considerably weaker than my curiosity.  It was late afternoon.  On a Saturday.  Stores are usually pretty empty at this time, right? Oh so wrong.  A Nordstrom Rack just opened here.  On Thursday.  This Rack is about 30,000 square feet.  I had to park on a street near the center and hike to the store.  The official parking lot was in gridlock, police were trying to move traffic on, but the people just kept coming.

The Rack was stupid crowded.  I said, “Excuse me”, more times than I ever have in my entire life.  The checkout line was so long, the cashiers were waving flags when a spot opened.  Have never seen a line that long – especially when it’s people waiting to spend money.  I did manage to do a bit of investigating without any bodily injuries.  The accessories, jeans, shoes – good stuff, good prices.  The clothes weren’t “all that” but they’d been picked over for two days before my arrival.   Could have bought a few items, but the prospect of standing in line until my next birthday did not appeal.  Will return in a couple of weeks when the frenzy is over; it is a good discount destination.

My weekend travels through the land of local discounts tells me one thing:  people are spending money as long as the price tags have been reduced at least once, if not several times. And that’s a good thing, recession or not.

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