Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No Bargain Basement

My sister recently told me that whenever she shops online, first she Googles for online coupons from the store she's shopping from to get an additional bargain. These coupons include codes for free shipping, 10% your first purchase, etc.
I was all ears--I love to shop online, mainly because shopping with my kids is a nightmare. I can't imagine bringing my two rambunctious boys to the mall and get them to sit still long enough for me to try on clothes at the Gap, even if I did bribe them with ice cream. The only store I take them to is a consignment store because it has toys for the kids to play with while I feverishly go through the clothing racks.
This morning an email from J.Crew tempted me in my inbox. The store offered an extra 20% its sale items. The ad's tag line got my blood pumping: "don't wait ... they really do go fast." Before I could talk myself out it, I was clicking through the sale items while my boys were eating their french toast and watching "Clifford the Big Red Dog."
I found four shirts I liked and put them in my shopping cart. One shirt was marked down to $40 from $88, plus an additional 20% off! Forget the fact that J.Crew's clothes are ridiculously overpriced to begin with, I was lulled into feeling like I was a major bargain hunter.
I checked my total: $91 without tax or shipping. That was more than I wanted to spend. Then my sister's words came ringing back--Google for online coupons! I relaunched my browser and typed in "J.Crew coupons." A list of sites popped up. I discovered a whole new world of online bargain shopping, which consisted of Web sites such as, and
Was it good to be true? In this instance, it was. The only good coupon I could find was "free shipping on orders for $100 or more." I was only $9 away from free shipping! I briefly thought of putting $25 skirt in my shopping cart to get free shipping, and then pictured my credit card statement with a $125 purchase that I don't need on it. I deleted two shirts from my shopping cart and paid the $8.50 shipping costs, plus $1.41 tax for a grand total of $49.89. It hurt to let those two shirts go, but not as much as paying my credit card bill later this month.

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