Occasional Epiphanies

The Hair Color Commercial was Right!

Lifestyle Apr 06, 2012 9 Comments

I'm worth it!

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”?



9 Responses to “The Hair Color Commercial was Right!”

  1. Reply Jennette Marie Powell says:

    Oh yeah, I’ll definitely pay more for convenience – and great customer service! The store you describe (the pricer one) sounds like our new Kroger, where they are going for the more upscale clientele. We always shop there rather than the discount place, for the same reasons you give. We also buy cut-up fruit – yes, it’s so much cheaper to cut it ourselves, but it always gets eaten when it’s pre-cut. Otherwise, we end up throwing half of it out.

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      Yes! Cut up fruit and lettuce, spinach, and greens in a bag ready to go. It helps me eat healthier if it’s easier to cook. It is so worth the extra few cents!

  2. Reply Coleen Patrick says:

    I will pay more too. My husband bristles at this–but I always ask him, what’s your time worth?
    Have a great weekend Emma!

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      So true, we get to decide what our time is worth! And I will choose saving time over saving money any day. Time is the precious commodity we can’t get back.

  3. Reply Marcy Kennedy says:

    I’m definitely a bargain hunter, but there are some areas where the lost time just doesn’t make up for it. This is kind of a different example, but my mom hates to use the clothes dryer. She thinks it costs too much money so she hangs all the clothes on a drying rack first and just “fluffs” them in the dryer. Because that’s how I was raised, that’s what I tried to do on my own. And I couldn’t keep up. I hated doing the laundry because of how long it took just to get one load from start to finish, and my husband was miffed because his work clothes tended to be wrinkly and require ironing which cost him time too. While I’ll still hang towels outside to dry in the summer because I love the fresh air smell to them, I no longer try to dry regular clothes on the rack. I just toss anything that isn’t delicate into the dryer. When I looked at our bills, the savings honestly didn’t justify the lost time in my mind.

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      That is funny! My mother is like that, too, with laundry. But even as a kid I thought, “She is crazy! I’m never doing that!” I have never hung up anything that wasn’t delicate. Honestly, I don’t like how air dryed clothes feel against my skin, especially towels. In Ecuador, everything was air dryed so I had to get used to it. Now I consider machine dryed clothes to be one of the luxuries I get to enjoy by living in America, along with Starbucks, of course! :) Thanks for sharing a fun story.

  4. Reply S. Brooke says:

    I’m so EXCITED about the new happiness of Sunday shopping, Emma! I agree that sometimes my time is more valuable. My mom will go to a bargain store, and insists on searching EVERY RACK OF ITEMS or EVERY SHELF OF GOODS before she will leave, because she might miss the one awesome purchase that would make the hours of searching worth while. I’d rather have those hours back, myself. However, I’ve grown to love Naked Lady parties, where everyone brings the perfectly good clothing they don’t wear anymore and everyone goes home with some great clothing finds that they’ll wear forever– and the leftover clothes go to goodwill. I recently let about 2/3 of my wardrobe go, and it was only possible because it went to live with a bunch of my good friends. I still feel guilty getting rid of perfectly good clothing. Great story, Sweetie.

  5. Reply Molly Pendlebury says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more!! I am a terrible bargain hunter. If I clip or get a coupon, I almost always forget to use it. Life is hard enough. I’m all about doing reasonable things to make my life easier and more enjoyable. I’d be going to your local store for sure ;o)

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      You know, when I have tried coupons, I have always forgotten them, too. I now believe that my time is one of the most valuable things I have, so I’m putting it above money in my priority list. I love the idea of doing reasonable things to make life easier. That’s why I buy spinach in a bag! :)

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