By: Revanche

My price points went parasailing this summer

August 19, 2009

They’re back, now.

As a former FatWallet Grocery Forum frequenter, and a fairly avid couponer for some years, I
know the value of a price point. Knowing the best price you should get for products keeps shopping levelheaded and budget-friendly. Even if the gimmes strike, the impulse buys are tempered by the internal price book. [Or the little black book where the best TP prices (after double coupon and sale) are recorded.]

For example, $3.99 is the usual price for a pound of asparagus: too much. When stores are motivated to move the asparagus, they’ll sell for as little as 99 cents per 1-lb bundle. That’s usually the lowest the supermarkets go around here, so $1.99 is an acceptable off-season price when the pantry is decidedly starch and protein-heavy.

For other products, clothing, accessories and the like: almost-broke student budgety price points. There are slight variations depending on the merchant, ie: Target versus department stores. Still, that doesn’t excuse the Macy’s version of merchandising where a junior’s day dress might be priced anywhere from $60-$100. In my book, page 4 of the Clothing section, that’s a no go since when the sales and coupons roll around? You can get those very same dresses, assuming your sizes are still available, for as low as $12-$16! Dresses are not a necessity, I’m willing to take the risk.

My few purchases before the layoff, though, whew! I upsold myself in Richter scale fashion.

  • There was the much beloved bag purchase several months ago for 60% off = still above my price point by a factor of ten.
  • There was the dress from Gilt.com [$150], plus the cost of tailoring [?].
  • There was the bespoke dress from a dressmaker on Etsy [$192], which also required tailoring [$22].

And there’s the netbook I’ve been yearning after. Priced out at~$400, I’m still safe from that imprudent purchase, but all the travel of late had got me thinking that $200 was a reasonable price. [As my friend said about a shoulder bag, “if you like it.” Um, what?? It’s a purse!]

Granted, the netbook is a piece of technology so it’ll cost more than Payless shoes, but when on earth did my price points migrate to “$200 is an acceptable price” on more than just electronics?

(I can’t even blame it on the Recessionary Sales a la Free Money Finance.)

Well, I’m just glad they’re back now, I can’t afford that luxuriant lifestyle quite yet!

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