Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A trip to BIG LOTS, an analysis of DISCOUNT USA!!!

Monday was non-productive. I accepted a few dates to cover for work, developed 40 of the nearly 2,000 undeveloped pictures I have waiting, (I had a coupon, although the deal would have cost me about the same if I sent them out instead of getting them instant.) I cleaned floors for Riley to track MUD on to, (Just where he found brown in the sea of white is unknown, but he found it). I was, if you can imagine quite PO'd and now needed carpet cleaner. My daughter and I wasted about an hour of our lives being silly at Big Lot's.
(this is clearly NOT a Big Lot's picture I took....it is lacking the SNOW, but the all look the same)

 The showerless, braless, bad hair day dash to the store was for some simple cleaning supplies ended with me walking out with $23- dollars of JUNK but I just had to get that toilet bowl hanging deodorizer/cleaner thing (that does not clean or hang), and those St. Patrick's day decorations that we know will get lost before next year or become destroyed before this years. Yeah!!!! SOMETIMES I JUST CANNOT PASS UP A GOOD DEAL...right. Those stores are like the $1- stores, it SEEMS like such a GREAT deal, but ultimately you buy a ton of crap. Of the $23- I got 1 bottle of cleaner, and 2 love my carpets totaling about $5- the rest was stuff I did NOT NEED. Sad but true, I actually stopped myself on multiple items that did not make it home with me...including a box of HoHo's and Zingers marked down to $2.75. THEY DON'T MAKE HOSTESS GOODIES ANYMORE......THIS IS LIKE BUYING GOLD!!!!! So they are at Big Lots because...........? they specialize in RARE (as in no one wants) hot ticket items at a CHEEP price. I am not knocking Big Lots, I am making fun of myself and the thousands of other who do the exact same thing. Hell my daughter; also showerless, braless and having a bad hair day, went just to keep her mom company, spent $55-!!!! Admittedly she purchased birthday items for a friend, but she CLEARLY is my genetic off-spring.

There is something about stores like these that allure permission to pick things up and put them in your cart...The store SCREAMS CHEEP!!! The aisles are lined with Orange, White and Black Signs reading Prices Slashed!!!! 70% OFF, DEALS!!!!  All rational is gone.
 Dollar Stores are the same way. I simply toss items into my little green basket, (I stopped getting carts at the dollar store for my own financial health) with out even thinking.

 I have driven out of my way to go to one of those Five Below stores on the belief that I CAN find that ultimate cheep gift that the person will think I spent a fortune on.

 I do not reside near a Family Dollar, so I rarely make an appearance but the other day I entered one as I ran out of windshield washer fluid. I felt I had died and gone to heaven. I could SO easily have LOST control with the CRAP I could have brought home from this place. What Family Dollar does to make it all seem even more OKAY to buy that not needed item is the little red mark down stickers.....There is NOTHING like finding a CLEARANCE rack at a Family Dollar. I found myself standing at the Family Dollar clearance section picking up random food items I had never heard of and thinking, "hun.....discounted at nearly 1/2 off the already cheep price" and actually holding it in my hand as a consideration. Hello? I have never eaten nor has anyone else on this planet eaten such an item and consideration of buying has crossed my mind.... I got my washer fluid (at an AMAZING price btw) and RAN out of there. I think I may have even told the cashier who honestly looked like her JOB at Family Dollar was as exciting as having a wisdom tooth pulled. "Someone like me could get in trouble in here". I don't think she got it. 
These discount stores seem to put you in a TRANCE!
I am in some dream land as items are placed into my cart, budgets are a thing of the past. HOW CAN YOU GET ANYMORE ON TOP OF YOUR BUDGET WHEN YOUR PAYING SO VERY LITTLE AFTER ALL????? This is MAKING YOUR BUDGET WORK FOR YOU!!! 
Needless to say,I almost always get a case of the guilt's when I get to the cashier.....As I start placing the items on the counter I think to myself.... just why did I pick this up? I have, on a rare occasion put things to the side, but usually let the item slide into that big orange bag to take home. I almost ALWAYS say in response to their ever PROMPTED question 
"Did you find everything you were looking for?" 
with "and then some" and a chuckle. 
It's almost like I need validation from the cashier that I AM NORMAL. I
 will wait as they continue the discussion with ...
"everyone says that.."
If I don't get that response I find myself justifying these meaningless purchases to these total strangers.....PLEASE VALIDATE that everyone else buys their 24th pair of $2- ear buds because the last 23 broke and you were to cheap to outright buy the $20- pair in the first place. Remind me again just HOW delicious these no-name, stale, looks a little like oreo cookie's with NO expiration date cookies are!!! PLEASE MR CASHIER!!!!!! TELL ME I AM NORMAL!!!! TELL ME I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO COMES AWAY FROM YOUR REGISTRAR WITH A BAG FULL OF CRAP!!!!! He didn't take the bait.....
Again I am not knocking these types of stores....I LOVE the Dollar Store, Big Lots and the like. I have several items still well loved and used almost daily items that I picked up from places like this. I simply need to look at the bigger picture. These Stores Survive on the impulse CRAP buys and a good shopper will resist the compulsion to  pick up that NOT NEEDED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE item. I have gotten much better, believe it or not! 
 Best suggestions on saving yourself the please validate me cash out at places like these...
1.Go with an intended purpose. I have, (just a few times) gone with a mission to get cleaning supplies (Big Lots does in fact have GREAT deals on cleaning supplies) and come out with JUST cleaning supplies
 2.  Have a list and make it clear on what you will be buying, (I do this specifically at places like Aldi's or the Dollar Tree). I use a list for all grocery store trips.
 3. Do NOT browse. Know where you need to go to get said item, head there get it and exit the store IMMEDIATELY. This will make impulse buys less risky.
 4. Leave the debit/credit card at home....bring CASH only. This tip I use at several of my shopping trips. It prevents me from exceeding WAY over my planned expense .I attempt only to use my debit card for gas or emergency purchases.
5. If you really want to keep yourself from that GUILT purchase...not only avoid credit/debit cards, but only bring a small amount of cash. You can't buy it of you don't have the money.
6. If you do pick up those few impulse purchases ask yourself these questions before you put in your cart/bin etc. Do I need this item? Will I use this item?  Is this item REALLY worth it? This is how I avoided buying Zingers and Ding Dongs yesterday. I sure do NOT need them, they may get use...but by me personally and quite possibly within the first few minutes I get the box home....and NO it's not worth the price or the fat on my already large arse. That was an easy one. I lost the battle with the Irish decorations. $6- for a cheep fabric clover and rainbow was really not worth the price NO matter how COLORFUL it looks on my door next to that SEA of WHITE SNOW....but I bought it anyway....and this my friends is what these American chain discount stores BANK on!!!! and I am one of those AMERICAN SUCKERS!!!! Hey...enjoy your day!