Local Luxuries EBook December 2017 Edition

Living ‘Off Peak’ Really Isn’t Power Shopper — By Barbara “K.” A long stream of coupons spurted out of the little red machine in CVS, and this, plus my $3.00 credit slip, had unleashed my greed. I like little better than the feeling that a store is giving me money, a premise that works well for Kohl’s, CVS and many other stores. But now, here I was, in CVS, unable to move until I could make the most out of my new coupons, my circular from the Sunday coupon section, and my shopping list. Since I’m not a brand loyalist, I could easily pick up both the toothpaste and the coated aspirin I needed without much out of my pocket charge if I didn’t buy anything else. If the object of their marketing was to get me into their store more often, they’d succeeded; I’ve learned cash-back coupons hold a short shelf life. This policy differs from Bed, Bath and Beyond, who seem to generously accept expired coupons. No one appreciates me more than the shopper standing ahead of me in line who’s come unprepared, to whom I happily give some of the excess coupons. I’ve read features about career coupon clippers who take on supermarket shopping for a family of five or six and end up, for $20.25, with bulging shopping wagons. Personally, I don’t like to be behind themon the checkout line since theymake“bulk”purchases that leadme to believe they must have lots of storage space in their pantry. I don’t have such luxury. Costco and BJ’s shopping trips also set me up with the dilemma of keeping excess toilet paper in the car. Most of my extra paper goods and groceries are kept in my garage refrigerator, as I no longer need them often since my family has downsized. Lord and Taylor occasionally gives a generous credit to the first 100 or 200 customers on a special sale day, but it’s unlikely that I ever arrive early enough to benefit from the offer; I need to keep their coupons on hand to compensate. Frankly, we’d benefit more if there were stable low prices from the start, but human nature usually makes us enjoy our purchases more when we consider them bargains.Why would we ever want to pay full price? Some exceptions do apply. I remember hunting for a “Dora the Explorer” doll for one grandchild and was happy to find it at any price. I also recall driving to a Connecticut Honda Dealership because they had the model and color my husband desired. A carefree attitude has often affected holiday or vacation purchases, but for the most part, I attack shopping with a frugal mindset, armed with coupons or discount ads. Restaurant advertising is baited with land mines for the hungry consumers. Recently a restaurant chain followed their TV advertising campaign with an attractive postcard, and it included a hefty discount for a menu item I’d never wished to order. It did look juicy and inviting on TV, so at the next opportunity, I visited my local eatery only to find out they weren’t participating in the campaign. Too late! The result of the dining experience was the sad realization that the food there hadn’t improved – just the food photography – and it made me feel very foolish. A discount is a wonderful incentive to try a new experience, and it’s a boon if it’s to a favorite place, but unless for something that was already a planned purchase, it’s no bargain to spend money to save money. Our grandson alerted us to a great deal on a fire stick that he’d thought we’d enjoy,but we’d no idea of what it was or how to use it. After an explanation of the technology involved, he gave up saying, “Never mind. You just watch television.” Curiosity though, led me to query my MahJongg group. Our youngest member had tried installing a fire stick with little success and the rest of the group were content not making fire. Many of us, as seniors, have learned to try Kale, Fitbits, make coffee in a Keurig, text and Skype, so one day even I will perhaps learn to use a fire stick in a scenario other than tomake a campfire.But I may only consider buying one if first armed with coupons, discounts, rebates and cash-back . Warmly, Barbara K. Barbarak@localluxuries.ne t What’s Inside This Edition... All artwork, design and layout provided by Local Luxuries remains the sole property of the publisher and may not be reproduced in whole or part. The publisher will not be responsible for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error, and is limited only to the first month of advertising in the case of repeated use. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject any advertising at his sole discretion. Position requests Local Luxuries, Inc. PO Box 8003, Hicksville, NY 11802 4 EDITIONS PUBLISHED MONTHLY HEWLETT/NORTH WOODMERE AND VICINITY Includes Hewlett, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor, North Woodmere and South Valley Stream ROCKVILLE CENTRE LYNBROOK/EAST ROCKAWAY • OCEANSIDE • Rites of Passage — By Jacqueline Bergrin • Prepare for Your Future - Begin Your Financial Planning Today: Are You Ready for a Financial Emergency? — By Christopher Zarra, CFP, ChFC, CFS • Nadine’s ‘Open Door’: Conquering the “Holiday Blues” — By Nadine Frankel, LCSW • Champion for the Golden Years: Reflecting on 2017 and Looking Ahead to 2018 — By Laura Burns, Esq. • Living “Off-Peak” Really Isn’t: Power Shopper — By Barbara “K.” cannot be guaranteed. The advertiser represents that all artwork and copy provided by him is owned by him, and he has the right to utilize such in this publication. For further rights and obligations of publisher & advertiser refer to the Terms and Conditions of the Insertion Order, which terms and conditions are incorporated herein and made part hereof as through set forth at length herein. To advertise in Local Luxuries, please call Jacqueline Bergrin, Publisher/Editor (516) 417-3113 localluxurieseditor@localluxuries.net Debra Bedell, Associate Publisher (516) 965-1183 Debra@localluxuries.net Visit us on the web at: www.localluxuries.net