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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bargains and Special Offers: To Do or Not To Do

So many special offers are catching my eye. This is a holiday season thing; perhaps there are more than usual owing to the dismal economic news.

How to decide whether to do or not to do?

Here are a few recent temptations.

1. Coinstar—through December 9. No fee if you get coins credited to a gift card. If you get $40 credited, you can send for an extra $10 gift card. Stores include Amazon and Lowes.

I did this one last year when the bonus was applied to $25. So this year’s is stingier. Also, the close-by grocery no longer has a Coinstar machine (it has a different company’s). I would have to drive out of my way. I checked the weekly ads at the two out-of-the-way stores and nothing appeals. So NO—not worth my time for a $10 credit.

***P.S. Those coin changing machines take about (or as they say “only”) 8%-9% as a fee. The line is always long. That’s a big fee, folks.

2. I have a code from Garnet Hill for 25% off all full-price merchandise! Well . . . . I do crave some real Uggs, but will not do this. I filled my cybercart during the recent Thanksgiving sale when there was lots of stuff for under $10, but then emptied it. NO.

3. Sephora sent a coupon for $15 off an order of $35 and above. I’ll ask my dear daughter, the divine Miss Em, if she wants some perfume. She’s in a perfume addiction phase and that stuff never goes on sale. MAYBE.

All the other tempting offers that inundate my inbox? No. I figure if the sales are good now, they will be better post-Christmas. Also, by the time post-Christmas rolls around, I am so sick of the whole idea of stuff that I usually don’t want anything.

You don’t have to be an English teacher to know that “to do or not to do” is a play on Hamlet’s famous soliloquy. Though many people think Hamlet’s problem is inaction, I disagree. I think the play says that it’s good to wait until you are sure of what is true and what is not true. It’s better to think. And I think that I don’t really want anything right now.


Chance said...

You are so right about bargains, that if they are good now, they will be better after Christmas. The one exception for me is the Coinstar offer -- there is a Coinstar machine right by my house, they don't take fees if you get a gift card, and all year I save change to do this offer. My partner is an Amazon junkie, used books, and it will be the best present to give, and at a discount. The other stuff? I'll wait till January and even then, might not jump at them.

Frugal Scholar said...

I wish I could justify the drive to Winn-Dixie for the Coinstar! It really is a great offer, especially for booklovers.

Thanks as always for your comments.

Hillary said...

Great post; thanks for writing. This is that time of year during which I have to almost completely ignore every "special offer" that shows up in my inbox. I failed to do that one year, and I'm sure I spent much more than I saved. It's all very deceptive and I'm sure too many people just give in to all of it.

Your blog is really interesting in general; I'm enjoying it. I remember a few years ago, you said something about wanting to write a book or blog about frugality.

Yes, this is one of your former students. :) A friend sent me the link.

Frugal Scholar said...

Hi Hilary,

Come visit! Are you still working in the library?

Hillary said...

Maybe I'll see you sometime. I'm in Hammond every so often. I'm at LSU now, going to library school. I saw you briefly Monday when I was on campus taking comps, but I'm not sure if you saw me.