THE BLOODY, CUTTING EDGE OF SAVVY SHOPPING
by Todd Hartley
Here at I’m With Stupid, we’ve long adhered to a theory that might seem counterintuitive to most of you, and that is this: men are better shoppers than women. We know many of you, especially those of the female persuasion, probably think we’re as stupid as our name suggests for making such a claim, but we think we can prove it.
Let’s say you took two people – one a heterosexual man, the other a woman – to Target and asked them both to go buy a shirt. What do you think would happen?
The man would be back minutes later with a shirt. It probably wouldn’t look good and might not fit, but, being a man, he likely wouldn’t care. The woman, by contrast, would emerge four hours later with three shirts, a matching skirt, a pair of pants, two picture frames, various hair-care products, a copy of People magazine and a leather-bound basket to hold the dozens of catalogs she gets every day in the mail since she’s so into shopping.
So who’s the better shopper? Clearly, it’s the one who completed the task as directed. Thus, men are better shoppers than women. Q.E.D.
Anyway, I’m bringing all this up as background for the story I’m about to tell because, despite the fact that I abhor shopping, I actually consider myself pretty savvy at it. This is especially true at my local supermarket, where I scour the aisles looking for things that are marked down for those in possession of a value card.
Sure, this has led to some questionable products sitting untouched in my pantry for years on end, but they were more than half off. I couldn’t afford not to buy them. And who knows? Some day I might need a jar of pimentos. When that day comes I’ll be ready.
But back to the story, which involves me shopping for razors. Anyone who has ever purchased a razor is no doubt aware that the only thing on the planet more expensive is toner ink. Given that and my overwhelming desire to save a buck, I was intrigued recently when I saw that 12-packs of Schick Slim Twin disposable razors (normally $7.39) were being offered “buy one, get one free.”
Better yet, some of the packages also came with $5 in free mp3 downloads from Rhapsody.com. I love music, particularly free music, so I made the purchase, and for $7.39 I got 24 razors and $10 worth of music, which I used to download a double album by the English funk band Speedometer. (Trust me, they’re awesome.)
So proud was I of my little coup that, still unshaven, I went back to the store the next day and bought 24 more razors, using the $10 in free music this time to download an album by the Brooklyn-based afrobeat band Antibalas. (Also awesome.)
So, to that point, I’d spent about $15, and I’d gotten 48 razors and $20 worth of free music. That, my friends, is how you shop. Later that day, however, I made the mistake of actually using one of the razors. Short of slitting my own throat, I don’t think I could have made my neck bleed more. Suffice to say there’s a reason the razors were so cheap, and here I was with drawers full of them.
Mildly discouraged now, I called Schick to see if they offered a money-back satisfaction guarantee. They did not, but the nice customer service lady took pity on me and agreed to send me two coupons (worth up to $11.99 each) good for the purchase of Schick’s top-of-the-line razor, the Hydro.
So now the score was $15 spent, 48 unusable razors, $20 worth of music and $23.98 worth of coupons. Best of all, the Schick Hydro that I bought with the coupons offered another 10 free music downloads. How freaking brilliant is that?
I rushed home, showered and shaved with no blood lost and then planted myself in front of my computer to select my 10 free songs, and that’s when my impressive shopping run finally screeched to a halt.
These were not songs from Rhapsody.com. No, these were from a Schick-affiliated site called, inexplicably, sleighbellsrock.com, and my choices were, essentially, some country singer named Blake Shelton, some girl named Charice, or David Archuleta. So, sadly, I won’t be using my 10 free downloads.
If any of you ladies are interested, though, I’ll see if I can transfer them to you. You see, we smart shoppers like to help out those less fortunate.
Want a Schick Slim Twin? Todd Hartley’s giving them away for free!