The catalog arrived with 30% Off emblazoned on the cover.
30%! Yes! A good bargain.
But it was only October; Christmas was still two months away. Would the company up the ante as the holiday got closer? I waited; a few weeks later a new catalog arrived. This one had bold, blue lettering announcing…40% Off!
This was more promising. But was it the best they would offer?
The risk of waiting for a better bargain meant the risk that the only sizes they’d have in stock would be small or XXL. But the frugal voice inside—a voice with tremendous amount of sway—said, “hold out; they’ll increase it. Just give it a few more weeks.”
I browsed lackadaisically through the catalog, mentally adjusting prices by 40%. At times, I realized their published price already reflected the 40% discount, catching me off-guard. It was a tricky maneuver. I had to be careful I didn’t get hooked by an item’s apparent super-value only to realize I was double-discounting. When you’re on a hunt, ya’ gotta pay attention.
It isn’t just about what you’re buying, but about how much you’re saving.
I assessed things; then reassessed.
“They’ll discount further,” I said to Bubba. “It’ll go to 50% with the next one.”
I waited. I browsed. I waited some more. And then…
The last catalog arrived, two weeks before the holiday, confirming the anticipated promise of 50% Off.
“See? Didn’t I call it?”
My bargain-hunting, frugal-self was full on-stage, ready to take advantage of this incredible 50% off sale, where I could shop in my PJ’s and slippers, sip hot chocolate, and make my “everything 50% off” Christmas wish list.
My mamma would be proud.
I browsed, with the same lack of enthusiasm I’d had with the first, 30%-off catalog.
“Surely there’s a shirt, sweater or jacket in here I need. Surely there’s something I want,” I bemoaned, flipping pages.
Bubba walked by, heard the distress in my voice and said,
“You don’t want a sweater, you want a bargain.”
My frugal character’s head snapped up from the catalog in shocked awareness.
“And if it’s a bargain you want, you can save 100% by not buying anything at all.”
With that—the tight hold my bargain-hunting, frugal-self had on me—let go. Until the next XXX% OFF! mailer arrived.