Competitive Shopping

My name is David and I'm a shop-oholic. Is there a 12 step program for his? LOL

I'm good for most of the year 'cause I just don't spend much money and don't go shopping. But.

Every year at Christmas time there's no choice so a shopping I go--and that jump starts my nasty habit.

It's not as expensive as you might think 'cause most of the fun in it for me is trying to get the lowest price that I can (as long as it's not a lot of trouble 'cause I'm also lazy).

This shopping takes many forms. I even look up prices of gas stations, as can be seen to the left, before filling up my car. I happen to live in a unusually expensive gas area and by driving 8 miles out of my way I can usually save 20 - 30 cents a gallon. Since my car gets about 35 mpg it takes me about a half gallon to save that money. Is it worth is? Well, based solely on cost, not time, if I get over 5 gallons I save some money. I usually wait until I need over 12 gallons so I save around $2. It's not much but I absolutely hate the idea of paying over $3 a gallon for gas and have thus far avoided it. But all the gas stations between where I live and where I work are over that price--so I dart up towards I85 and save that 30 cents a gallon.

This comparison shopping thing is a compulsion. I feel bad when I just buy something without regard to the price. Yes, that's not purely rational, I know--but at least it saves me money when applied to things I have to have.

The problem is that once Xmas shopping gets me going then I start "saving money" on things I don't strictly need. Sound familiar to any of you?

Madison Avenue has its collective hooks in me and in December and January I often buy crap I just don't need. Witness the picture on the left. I bought 3 DVDs that I could have just rented.

The comparison shopping aspect was checking prices between Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Amazon came out the winner by a huge margin though I actually bought at B&N. You see, I had a $50 gift card from my aunt and since I was going to be buying something at B&N due to the gift card I figured I might as well apply for their credit card ($25 back in credit plus an insulated mug). The end result was buying severely overpriced DVDs (B&N is running a buy 3 get one free promotion and even with that free DVD factored in they cost a few dollars more than Amazon: $58.69 versus $56.97)

Anyway, I have to go into work for a few hours. Working on Saturday is unusual for me but MLK upset the timing of our CAM assay and so now we need to add drug to the egg yolks on Saturday. But at least it keeps me from shopping! LOL


GA Girl said…
When you start feeling that "buzz" you know you're addicted. How long does this phase last? You know Valentine's day is coming *giggle*.
Diane Mandy said…
Your effort in trying to find the best deal is admirable!
utenzi said…
GG, I don't really know if you could say I have a girlfriend so Valentine's Day might be low key for me. I'm seeing Lee but she lives so far away that I doubt she expects anything.
carli said…
We have very similar shopping styles. . . when I buy soda, I have to figure out how much each can in a 12-pack is costing me to the penny to see how good a deal I'm getting. And yet, I seem to have no problem reaching the $25 free shipping threshold on Amazon on a regular basis!

Thanks for the info on the movies. I think I'll pass, because
a) AMC Theaters are on my "suspended" list. I can't avoid them forever, but I'm punishing them for now by going to other theaters.
b)There's three movies I haven't seen, but only 2 I want to, and one is the first movie being shown and one is the last.
c) I generally don't like movie theater popcorn at all--the only time I get it is as part of a kid's pack if it's meal time.
d)If I don't start watching the movies on my DVR, I'm going to have to erase stuff because there's no room!

But thanks anyway.
kenju said…
The gas stations down where my employer has his office are at least 10cents cheaper than up here where we live (10 miles north), so I try to wait and fill up when I have to go to that side of town. My car has a 20 gallon tank, so that saves me a lot!
Cynnie said…
small island here..

gas is 72 cents a matter where you go ..
Shephard said…
I can relate... I'm still winding down my shopping compulsion from xmas, where I combed the net for fantastic savings. :) My friend Wendy has me coupon code searching before I buy anything. And 9 times out of 10, if I see a book or CD I want, I run home and save $10+ on Amazon.

Nina said…
You are a shopping wizard. I do not have the patience to even do comparisons. I go out, I find it, I buy it. I need to be more like you.

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