May 16th, 2008

Happy Wen

So Vermont

This TurnHere video on Woodstock, VT, is "soooooo Vermont,"* as Caleb and I say. This whole thing reminds me of Caleb's almost-hometown of Bennington. (Caleb is actually from the neighborhing town of Pownal, which has a popular of maybe 2,000. I think Bennington is all of 15,000 but in comparison it's a sprawling metropolis.) Just so pretty. I really wish I could go visit Vermont, it's been too long. My brother and his family live up in Bristol, so I certainly have people to visit.

* Examples of things that are "so Vermont": tiny hamlets getting all their electricity from wind power, lesbian egg farms (with signs saying "No Cocks Allowed"), accounts of town meetings that sound exactly like something from a BBC show set in an English village.

Shopping bargains

Despite my overall fiscal stupidity, I am still a very good bargain hunter, even online.

For example, today was StaffFest here at Emory. It's a big outdoor party with free food, contests, raffles, music, info tables, rockclimbing wall, vollyball game, etc. for staff. It's held every year right after Commencement as a way of kicking off the "Yay, students are gone!" celebrations.

Anyway, I was there eating my free lunch when I noticed the emcee giving away prizes call out my name. (All staff were entered into a big raffle, for all kinds of prizes.) Turns out I won a $25 gift card for Sierra Trading Post.

So I get back to the office later and go to the web site to see what exactly I can get. Lots of outdoorsy, Land End-ish, relaxed casual clothes as it turns out. Cool! But although it's all bargain stuff, like brand-name clothes or things originally produced for a dept. store, with a huge discount, it's still fairly expensive.

BUT they have a "Bargain Barn," a Clearance section and a tool that lets you sort by price and size. Using all these things, I managed to snag a really nice pair of sports sandals (like Tevas) for $12 and a very "me," ankle-length textured brown skirt for $13. It was the kind of skirt that would be like $50 at a dept. store. When I went to check out, it tells me I've saved about $40, since both of these are Clearance.

I paid $5.95 for shipping and that was all.


Incidentally, I am really good at this type of shopping when it comes to dept. stores. My strategy is to ONLY look at the bargain racks. No matter what dept. store you're in (OK, except places like Barney's), there are so many bargain racks you can stick solely to those and have a great selection. At Dillard's, my fav. dept. store bar none, it's true you can get very expensive designer stuff you can also find tons of things priced at like $5. I have several tops, skirts, capris, etc. that I bought at Dillard's for $5-10. I even have a designer Alberto Makali blouse that retails at like $100... for I think $30. (I wish I could find one of his skirts for that amount; as it is they are like $250 retail and even on eBay, it's a no go.) Anyway, the way I work it, I can get 15 pieces of clothing for like $100, at ave. costs no more than if I'd gone to Ross, Marschall's, Filene's Basement, etc. Not that I've gone on any major dept. store runs lately but when I do, I am very efficient!