Sunday, November 11, 2007

Shopping With Brain

We dropped off some grocery items at Bhante Dhammawansha's residence at Clearwater today. He was not in and later on we found out that he was in LA to attend a robe dedication ceremony. On the way back, we decided to swing by the newly open Michaels Arts and Crafts along W Hillsborough Ave near Oldsmar as wify wanted to stock up her arts supply. Earlier in the morning we had read that the store was giving a two-day store-wide discount in celebration of its opening.

The store is brand new, with rows and rows of items neatly arranged for the taking. Posters advertising price cut and discounts were everywhere. And right by the front is a class-room dedicated to conducting all kinds of arts lessons.

We ambled along each isle, eyes looking out for items that would appeal to our sense of most bang for the buck. I wanted to buy a table-top mini easel for wify so that she could set it up on the table for painting. But she felt that the prize was a bit stiff (the cheapest is $20) for her present level of attainment. And she wanted to wait for some more time when she feels that she is ready to migrate to the use of easel as judged from her progress in drawing/painting. Chances are she might just skip the mini easel and go for the full-sized one.

Here wify was rummaging all by herself through the drawing papers to locate ones that are suited to her watercolor painting (we did find one, but not at this isle).

I saw the flexi-foam sheets, 12” by 18”, on sale for a dime each. And ended up buying 17 of them, one for each shade of color on display. I have no immediate use for them but just thought they would come in handy when wify wanted to experiment with some craft-work. Anyway having them means wify would think of something to do with them, that they can be gotten for peanuts undoubtedly featuring prominently in my purchase decision.

Wify bought six 50# packs of mini candles in aluminium containers, which can cost three, four times as much during normal times. She lits these candles every morning as part of her paying the homage to Buddha ritual, which means the candles are a regular consumable that requires periodic restocking. So those are a good buy. Actually, the limit per customer (usually the store will impose quantity limits on highly discounted items to ensure fair distribution among the patrons) for this item is ten, but wify wanted that monetary benefit to reach a wider circle.

She also bought two fuzzy posters for Yu Huei's niece, and two cute little precious (this is as stated in the bill) pig banks for our two daughters. These items are displayed below, so that those interested could make some comparison with similar items in Malaysia.

From top left going clockwise: the candle packs; the posters; the flexi foam sheets; the tote bag (Oh yes, this is a free gift worth $15 for purchases exceeding $25, and we qualified, by design of course); and the cute piggy banks. The back drop for the last is the front cover of a 2008 scenery calendar bought at the same store, arranged in such a way that the piglets seem to be enjoying a nice day out at the beach.

Shopping can be a wonderful experience, satisfying our primordial urge to own things. But budget shopping can be an equally exhilarating experience too. Not that we are living on a shoe-string budget, but just to bring home the point that we can, and should, foremost, live within our means, and that a lot of things of great practical value and no less in terms of durability can be had with a decent budget, as long as we don't fall into the trap of the brand mentality.

All these items are $1 each, wify's favorite hunt as these items are statements of creativity. But look carefully, See, Spot, Save, just on top of the shelves. Those are the famous tagline of the Target Store, which is next door.

1 comment:

Kitty Girl said...

One of those little piggy banks is for moi??? :D So cute! And yes-- See. Spot. Save. Target!