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Impulse buying: My kryptonite

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Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 11:52 am | Updated: 12:24 pm, Tue Mar 29, 2011.

George Carlin, in his “On the Road” comedy album was spot on when he talked about impulse buying:

“I get up to the checkout line, I'm kind of a sucker; I'm an impulse buyer. Anything's hanging up — I want it. Let me have a dozen razors, please, a case of 'C' batteries, a subscription to Woman's Day. How about the cash register, is that for sale? That's a nice model. I even buy stuff that people dropped out at the checkout line, y'know? Mmm, tartar sauce. Must be a sale, Marge, I got the last one.”

For me, Rite Aid is nothing but an entire checkout line — all impulse buys. When the Missus sends me to that store, all bets are off. She knows I'll return with more than the scant list of necessities I was sent with.

Everybody has a Rite Aid. I don't care who you are. There is a store that you frequent which impels you to impulse buy.

“A belt for only $5? Sold!”

“Fifty percent off this righteous plaid $5 shirt? Mine!”

“Ooh! Chia Pets shaped like real pets!”

I justify these purchases in that a) we need them and b) I am saving money — and, yes, I know I'd save even more had I not bought the stuff to begin with.

“Russell Stover chocolates!”

Though Rite Aid is a national retailer, it's my hometown pharmacy. Shop there for any length of time and you'll get to know just about every member of the staff. Which doesn't help. The familiarity only makes me feel at home, leading to more needless purchases. I would buy framed art if they sold it.

I'll even buy stuff and use it for its unintended purpose.

To keep our scratch-happy cats from making cloth confetti out of our couches, I got floor mats for a car. Yes, floor mats. Follow my logic here.

I was able to take these mats, mount them on the part of the couch the kitties had a hankering to shred and dissuade them from destroying the target of their collected affections.

Had I gone to PetSmart or any pet-related retailer for such a deterrent, it would have cost a bundle for sprays or four different coverings. However, for only $8 I was able to use floor mats. See? We needed them, and I saved us money.

The fact that I ride a bike most places keeps me from buying too much when I visit the store.

Hmm … I wonder if they have bike baskets? I better get to Rite Aid.


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