I generally feature all my little frugalities as I wend my way through Big Lots, Goodwill, and similar venues. Nevertheless, I am full of material desires. Usually frugality wins out. That's good, because I have too much. Like many women of my age (middle) and class (middle), I yearn for Eileen Fisher clothes. But--and here's the frugal side--I don't find them a good value (your call may be different) and--sorry--I can't spend so much on a rayon tee shirt. It just bothers me.
Out of the blue, two weeks ago, I got an offer from the tempting catalog Garnet Hill--spend $100 on full-priced items and you would receive a $100 gift card to buy whatever by the end of October. Miss Em--who received the same offer and one with only a $50 gift card--urged me to do it. She said "Get some of the stuff you've been mooning over."
I didn't do it, however. I figured that--at best--unless something great was put on sale, I would be getting two items for half off--and that didn't count the shipping costs. Naturally, on Friday a new offer popped up: 40% off knit shirts, including two desired Eileen Fishers!! The perfect use for the gift card! Oh I felt sorry for myself. Miss Em emailed from Serbia, "I can't believe you turned down free money!"
So I did the math and now I feel better. To start, I would have bought an Eileen Fisher tee shirt dress for $100. With my gift card, I would have bought two EF shirts at 40% off, totaling around $130. With shipping, I would spend around $260 minus $100, for a total of $160.
Is that a great deal? The retail on the three items is around $320. So, really, even with the sale on the second set, I would have saved 50%. Good, but not great. I also would have bought 3 items, instead of the one (a long top) I really wanted.
Miss Em has the Eileen Fisher tee shirt dress and I've worn it a few times in her absence. She got it for $10.00 at Twice as Nice, a much-missed resale store in Alabama. I can wear it, but it's a little small (it's XS). When I showed Miss Em the math on the offer, she said the deal wasn't as good as it first seemed. And then she said, "You can have the tee shirt dress. I've got other black dresses."
I still kind of yearn for the EF pieces, but doing the math made me feel better. Also, I really don't need the items. I always do the math. Do you?
And, dear Miss Em, thanks for the beautiful dress. I love it.
P.S. No links. To keep you from temptation.