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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Frugal Fieldwork: At Barnes and Noble

Our Frugal Friday entertainment began with a stop at an art opening. Our friend Peg had a show of pencil drawings of her trip to France at a coffee shop owned by another friend.

Then, since we had already made the arduous journey to the next town (no kidding! endless roadwork makes for an unpleasant drive), we headed to Banana Republic, where my mission was to use a $10.00 gift card that was about to expire. Mission accomplished, I went to Barnes and Noble, where Mr. FS was waiting for me. There we ran into two former students now all grown up, one of whom works as an instructor in my department.

I mentioned that Banana Republic had a 25% off special for those who used their credit card. They said they were planning to go there but did not have a credit card. I offered them the use of mine and they declined. When I suggested that they get a credit card if they wanted to buy something, they looked at me in horror: We can't get another credit card. It seemed that for them--as for others--possessing a credit card constitutes an irresistible temptation. That's why even among the frugal and newly frugal, there are two opposed credit card philosophies: Use them for everything and get the rewards vs. Cut them up and never use them again. I am lucky to be in the former category. And those in the latter category are lucky to know their weaknesses.

As we headed to our car, we ran into the husband of the artist whose show we had visited. He was going to Barnes and Noble to buy a book-on-tape for a 10 hour trip to a new vacation house in North Carolina. Again, I was struck by the differences. I would have gotten a tape at the library.

In fact, we have been listening to Dickens's Hard Times on our way to work. Truly a sentimental journey. And certainly a reminder to be thankful in the midst of hard times for so many.


FB @ said...

I am in the former camp as well

I milk all the rewards I can!

25% off purchases by using their card? I had no idea! What a great concept...

Funny about Money said...

Twenty-five percent off is a tempting come-on. I usually turn down the 10 percent discounts (if you'll just pleeeeze open a store credit card account...), because two credit cards (Visa & AMEX) are enough to have to keep track of. A few bucks off a purchase isn't enough to justify having to fiddle with even one more piece of paper or website with ever-changing passwords.

Frugal Scholar said...

%FB--For a few days only. I bought two items on sale.

@Funny--Wise words. I have an Amex and MC for rewards. I also have an LLBean for free shipping. That's a Visa, which is useful abroad. And I have a Banana Republic; I must have gotten it for some's seldom used. Now that I think of it, I also have a corporate card for conference travel (seldom used in this time of financial crisis). Too many probably, but I don't keep track of things as assiduously as you do.

Duchesse said...

Agree with Funny, 25% is decent. What did you buy?