Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sticker Shock

The 4th of July is over. Independence Day is usually filled with a lot of noise after twilight, but this year, it was very quiet due to the almost total ban on fireworks sale.  We have been experiencing severe drought in Texas, and as a result, the only fireworks allowed were the big public displays.  Texans are pyromaniacs, and there are huge warehouse stores all over that only open for about 20 days out of the year (10 days before the 4th of July and before New Year's Eve).  This year, all they were allowed to sell were small  fireworks that don't shoot up.  I'm sure the businesses were hurting pretty bad. We passed by one such store yesterday afternoon, and there were absolutely no cars in the parking lot although they had an "open" sign.  I guess this is what you get when you put all your eggs in one basket. . .  But I digress.

On Saturday, my son wanted to go browse in a sporting goods store, so I took him to a big box store that moved into a bigger building recently.  I had not been in a retail establishment other than grocery stores in a long, long time, and boy did I get a dose of sticker shock!  $24.99 for an Under Armor shirt? Good grief!  WHO pays that kind of money?  But you know what? The store was PACKED. I could not believe how full the parking lot was.  You would think it was the week before Christmas! 

I realized how much my values had changed since I was younger, when I thought nothing of buying things even if they were not marked down one bit.   I can't imagine paying that kind of money for one lousy shirt!  Then I was looking around children's clothing, and it was not much better. A toddler T-shirt was $16.99!  Can you imagine how much clothing you could buy at a thrift store for that amount, even though they too have been raising prices?  Insanity, I tell you!

I realise the economy needs consumers to purchase things to keep the economic engine going, but my days of paying full price for anything is over.  I'll leave that to those people who has not seen the light of being frugal. . .


  1. I know what you mean. I will go to buy a particular item thinking it's going to cost x amount and then find it's x+y+z amount! I try to buy all clothes on sale, though that hardly ever works for school uniforms which are outrageously expensive.

    It's amazing how much stuff costs, my daughter got given a bag of hand me downs and in it were a practically new pair of shoes that retail for over $100 - and the kid they were from is 8!! That's a tone of money for a pair of shoes.

  2. I got out of the habit of shopping and spending five years ago when I moved out of a city. I don't have shops on my doorstep anymore and it has stopped me buying for the sake of it. I now hate shopping and have come to realise pleasure comes from other areas of my life not by giving my cash to a shop for something I don't even need. I now buy most of my clothes from charity shops and my girls are not into consumerisum as much as their friends back in the city.