I had to snicker a bit when I read an online news article yesterday about how retailers are fretting that consumers will become so used to getting 70 percent or more discounts on merchandise that they simply won't be willing to go back to paying full price (or close to it) once the economy climbs out of the crapper.
Not to toot my own horn, but, I've been there, done that, and am well on my way to the next level.
For the last hearty handful of years, I have purchased very few items of clothing that have not been 75-90 percent off. I regularly take home clothing from Macy's for 85-90 percent off (that's generally with an extra percent off already-marked-down clearance prices plus a coupon of some sort). J and I also made a massive score on bedding at Macy's earlier this year, at similar discounts, too.
This year at Banana Republic, I picked up four office-appropriate (but cute with jeans, too) jackets for at least 90 percent off. Plus a purple trench I had been watching and drooling over forEVER for 75 percent off and a classic khaki trench for 90 percent off.
And then there are the scores I get through the secondhand market (most notably my beloved Goodwill). I have no shortage of cute, sparkly tops to wear to bellydance class, and few cost me more than $2. On my last trip, I got the most adorable brocade jacket with 3/4-length sleeves and these wide curvy lapels for $5. And the perfect tailored jean jacket (just worn enough to look well-loved) for $7.
So, yeah, I know my way around a deal. I know about patience, and timing, and being willing to walk away if it doesn't drop below 70 percent off.
But I'm beyond that now. 2009 is all about the ultimate deal: shopping my closet. Seriously people...I have enough clothes. And don't get me started on my fabric and pattern stash.
I've made a signed pact (co-signed by J) to spend a maximum of $20 a month on clothes. I'm sure to some people that's spare change, and to others it's still a lot, but I feet that amount was sufficiently frugal, yet not so frugal as to cause feelings of utter deprivation. Consider that this amount must cover any purchase of any item (new or used) that will be worn on my body or used to create something to be worn on my body (including things like thread, zippers and other sewing notions). That includes clothes, shoes, unmentionables, accessories and bellydance costumes. Perhaps more significantly than curbing clothes spending, this will curb my forays to Joann Fabrics and fabric.com.
This is all part of my larger plan to put the brakes on my consumerist mindset. While I'm not the biggest spender around (by a long shot), I find that the desire for something new, something different is like a disease that makes it harder to enjoy what I already have. And I have plenty. I should be grateful. I should be delirious.
Here's to delerium!