Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Day Shopping for "Real" Was NOT Fun...

Last night, I went shopping for a wedding gift for a friend's son who will be married on Saturday. I thought it would be fun, but I had anticipated incorrectly. And I like shopping.

I walked into the department store toward the gift registry kiosk and printed out a list of items. I thought, "What a great idea!" We all want to buy something someone actually wants, right?

My retail experience these days usually centers around Walmart and off-price stores. I would only buy thrift store items for someone I know would appreciate them - would prefer them, as I do. This was not the case.

So, list in hand, I perused for something in my budget - $25-30. I assumed it would be enough for this mid-level department store. I wanted something nice, but couldn't afford the Keurig machine or Juicer on the list. ( I would NEVER pay $60 for a ceramic bathroom set - that included a soap dish, toothbrush holder, cup and soap dispenser. Sheesh!) 

I decided on a set of drinking glasses - $30, and headed in that direction. I looked high and low, and the ones on the list were no where to be found. After making 3 trips around the kitchen shop without success, I decided to look for something else they might use - a "generic" sort of gift. 

I hoped to find something like a really cool pepper mill, or a set of nesting bowls or something functional but special. 

Well, maybe thrift store shopping and Walmart shopping have warped my sense of relative value, because there were no baking dishes, nesting bowls, cool tools or anything AT ALL in the whole kitchen section that fit my budget and my common sense.

At 8:15 p.m., I lacked the energy and was too frustrated to even consider a trip to Walmart where I knew reasonable, generic wedding gifts could be had for a price within my budget.

Then I saw nice over-sized bath towels on sale - buy one, get one for $1. There were electronic price signs with the "sale deal" on them, and nowhere could I find an original price. How bad could it be? We're talking bath towels in a regular department store. 

I grabbed two in a color I knew to be the Bride's favorite color, and two in a color I knew the groom liked as well. (Thankfully, the mother of the groom and I had recently had a discussion about wedding decor and favorite color information had been revealed.) I planned to request a gift receipt, in case they clashed badly with the bathroom decor.

Besides, who wouldn't like fluffy new towels in your favorite color? And since two of the towels cost $1 each, I should SURELY be within my budget. At check-out, I was JUST barely in budget! 

I felt as if I had been punched, robbed and left on the parking lot. "I don't ever have a reason to come to this store again..." was my thought. Even the sale prices were WAY out of my budget, and I KNOW there is nicer stuff to be had for much less at Ross, T.J. Maxx and yes, Walmart. 

FYI, all the thrift store items above cost $5 TOTAL.

NOTHING is plastic. 

A coat of paint on some, a good cleaning, and they'll be even better than anything I could have found in that store. (At least in MY book.)

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. 

Word for the Day:
Matthew 13:44

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Possibly Linking With:
Nifty Thrifty Sunday
Sundays at Home
Vintage Inspiration Tuesday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
The Scoop
Inspire Me Tuesday
Inspiration Exchange Linky Party
What’s it Wednesday
Cottage Style Party
Penny Pinching Party
Share Your Cup Thursday
Feathered Nest Friday
Frugal Friday
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Party Junk


Audrey said...

I am with you ... I would much prefer the Thrift Store items.
I hate buying for someone else.
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

Michelle H said...

Amen! Thrift Stores provide the best gifts! Bath towels may not seem exciting, but they sure are appreciated in the long run!

The Vintage Chateau said...

Great story. I agree, most department stores seem so overpriced! Once you get used to finding bargains at the off priced stores and thrift stores it's painful to pay full retail for anything. Whenever I find a good generic wedding gift on sale I buy at least 8 to stock up. I have 4 weddings this month alone!

farmhouse-story said...

sounds like the $1 towels were way more than a $1 in the end--so sad. hope your mom's day is great, revi:)

Donna Wilkes said...

I do not give gifts from dept. stores any longer. A great gift would have been the wire basket with some picnic flatware from a discount store. Except I could not have parted with the basket. I usually end up donating to a charity in the couple's name.

Woodside Park said...

I am another thrift store fan! Especially those run by charity organizations like the Prevention of Blindness, Animal Rescue, Salvation Army, etc. Love your finds no matter the price tag, my friend! Cheers :)

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

I hear ya girl! So many stores household items are so pricey. I've resorted to giving money these days. Finding they would just as soon have that. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

Totally in agreement here-- let's not even discuss the registry experience and how it's grown to become this huge monster that steals the joy completely out of the gift givers hands!