Why Saving Money Makes Me Angry

Everybody has a money saving gimmick, but I’d rather spend more than jump through the money-saving hoops.

Last Saturday I decided to buy a regularly priced $30 item at JoAnn’s Fabrics since it was on sale for $15 and I had a 20%off coupon. I made this decision after checking the price at Michael’s since it was still cheaper at JoAnn’s even though I had a 50% off coupon. Michael’s price on the same item was $30. It seemed like a good, logical plan until I started shopping.

  • First stop, JoAnn’s – the employee could not find the product.
  • Second stop, Michael’s – don’t have the first choice, but a substitute is available, if I’m willing to wait in line behind twenty other customers.
  • Third stop, another JoAnn’s – first choice not available.
  • Fourth stop, another Michael’s – first choice not available. Who cares? Get the second choice. Use the 50% coupon. Get out of there! No, check the fine print, the coupon is not good on this particular product. Who cares? Just buy…but then I realize I can go back across the street and save $15.
  • Fifth stop, back to JoAnn’s #2 – buy the second choice. No, they won’t take the coupon either…same fine print.

The lesson? Don’t read the sale ads. Don’t clip the coupons. Go to the store. Buy the product you want. The $15 saved wasn’t worth 2 hours of my time and the additional gas used to drive all over the county and the increase in my blood pressure.

I’m tired of being asked if I want to apply for a credit card so I can save 15% on the day’s purchases. No, I do not want a Target Card or a Gap card or a Loft card.

Then after I make a purchase, I receive a coupon good for $20 off a purchase of $50 or more IF I return in two weeks. No, I’m not coming back in two weeks.

I hate reward cards! I don’t want to carry a card for Walgreens, CVS, Staples, or Winn Dixie so I can take advantage of the sale price. I don’t want to join the Hilton HHonors or the Wyndham Rewards Loyalty Program or the Choice Privileges program. If I have to carry your card and play your game to get the discount, I’ll just shop somewhere else.

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Really? A rewards card for gas?

And guess who’s NOT camping in front of Best Buy to save money on a TV or computer? I won’t shop before noon to get the doorbuster price. I won’t even step foot in a retail store this coming weekend. Saving a few dollars isn’t worth the aggravation. I’d rather buy less.

I don’t like to pay more than necessary, but I’m really not interested in the money saving schemes of retailers. Do me a favor. Price your products so consumers can shop without playing games. I don’t enjoy playing games when I have no chance of winning.

It’s no wonder more and more shoppers are making their purchases online. A lot less frustration.

Black Thursday Killing Thanksgiving

Last year I received a petition from Change.org asking me to help employees at Target. Since Target decided to push ahead their traditional Black Friday shopping, the stores plan to open at 8:00pm on Thanksgiving Day. The employee who started the petition asked for public support so she and other Target employees could spend the holiday with family.

Of course, if the store opens at 8:00, employees will report at least an hour or two earlier so if Thanksgiving dinner isn’t eaten by 3:00 or 4:00 an employee couldn’t possibly celebrate with family and going out of town is not be realistic. Wal-Mart made a similar announcement last year and their employees threatened to walk out.  Several other major retailers joined suit and as a result Thanksgiving changed from family holiday to just another shopping day.

Certainly some people must work on Thanksgiving. Hospitals and nursing homes can’t close for the holiday. Police officers, firefighters, and others charged with public safety need to be available. However, do grocery stores, malls, or other retail stores need to open on Thanksgiving? Isn’t 6:00am or 4:00am on Friday early enough for consumers to begin Christmas shopping?

Black Friday may be replaced by Black Thursday, but the word Black has a new meaning. Originally, Black referred the day retailers began to turn a profit and therefore get “in the black”. The new meaning signifies the death of Thanksgiving. My suggestion to those required to work in retail on Thanksgiving is to wear black to work that day or accessorize their uniform with black.

As for me, signing the petition last year was just the start. I avoided stores that were open on Thanksgiving Day throughout the holiday season, and I’m committed to not making holiday purchases at stores opened on Thanksgiving this year as well. It’s going to be quite a challenge though since so few stores are remaining closed this year.

Stores to avoid:

  • Walmart
  • Kmart
  • Sears
  • Target
  • Old Navy
  • Office Max
  • Staples
  • Toys “R” Us
  • Michael’s
  • Macy’s
  • J.C. Penney
  • Kohl’s
  • Best Buy

I’d like to think I can avoid these stores year round, but with so many on the list that will be difficult. I need to spend some time getting to know local small businesses. I don’t want to be responsible for the demise of an American holiday.