Confessions of a Clearance Shopper


In light of the fact that I have spent the past three days scouring post-holiday clearance sales I thought it was a good time to revisit an old post I wrote several years ago. Even though my kids are older and not into as many of the Easter toys I still find enough good deals to make me feel like a winner. I am way too excited about the bag of Goldfish snack-packs I got for 30% off yesterday. Like, ridiculously excited. I may have had a horrible day otherwise, but at least I achieved victory over the Goldfish! I mean, come on, 30% off! But I must confess, even though he stopped being a member of our immediate family years ago it still seems wrong, very wrong, to walk past a 50% off Easter Thomas and not snatch it up. Oh, and for the record, he’s a Tank Engine. Thomas the Tank Engine, NOT Thomas the Train. He IS a Tank Engine, he PULLS a train. You gotta get these crucial details of life right, people! Anyway, let us embark on a clearance-shopping adventure from years past, but please keep in mind that it is intended to be tongue-in-cheek and MAY be exaggerated… a BIT…

We waited so long, with so much anticipation, that’s it’s a bit of a letdown when it’s over so fast. I was so excited, and lay awake at night dreaming about it, and jumped out of bed eager to experience… the post-holiday clearance sale.

Let me begin by explaining to you that over the past few years I have become VERY compulsive about saving money. Because, SAVINGS! Clipping coupons has become one of my hobbies, and I have to resist some hoarding urges when items are on sale. Not a crazy coupon lady by any means, BUT I confess I get a little too worked up and even tremble a bit when I debate how many to buy when something is on sale. I need to make sure I have enough to get me through until the next sale, because it would clearly be a tragedy if I had to pay FULL PRICE! Clearly. Oh, and those sales where you have to get TEN items to get the discount? They make me feel SO neurotic, constantly counting and counting again. Did I accidentally get 11? And HOW MANY SETS OF TEN WILL I NEED? And you would not believe the annoyance I feel when my $2.99 box of cereal goes on sale right after I bought it (even if I DID use a coupon). So just take my word for it that I take my clearance shopping VERY SERIOUSLY. So of course I get VERY excited when items are discounted the day after a holiday. Ridiculously excited. Because these savings are VERY IMPORTANT.

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Flashback: Confessions of a Clearance Shopper

Author’s Note: Thought some lighter fare was in order since this blog isn’t going to be all-autism all the time. I chose to repost one of my favorites from the past. Back then I was writing under a different blogger identity. This was also written before that crazy couponing craze started, so think of it in that context. It was a simpler time.

After all that waiting and buildup, hard to believe it has come and gone already. The day we anticipated for so long, lay awake at night dreaming about, jumped out of bed eager to experience…  the glorious post-holiday clearance sale.

Let me begin by explaining to you that over the past few years I have become very compulsive about saving money. Clipping coupons is now one of my hobbies, and I have started developing some hoarding habits when items are on sale. I actually get worked up about it and even tremble a little bit when I debate how many to buy. I need enough to get me through until the next sale because God forbid I pay full price!!! And you would not believe the annoyance I feel when my $2.99 box of cereal goes on sale right after I bought it (even if I did use a coupon). So just take my word for it that I take my clearance shopping VERY SERIOUSLY. And there are some very good deals to be had after major holidays like Christmas and Easter.

Picture this… The morning after Easter I rush my two kids, age 3 and almost 2, through breakfast so that we could be the FIRST into Target when it opened at 8:00. Hurry, hurry! When we get there I am upset at myself that it is 7:59 and OH NO!!! Two people got in before me!!!! In my haste to get in the store I make the snap decision to use my stroller and let my three-year-old walk because it is quicker than carrying my youngest into the store and then getting a cart. This decision will quickly come back to haunt me. As we are running walking very quickly to the “Seasonal” section I can hear my oldest panting because he can’t keep up. Determined not to let him slow me down I pick him up (HEAVY!) in one arm and push the stroller with the other. Some employees, who have obviously seen my type before, chuckle at me and say “Don’t worry, there are only two people back there.” Aaaugh! TWO people! ALREADY!?! Over my shoulder I breathlessly respond to them, “But I am looking for something SPECIFIC!”

Finally we reach our destination and hurry, hurry through the aisles. It feels as frenzied as an egg hunt, people trying to find the best deals and snatch them up first. Of course everyone is being very polite, but the competitive undercurrent is still there. My heart is still pounding and my brain is racing because somehow it seems very very important that I get eggs at 1/2 off so I can save 50 CENTS for next year’s Easter baskets. Plus what I really want is the Thomas the Tank Engine Take-Along Easter set and I am getting increasingly agitated that I can’t find it. I rush through all the aisles repeatedly, like a hungry shark circling a boat. Thomas where ARE you??? All I can find is the very last Bob the Builder set and I grab it. Who cares if my boys are not crazy about Bob because it is a GOOD DEAL. In the meantime my toddler who is strapped into an umbrella stroller has discovered that his feet can touch the floor and he can scoot himself around, and in my “on a mission” distracted state I don’t notice that he has headed into the center aisle. My three-year-old decides to help and in an effort to rescue his baby brother accidentally knocks the stroller over and dumps him flat on his face. My kids are screaming, people are staring, and I am a terrible mother. But hey, I am saving money.

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