Saavy shopper or cheapskate?

by DaniGirl on December 16, 2005 · 12 comments

in Uncategorized

This is the story of one woman’s obsessive quest to save a few pennies at Christmas.

A couple of weeks ago, Simon started showing a lot of interest in Tristan’s Leap Pad (the one for the 4 – 8 year old age range), but we don’t like to leave him alone to play with it, partly because he hasn’t quite mastered the dexterity to manouever the pen, and partly because he still shows an alarming tendency to tear paper when you least expect it.

Long story short (too late!) we decided to get him his own My First Leap Pad (the one for 3 – 5 year olds) for Christmas.

On Wednesday night, we were in WalMart and they had them for $37.50, which seemed like a pretty good price, but they only had them in pink. Now, I’m not overly into the whole gender specificism by colour thing, but Beloved pointed out that Tristan’s is blue, which will matter much more in the long run, so we held off on buying the Leap Pad itself.

We did buy a Wiggles book and cartridge for the Leap Pad for $17. Did I mention Simon is completely obsessed with the Wiggles now? We have two Wiggles colouring books from the dollar store that we’ve had to replace three times so far, they’ve been so dog-eared from being carried around and paged through and drooled on and loved.

The next day, we were at Loblaws, and they had *blue* My First Leap Pads for $40. Close enough, I said to myself, and bought one.

Saturday, we were at Toys R Us (yes, two Saturdays before Christmas and I brought Tristan to Toys R Us. One word – mayhem.) and I was delighted to see My First Leap Pad on sale for $34.50, and book sets on sale for $12.97, so I bought a Thomas the Tank Engine book set and another My First Leap Pad, with the intention of returning the one I bought at the grocery store. I also bought Tristan a Madagascar book/cartridge package for his Leap Pad, valiantly trying to hide everything from Tristan during the 20 minute checkout line up.

I got to the car and realized I had been charged full price for the Thomas book, so pulled Tristan out of his car seat and braved the customer service desk (on a Saturday, two weeks before Christmas!) to get the correction made. Turns out the My First Leap Pad book sets are the only Leap Pad stuff not on sale. Grrr. Decide to keep it anyway, trudge back to the car and go home.

On Tuesday, I was in Zellers (can you tell I’m a last-minute shopper) and they had their entire line of Leap Pad products on for 50% off. So I bought yet *another* My First Leap Pad, for $20, with the intention of returning the first one to Loblaws and the second one to Toys R Us.

Today in the flyers, I noticed that Toys R Us is advertising the books and cartridges for My First Leap Pad at 50% off starting tomorrow, so when I bring back My First Leap Pad #2, I can also get a correction for the Thomas the Tank Engine books we bought on Saturday full price.

Still with me?

A recap: After buying three My First Leap Pads for $40, $34.50 and $20, plus the Wiggles book for $17 and the Thomas book for $20, soon to be reduced for $10, the total gift cost went from $77 to $47.

As long as I haven’t lost any of my receipts (odds are 2:3 in favour), and if you don’t count the opportunity cost of six hours of driving all over hells half acre in the festive (insanity) season, I think I come out ahead.

What has been the gift that has caused you the most grief this year? Or, are you doing your shopping next Saturday in Shoppers Drug Mart??

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beanie Baby December 16, 2005 at 1:53 pm

See, now I feel lazy. I would have just stuck with the first one and swallowed the extra $6. LOL
The gift that has caused me the most grief this year–brother’s wife. I still have no idea what to get her. I have a few small things, but nothing “gifty.” OH! I take that back. Becuase this year, I decided I wasn’t doing any shopping for Erik’s side of the family, the gifts that are causing me the most grief are those ones, as Erik is clearly dragging his feet hoping that I will take over again. BUT I WON’T!

2 Suzanne December 16, 2005 at 1:55 pm

My mom’s gift is causing me consternation this year. She finally provided a git idea — an office chair that she had tried out in the store, liked, and never purchased. Of course, this was in April. After an extensive search, I now know that no stores carry that model anymore.
A week till Christmas, and back to square one!

