When I was young and broke, I would leaf through cast-off catalogs at the library and fantasize about buying clothes from Banana Republic or L.L. Bean. Now that I’m older (and still mostly broke) I realize that even if I were a millionaire, I couldn’t order a $70 insulated shirt from those high-dollar catalogs; once you pay $20 for a working TV at a thrift store, there’s no looking back.
Once you get a taste of the good deal, you’re hooked. Some women dream of Brad Pitt; I dream about the ultimate discount store, stocked with everything I want, and I still get change back from a ten-dollar bill. Yes, I’m a thrift store queen. If they don’t have it, I don’t need it, which explains why most of my movie library is still VHS.
My home may look like it’s furnished by a bag lady, but when I glance around, all I see are the amazing bargains I scored, like the $50 futon that serves as our couch (okay, the cats claim it, but they let me sit there occasionally) or the $5 entertainment center which houses the aforementioned TV. OK, so it’s not a flat screen or plasma or LCD, but it does help heat the living room up in winter.
My biggest “get” perches on a shelf below the TV: a CD/cassette player/radio stereo system with speakers and a six-CD changer, all for $6 because a tooth is missing from one of the cogs in the changer. Hey, it’s worth a few hundred bucks to press “skip” on the CD player occasionally.
I admit, I’m a purist. When I hear other people squeal over “just” paying $200 for a blouse at a designer sale, I choke on my McD’s dollar tea. Unless a shirt comes with built-in puppet hands to lift my boobs and make them look perky all day, I’m not paying over $4.
You won’t see me on Black Friday, pushing and shoving with the masses for one-day only deals. But when you try to use that new gadget without reading the instructions, give up, and donate it to a bargain shop, I’ll be waiting.