Monday, April 16, 2012

I actually bought something new!

Back from a Disney vacation and slowly  getting back into the swing of things.  Needless to say, the Disney parks are amazing. What's equally amazing is the amount of money that must be spent in those souvenir shops! For example, I was told by a Disney employee that the Downtown Disney store rakes in upwards of a half million dollars per day! Are we still in a so-called recession? Nothing Mickey Mouse about that kind of money! 

As I wandered around some of the park's gift shops, I was overcome with the commonly shared thought of many a garage sale picker-the "I can buy it cheaper at a yard sale" syndrome. We've all been there. It's that pesky voice inside your head developed from years of attending yard sales. How can you not think this way? At garage sales, you'll find expensive Disney stuff happily purchased for full-blown Disney park retail. Now that same piece of expensive plastic is relegated to a driveway blanket and priced for pennies on the original dollar. Seeing this over and over again, you can't help but get inoculated against paying Disney retail!

It even hit me on our last day in Disney World-an always vulnerable time when most tourists open their wallets for one last sentimental purchase. In our case, we had just finished watching the awesome fireworks over the castle. As the crowds were surging for the exits, we decided to stop to look in the shops on Main Street one last time. Mrs. Dude kept insisting I buy a Disney shirt, pointing out pricey $40 dollar polo shirts with Mickey embroidered on the chest. I nearly broke into a cold sweat as I resisted this last minute buying pressure! But despite Mrs. Dude's insistence, I couldn't stop thinking that I've seen a million of those polo shirts in the Goodwill Store. The price there isn't $40,  it's 4 ! So why would I buy an expensive shirt in the park when I can grab one for much less? Mrs. Dude rolled her eyes, insisting that I had to buy something as a memento of the vacation.  Finally worn down by all the pressure, I buckled and settled on a "distressed"Disney baseball cap. I figured that even if I could find the same hat at Goodwill I would never buy it there. Who wants to wear someone's used hat? Even the Dude is a little skeeved by that notion. So I shelled out a whopping $20 for my Disney cap. In addition to the cap being a nice memento, it also serves a very practical purpose. I'll wear it on Saturday mornings at the garage sales!

Now just to set the record straight, I am not "'Cruella de Vil" when it comes to spending the dough! Although I may be garage sale thrifty, I won't let it spoil the family's fun. The kids pretty much bought what they wanted, Fortunately for me, they didn't go crazy on my debit card. The Vinylmation Disney figures seem to be the biggest seller with all the kids, including mine.  (I'll need to watch out for those things at the garage sales.)  Overall, I am not exactly sure how much the family spent in those Disney shops, but frankly it's probably best that I don't know. Ignorance is bliss!   

Do you ever get the "I can buy it cheaper" syndrome when on vacation? Have you spotted something you knew could be scooped up for less money at the garage sales?  Tell me your thrifty vacation story....


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12 comments:

  1. Always! We are headed to Disney in the fall. I've already told myself I'm splurging on a new hoodie. It may cost $50..but I"ll wear it until there is holes. Sometimes you just got buck up and buy new :)

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  2. Kim-Absolutely, you have to treat yourself to something! That's funny because we bought a new hoodie for my daughter. Even though she already had one, she just had to have a new one that says "2012" on it.

    Thanks for writing in and have a"magical" time down there when you go ;) ...Dude!

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  3. I live in Florida...an hour or so away from Disney. When we go...I have the same thoughts. I always appease my son by saying..."We can buy ONE now....or this week I'll take you to a thrift store and buy you FIVE." He waits....and then usually forgets.

    I find it hard to buy retail for a LOT of things.

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    1. Late Night- Great solution. We did something similar years ago when our kids were little. We took them to the Disney on Ice show. It was an Aladdin based themed show, so we had our kids bring their Genie dolls with them. Totally negated their desire to buy a Genie doll at the souvenir booth!

      I am with you...retail price is for the birds!

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  4. Ha. :-) We're going to WDW next month (can't wait!) and when my cousin recently brought over a bunch of baby clothes for me to go through I picked out a WDW sweatshirt that will fit my youngest, to take on the trip with us, so I won't be tempted to pay their outrageous prices!

    I actually worked at WDW for a summer in college, and came home having spent way more money playing and shopping there all summer than I made. WAY more.

    That said, vacations are the one time I usually loosen the belt a little and like to splurge. That's why we are frugal the rest of the year, right? :-)

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    1. Kari-Ha! I can believe you spent more then you were bringing in down there. Especially during the college years when most kids don't realize the whole economics of living on your own!

      You do have to let loose and spend some money on va-ca. Can't always worry about cost sometimes. I did and some of those restaurant bills rocked my wallet! Ha!

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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  5. It doesn't even have to be a vacation for me to question if I can "buy it cheaper". I ask myself or ds every time we shop. On the other hand, I am a retail bargain shopper as well(Target,Kohl's,Ross.....), so when I am thrifting or yardsaling, I ask myself,"can I buy this NEW for cheaper?".

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    1. Oliveoyl64 - Retail stinks no matter where you are at, right? There are times when I found cheaper retail/sale prices then at yard sales or thrift stores. I am thinking of marked down merchandise like baseball/football jerseys and alike. Rare, but they can be found.

      Thanks for your great points....Dude!

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  6. A few years ago I went to Niagara Falls with my family. We were there over the weekend so Saturday early morning mom gets me up (I was hating life because of 3 hr time difference) and drags me to garage sales. We actually found several items branded with Niagara Falls logos that my mom bought as souvenirs for family back home. Sshh don't tell.

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    1. Veronica- That's great, that would be like finding a yard sale just outside the entrance gate of Disney World and buying WDW souvenirs! (I won't tell-ha!)

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  7. We just got back from Disney 2 weeks ago and I know exactly what you mean! Watching people go crazy in the stores at night was just odd to me. I can't bring myself to do it. We tell our kids that they can pick out 1 toy to bring home, and we buy that on the last day after they've seen quite a few things and have had time to really decide what they would like. I always pick up a new Christmas ornament as our family souvenir. The price is right, and it's something more to pass down in our family rather than something that gets worn out! I have a horrible time paying full price for anything anymore..even at Wal-Mart sometimes!

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    1. Kristen-People do go nuts when park closing time approaches, don't they? You should be commended for keeping your wits about you and not getting swept up in the frenzy! Like you, Mrs Dude usually picks up a Christmas ornament somewhere in the park.

      Thrifting and yard sale picking can definitely make you resistant to paying retail!

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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