Wednesday, September 27, 2006

good ol' Ross

Today's confession.

I am a recovering Rossaholic. I am somewhat 'weaned' from the manic %%%% shopper I once was - she who could spend hours on end at Ross Dress for Less stores. I fall off the wagon once in a great while, the results not altogether detrimental (see below).
It's tough for me to resist a good deal = quality merchandise at steeply discounted prices. Granted, Ross stores tend to get pretty trashed, the service is indifferent at best, and let's face it - Marshall's and Nordstrom Rack are much nicer stores to shop at. Still, there's something in the search n' seize of this kind of shopping that appeals...

When the hunter-gatherer instinct surfaces, I resist a bit, then rush off madly to satisfy the urge by allowing myself 'a quick hour' inside a Ross. That's what I ended up doing this afternoon.
Before entering the store, I made a decision to look 'only at housewares'. I started chanting Mantra #1: '...only housewares and only what I need...only housewares and only what I need....'.

The decision to restrict my browse-shop to kitchen, bath and storage items (as opposed to clothes) is a wise one. With housewares, I don't need to overly concern myself with size or fit. Color - maybe. Where to store said item in kitchen bath or office - perhaps.

There's no need to go through the frustration of trying on clothes-that-don't-fit-or-look-ugly-anyway in dressing rooms with that god-awful lighting. No need to balance on one foot in narrow aisles whilst slipping in and out of countless ill-fitting shoes. No getting metal dent marks in my hand from gripping an armful of clothes by the hangers.

Being spared clothes shopping irritations such as these by limiting myself to the housewares section, still I had to pledge to ignore the inevitable 'fabulous n' frivolous' finds. You know the ones. Those odd items that are so drastically marked down (and worth the buy for the quality of the merchandise alone!) that it is near impossible not to rationalize making another totally superfluous purchase. Mantra #2: 'I don't need this..I don't need this...'.

Hey - guess who did good today?!?
I only came away with kitchen items that were necessary to round out my existing assortment of cooking paraphernalia or to replace a worn out utensil/tool. Two of the 8 items I bought (for under $55 total):
A Zia heavy duty plastic tote (sans baseball). $3.99!
A Made in U.S.A. hardwood French-style rolling pin. $3.99!
Good ol' Ross! Anyone wanna go shopping soon? I'm good for another hour...


jessamynit said...

ooh, you just reminded me to go get these shoes for $20 that a friend had on last night.
I love ross. my kryptonite is their dress selection... I have no idea why! shoes, too.

jessierose said...

that rolling pin might come up missing the next time i visit you. you should probably hide it from me. consider this your only warning.

thank you for not buying the bright green fuzziness at ross.

baffle said...

jessierose - yo momma will buy you a rolling pin tomorrow when she returns the wire whisk that is not the size she needed after all. at the same time, yo momma also needs to go looking for cool jessamynit style $20 shoes - hell, she may as well go through a rack or two of dresses while there.

though the marshall's in your town is better suited to her clothing needs.

deinitely fallen pretty far off the wagon here...

justducky said...

While you're there, could you pick up a wire whisk that fits in a coffee mug for whipping up the Mexican style chocolate that I grate into my each morning?

but don't pick up the flowery dresses that always start sagging a few wearings later.


Derek said...

Lauren and I had a dangerous mantra that we used when shopping at Century 21 back in our New York days. If we saw something that was ridiculously marked down, say a Marc Jacobs bag that was originally $800, now ours for only $350 (More than half off!!!!) Feeling we just couldn't miss out on such a ridiculous bargain we'd say, "How can we NOT buy it?!" Forgetting, in the heat of the moment, that it was still crazy, crazy expensive.
"How can we NOT buy it?!"

justducky said...

Dear Derek,

You must have forgotten
"b's number one RULE!"

Years ago she taught me this rule, thus helping put an end to my compulsive shopping syndrome.
Here it is:

Go ahead, put the impulse buy in the cart. Push the oversized hand painted froggie casserole all over Ross. Feel free to toss new items in! Enjoy studying all the little cardigan sweaters in all the bright colors. Try on shoes all night long. BELIEVE that you own the darn thing!

