The back story: For the first time in over a year, my family is in the middle of a major shopping spree due to my son's upcoming Bar Mitzvah celebration, with about 200 people. We've saved money, by making our own invitations (DIY Invitations: Bar Mitzvahs, Weddings & Other Formal Parties) and finding a very affordable party site: (Big Party; Small Budget: A Frugal Event Planning Guide: Pt. 1). But I promised my mom and dad, that we would not wear recycled clothes for the event: (Mutiny: Rebellion Against Used Party Clothes: Frugal Event Planning Guide Pt.2). So we went shopping.
Our shopping cart: We've been fairly disciplined and have found great deals. We benefited from store-wide clearance sales. For example, At Marshalls, I found a pretty party dress for my 10-year-old daughter, but getting to the checkout counter was a challenge. There is a single lane -- an airport style line -- that feeds the different cash registers. This long line is hemmed in --on all sides --by stuff: Lots and lots of stuff with red tags. Most of the marked-down merchandise was from the December holiday season and I wanted to bring everything home with me. Here's a list of what I saw at the checkout line:
- ceramic elephant dish $3.00
- coffee table book: psychic pets about $12
- large red serving platters about $5
- tree-shaped sugar lollipops (a set of 10 for about $6)
- crossword puzzle books (hardback)
- box of note cards: $6
- dining room table $199
- milk chocolate-covered Oreos $5 for a small container
- Happy holidays (signs) and wreaths
- tree ornaments
- an exercise CD $2.50 for a boxed set of two (This item assaulted me in Target.)
Bottom Line: Standing in the checkout line can be hazardous to your wealth.