I have always been a bargain hunter. It’s just the way I was raised. To this day when my step-mom goes shopping my dad always says, “How much did you save?”
I would go to the mall to scout for styles, but saved the actual buying for the outlets and discount shops. Marshalls, Ross, Nordstrom Rack. It was worth the bad florescent lighting and the girls in the dressing room who treat everyone like a shoplifter. At least I could afford the clothes I wanted to wear.
I felt the same way about grocery stores. Why pay more? So I trudged through the packed isles at Winco and stood in the long lines. I even got so good at bagging my own groceries that I could probably get a job at Trader Joes. Hey, it was worth it to pay 23 cents less for yogurt.
Grocery shopping was one of my least favorite chores. Actually I used to say I’d rather get a root canal then go grocery shopping, and I meant it. Sunday would roll around and the dread would sink in. I tried going on Saturday to see if that made it better. Maybe I didn’t like Sunday because it meant Monday was close?
Nope, grocery shopping on Saturday didn’t make it any easier.
Then one day I didn’t feel like driving all the way to Winco so I decided to go to the regular grocery store close to my house. I’m not talking about Whole Foods or New Seasons. I wouldn’t pass the credit check to get in there. This was just a regular grocery store. I had never shopped there before because I didn’t want to pay the big bucks for broccoli. But laziness outweighed my cheapness on that day.
Thank goodness for laziness because it changed my life.
The regular priced grocery store was the complete opposite of the giant discount place. I didn’t have to wait in line to get a cart and when I stepped inside the store someone in an apron greeted me. They said Hello and asked how my day was going. I smiled and answered, but I still held on to my purse a little tighter.
There was never more than a handful of people in any area in the store and not a single cart rammed into my body. The lights didn’t buzz and there was music playing. Music I actually recognized and knew the words to. So I wandered around the store, singing and happy. I didn’t stress about what I was buying and I didn’t even check the prices.
I was in too good a mood to care.
At the register, I didn’t have to wait in line. A clerk noticed me and opened up another lane. No waiting in line for their customers. The cashier wasn’t in a rush and there was no one behind me giving me the death glare to get out of their way.
Then I saw the total. I was in shock.
It was only five dollars more than what I spent at the discount store. Five dollars to enjoy shopping. Five dollars to avoid the stress and crowds.
Five dollars to feel special.
There was a difference in the way I felt about myself when I wasn’t at the discount store. I felt wealthy and important. Like I deserved to be treated well. And grocery shopping went from a painful chore to something I almost enjoy. Now when Sunday rolls around I don’t get stressed. I just get in the car and go.
So, no more discount stores for me. My happiness is worth the extra five dollars.
Because I’m worth it.
What conveniences are you willing to pay for? Are you a bargain hunter or a luxury lover? When do you say, “I’m worth it”?