Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Get Your Hands Off My 85%-Reduced Prada

A confession.

For years I have benefited from the consumption of others. A penchant for quality and an atypical stature have allowed me to build a very nice wardrobe, 50-90% off. When I dropped off my dry cleaning today, it contained labels and fabrics suggesting I must be clothes-poor, one of those credit card junkies maxing out her store line. But I paid less for those items than poly blend mall wear.

All areas of my life were easily reduced by taking advantage of wastage. I bought the day-old bread, the end of season shoes, and the we're-switching-to-a-new-line nail polish. I combined coupons and rewards programs to game the system.

I lived a reasonably luxurious life in those halcyon days. Today, as I hand over a 20% off coupon with my stack of clothes, and the dry cleaning lady regards me with the disdain reserved for the wealthy who have suddenly jumped on the coupon cutting bandwagon, I know that just as people benefited from building and flipping sub-prime homes I benefited in a small way from hyper consumption. The cheap and chic bubble has burst, leaving us only with one hundred frugal blogs flogging the benefits of lentils and Sally Ann.

Others are adopting my once rare way of life. Coupons are becoming lower quality, there are new rules against piggybacking rewards programs, and discount grocery day has become a zoo. My way of life, chic on the cheap, will soon be extinct. I knew it had to go but I will miss it. And I will grab that deeply discounted pair of classic black pumps on my way out.

1 comment:

  1. Many Americans are now adjusting their lifestyle in this recession. Some of my friends told me that presenting coupons no longer attracted weird stares.

    Frugality is now the new craze sweeping America.