An Unexpected "Save"

I had a really hard day last week. Everything seemed to be going wrong, one after another. I was already in a bad mood when my son asked me if I could go clothes shopping with him since he's outgrown most of his clothes and the ones he had were getting worn out and he anyhow was with me. (We had made a clothes shopping date two days later, but he had a point, so I was willing to give it a shot, despite being already emotionally wrung out.)

There's a clothing company that my kids and I have had good luck with when it comes to good quality on a low budget, so I headed to one of their clothing store branches. My boys are in that in-between stage when they can fit into both adult and kids clothes- extra small adult or extra-large kids, so I checked to see what was available and decided to go with the adult store.  

As we perused the racks, I tried to find both what my son would agree to wear (both my sons are very particular about clothing styles they'll wear) and what was in the budget, and we found a few pairs of pants that met his criteria, but one, while more expensive initially, was "buy one get one half-off", lowering the price per pair to below the cheaper price.  A sales clerk came over to me and tried convincing me to sign up for their membership and then I'd get a discount on everything there. I said no at first, but then he pressured me and told me that I'd get a large discount on non sale items, and I thought about the other pair of pants we had been considering but hadn't been on sale, and then the salesman told me that while there is a membership fee, it is a one time fee and I get three times as much as that in gift cards to the store. I still was unsure, but then they told me what other stores are also included in the membership, and it included stores I use more frequently than I do that clothing store, so that convinced me. 

I was about to send my son to the changing room to try on the pants that, post membership discount, would now be the cheaper one, while answering the worker's questions for the membership form he was filling out for me. This took a good few minutes, and then he let it slip- the membership was two parts- one part was a membership that gave a small discount, but the other part was a store credit card, and that was where the big discount was. At this point, I was quiite ticked off. I told him that I wasn't interested in another credit card, he didn't tell me it was a credit card, and I would never have wasted my time and started the application process if he'd told me it was a credit card. "But why not?" he tried protesting. I told him that I had no interest in another card, monthly fees, and he's like "But there are no fees for the first year!" He wouldn't back off until I told him another few firm nos.

While this was going on, I was looking for shirts for my son. He wanted long sleeved t shirts, and they had them in a variety of colors, and above the entire shelving unit of shirts it said 3 for $30, so I picked 6 shirts with my son and sent him together with the pants to try them on. My son, fortunately, found clothes that fit him well and we headed to the register to pay.

If I haven't made it abundantly clear by now, at that point my patience level was nil. I had no energy left to deal with any other issues. 

As the sales lady rang up my order she starts telling me the prices of each thing, and for the shirts she starts saying "Ok, and these are 2 for 30." "Hold on a second," I tell her. "It clearly says that the shirts are 3 for $30." She insists that that price is only for the short sleeve shirts and the long sleeve ones are more expensive. I was not ok with it. Because if the price was written above the entire shelf it is reasonable to assume that that is the price for the whole shelf. She pointed out where it was written in small that long sleeve shirts are 2 for $30, but I still maintained that when the price is written above the whole shelf it is reasonable to assume that all the shirts on that shelf are that price, that it is the sale price for it, and what is written in small is the non sale price.

Hey, I could be wrong about that, but I had picked out 6 shirts with my son on the assumption that it would cost me $60, not $90, and I didn't want to spend $90 on 6 simple t-shirts. I had had a tough day and my experience in the store was not helping anything. I was so tempted to just walk off and say screw it and leave everything we tried on in that store, but my son did need clothes, pants more desperately than shirts, and he is very particular about how pants fit him (so no shopping online for them), so I decided to buy those, let him pick 2 of the shirts, and told him I'd get the rest elsewhere.

Fast forward a day or two and I decided that I had the energy to look for more clothes for my son, but knew I definitely didn't have the patience to go shopping in person with him. I looked to shop online and decided upon a store that has home delivery within a few days. 

I checked to see what they had available in terms of long sleeve t-shirts and I was amazed. And shocked. And excited. And happy.

They had long sleeved t shirts on sale. By the same company of the store where we'd gone shopping. And this time instead of shirts being 2 for $30 or even 3 for $30, they were 5 for $30!

Yes, to get this price I had to go into the kids' section, but as I mentioned my kids are at the top end of the kids' section, but I was able to get my son a nice selection of shirts, roughly the same size as the ones he tried on, for less than half the price, and still significantly cheaper than what I'd thought the sale price at the store was.

What is the moral of the story? I don't know. I definitely felt like it was cool that I ended up getting a much better deal with the same exact company's clothes, without even needing to go to the store. I'm glad I was able to save that much on my son's wardrobe.

Next time my son says "Mommy, if I'm anyhow with you, can we go shopping together?" I'll first think about checking out what I can buy online. 

P.S. I was waiting to post this until the clothes arrived and I saw that they fit. They are perfect. What a save!

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I just wanted to let you know that I really relate to what happened to you in the store.. i am local to you, and there is huge pressure to open store memberships and credit cards. As time flies, i assume i would forget to cancel when the 1st free year ends. I did walk out of a store recently, after the salespeople both reassured me that the huge signs that said "buy 1 pair get 1 free" would apply to the shoes my daughter wanted, only to be told at check out that it's only for those with store membership, and then to be pressured to do the membership. I was so upset/tired/frustrated that i walked out and said forget it. The owner called me back and actually gave me the second pair of shoes for the "buy 1 get 1 free" deal without the membership- must have been a slow night at the mall and he just needed the sale.
    So happy for you that you got what you needed afterwards for a better deal. We can only keep trying!!

  2. That's great! Bless your heart. I'm sorry you had a rough day.

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