3 Ingrid December 16, 2005 at 2:17 pm

Strangely, we are well organized, making me wonder what we’ve missed. However, we have made a few returns due to mind changing. I like to make up my mind early and stick with the committment; this is after finding the very best price like a true Dutch women.
Mike, on the other hand, likes to wait until the last minute, after spending weeks thinking about the best present, then another few weeks wandering around in the stores, and making the purchase on Dec 23rd.
So being organized has it’s advantages, but only if your spouse doesn’t move into his own shopping mode and over ride the decisions from October.
By the way, we are not usually in such good shape. Last year Mike did all the shopping in Sudbury, while away on business, and brought it all back in an extra suit case, on the 23rd!
Happy Holidays!

4 Marla December 16, 2005 at 2:40 pm

My time is worth about at least $10/hr these days. Factor that in, and any leap pad stuff is going to cost me big when it’s Josie’s turn. That said, why can’t everything be one price all the time? Cripes! What is the sense of putting a price on something if it’s going to be different elsewhere, or discounted?
For the record, I’m usually never a last minute shopper until this year. Then I found out that there are no good parent friendly shows or concerts coming to Toronto for Steve’s dad’s gift. The candle holder with three cats that my m.i.l. likes is $110, and I think that’s just plain obnoxious. My mom’s perfume is $75 in a department store, $54 in a perfume discount store, $60 at Shoppers and $15 on Ebay for a tester. Guess which one she’s getting.

5 Renee December 16, 2005 at 3:01 pm

There’s nothing I enjoy more than getting the best deal possible. We should have been professional shoppers.

6 SilverCreek Mom December 16, 2005 at 3:27 pm

Right ON Dani…I would do that. But this year I’m too lazy casue I got off to a late start and I’m still not finished. I was goingt o go out tonight with Miranda and FINISH but it’s not happening with all this Snow. No use paying full price for anything is my motto. PLUS I’m Impressed you took Tristan to TRU this close to Christmas. I did that a week ago and it was not nice.

7 nancy December 16, 2005 at 7:27 pm

I am the same. I keep buying and returning until I can get the best darn deal possible until time runs out (Dec 24). Good for you! It is kinda like a challenge.
We also have the Wiggles for the First Leap Pads, we haven’t graduated to the next ones yet, maybe next year. They still use and love the ones they got last year.
However, I am a little surprised at you though, knowing how non-competitive you are. (big ass wink)

8 BeachMama December 16, 2005 at 8:01 pm

You crazy girl! But, I may head out to Zellers 😉 Thanks for the tip. The biggest pain in the neck present this year was for my Mom. It wouldn’t be that bad if she would just stop shopping! Every time I get a good idea she goes out and buys it…grrr… But, alas came up with a good plan. A DVD player and some movies, she never figured out the VCR anyway so why not start fresh 😉
Anna – always purchasing the technology for my parents who still own a rotary phone.

9 kris December 17, 2005 at 2:02 am

I would have stuck with the first one, too. I really dread shopping and with the baby, it’s just too much bother. Now I feel lazy and stupid for admitting it, but that’s the truth.
the biggest shopping issue I’m having is with the fact that the stuff I bought online for my in laws is still not here. I am freaking out because I’m not sure that I can get it to their house by Xmas. Oh, well…

10 M-A December 17, 2005 at 5:09 pm
11 DaniGirl December 17, 2005 at 5:42 pm

Hey wow! How cool is that? I had no idea. (Wonders briefly how my friend in Germany knew before my friends in Toronto…)
Will reply to the other comments shortly, but I am having such a great day I have to blog it!
xo Dani – almost famous!

12 Kathy December 17, 2005 at 10:27 pm

I would have stopped at the first one, too. I actually figure in the gas and postage and tax when I compare buying something locally or up island or buying online. Many of the stores are 50 miles away, and that means we end up eating away from home (usually 2 meals!) so that adds in as well!
Dora the Explorer’s Talking Doll House was the big gift this year. I saw it for $115 with all of the figures and furniture, and said, no way. Then I saw that Amazon (Toys R Us) changed the price this week to $79.95, no tax, no shipping. Sold. It’s already here and I know my 4 year old is going to be thrilled. We got her a Leap Pad last year, she loves it! Have a happy!

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