Later, much later, it's time to re-think the impulse buy. If it still feels like its "meant to be ours!" go for it.

In my experience, the sick feeling begins to make itself known and I can make a hasty retreat to re-shelve it on the silly hand painted froggie crockery shelf! Thank the Lord!

Trouble is, in comparison, the sagging flowery dress looks like a great buy!

baffle said...

I still use the 'put it in the cart and pretend to own it for at least 20 minutes' method to offset the foaming-at-the-mouth buying frenzy.

It does seem to work 75% (I've got super %discounts% on the brain!) of the time.

So much about bargain shopping has to do with the temporary emotional satisfaction one derives from the search and seize. Clamoring for the best deal, taking the prize, screwing the system ('Oh yeah? Just try and make me pay full-price!').

Once you get that item into your shopping basket, carry it around for awhile and 'own' it - the need to succeed in all-things-bargain-shopping is somewhat satisfied. Then you might be able to make a more rational decision. Operative word = might.

BTW, I've been shopping with Lauren and Derek, and have fallen under the 'How can we NOT buy it?!'syndrome. COUNTERPRODUCTIVE!

jessamynit said...

I still haven't made it to ross this week. but the shoes are cute black nice sneakery things with weird velcro straps that kind of go all over them. nice!
and this jessie might take your rolling pin too. good find!

I like to circle all the things I want in a catalog, then throw it out. very satisfying free shopping experience.

sometimes, though, I can't : (

k said...

ooh, i like to dog ear catalog pages with must have items. many weeks later, i'll go back and review the pages - to find i really don't NEED those items, and then i toss the catalog!

i do LOVE ross; rarely find anything at marshall's (and they're more expensive); and NEVER find anything at the rack. only been to TJ max once and it was okay. went to kohl's yesterday for maybe only the second time and found they were having a BIG sale. actually bought three items, all much needed (especially the cute strappy sandals for $4!).

me again said...

Just got back from the Disney Store in Union Square. Uh Oh, impulse buy!
(although, somewhat thoughtful, as it was on sale!)
Maleficent, the cruel witch in Sleeping Beauty is emblazoned in metallic gold on a black t-shirt. I need it for Halloween! I couldn't spend 20 mins. thinking I owned it cuz of the shrieking "La!La!La's!" on the sound system...I don't know,...some generic Disney soprano: fairy, Cinderella, Snow Beauty, but we had to get OUT OF THERE!
Extenuating circumstances.

jessierose said...

hurray! in exchange for this rolling pin i shall bake you a pie. home made crust of course, because i am the #1 baking snob.

baffle said...

Until a few months ago, I too could never find at a Marshalls' - clothing (or other goods) that looked great, were of high quality and low enough discount prices (to suit me). That's changed now with the discovery of a super wonderful Marshall's store near jessierosie's house. Lots of good stuff at major discounts. I went ca-ray-zee there.

Have returned aforementioned wire whisk to Ross.
Exchanged for a rolling pin for jessierosie...
...and one for jessamynit too!

I also like the idea-tip about choosing things in catalogs then going back 'later' and figuring out that you might not need them after all. Much like the 20 minutes in the cart approach!

jessamynit said...

no way! yay for B! yay for rolling pins! yay for impulse buys!

now, we just need to find an apt. with enough kitchen counter space that we could conceivably roll something out. then devon could make his famous cinnamon buns (yum!).

I did finally make it to ross the other day and got: cute shorts that go to the knee but aren't too skater-y; 2 cute green shirts; 1 pair green tennies with bronze shiny trim and 1 pair cute slipper type of shoes that I love.


k said...

another store i surprisingly found fun stuff was at burlington coat factory in daly city, at decent discount/sales prices! probably somewhat hit and miss overall, but i found a few hits!

mompear said...

Ross is exhausting! Just got a raincoat. It's cool. Nothing else in the whole store fit.