Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’


By Vernalee
Will you be standing in the crowded lines; driving in traffic jams?
Where are you going? Walmart’s, Target’s, Kohl’s, Best Buy….?
Humorously, Black Friday should be called green Friday. From the consumer’s hands, those green dollar bills start running like water.
Kicking off Christmas spending, it is considered the biggest shopping day of the year.
Stores – discount prices that they have escalated all year; people fight over television sets because there are only a few in the store (wink, wink… those cheap advertised prices brought you through the doors!); some folks camp out for days to assure that they are the lucky ones to purchase those highly sought after, cheap items.
Fights and unruly violence have been known to occur. Yet year after year, folks go out in groves and stand in line for hours as they cumulatively make Black Friday a $57 billion day.
This spend sounds very green to me.
Today, this Black Friday, if I desire to shop, my fingers will go click, click to pick up on-line specials.
Otherwise, I will be relaxing as I watch the crowds on my television in the comforts of my home!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
As I wrap up my series on shopping, I invite you to travel back in time with me a couple of years. It was in 2014 when this news broke. Take a look.
I might have been a dollar short and a few days late in reporting this sighting, but I was thrilled to see President Obama shopping at The Gap in NYC. I realized that his appearance had a political and public relations angle since The Gap had raised its hourly minimum wage for its workers from $7.25 to $10.10; but he is such a natural! Isn’t he?
President Obama is an avid reader and a phenomenal author. His books are excellent reads. He also loves to buy books. Mr. President, you need not shop for my next book, “The Rainbow Inn” which will hit the shelves soon. I will save you the steps and deliver a free autographed copy directly to you. My pleasure! That is the least that I can do considering how much your service to the country and your writings have inspired me!
Okay guys, follow President Obama’s sterling example to buy gifts for your number one’s when traveling (or otherwise). I am sure that the Obama ladies enjoyed their new garbs. It’s the thought that counts!
By spending $154.85, the Prez also did his part to stimulate the economy. What a President! What a thoughtful shopper! I’ll say!
Photo reprint:


By Vernalee
Yesterday, I was in a crowded check out line at Walgreen’s.
Noticeably, the customer in front of me had a big three ring black binder and a shopping cart full of items. After seeing about 5 containers of Tide detergent in her cart, I asked if the detergent was on sale. “Yes,” she energetically replied. As we engaged in a friendly conversation, she showed me her fascinating coupon system. Her binder was full of organized coupons in every conceivable product category. I took this to be a lot of work! Then, I was converted when I saw the end results. She had about $100.00 worth of merchandise for which she paid only $12.00 … after her coupon discounts. Incredible! Proudly, she said, “I use coupons for all my purchases. Everything! The savings are tremendous!” I ‘ll say, they are! As we exited the store, she rolled her cart to a gorgeous luxury vehicle. “My coupon savings bought me this,” she yelled! “Great… you go girl,” I shouted back! Hmmm. Raking in additional savings is not a bad idea. Maybe, I should start clipping those discounted coupons myself. It may be classified as an unconventional savings method, but it’s a proven system that works. The dividends add up! Every little bit helps! Besides, those extra savings may enable me to splurge on an item of my choice – a summer home in the sunny South; a vacation of a lifetime; a financial blessing to someone in need … You get the point; right?
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Yesterday, I talked about shopping in your closet. However, when you go to the stores, be prepared. Have a plan. Smart shopping requires research, skills, and time. My daughter Phoebe and I tend to go to a particular shop, purchase the items we desire, and go home. My nieces, however are shopping divas with a skill set that can rival the best. They are the “shop till you drop” ladies. They can dig up a pricey Saks Fifth Avenue designer suit at a bargain warehouse for such a ridiculous price that it is laudable. I kid you not! Their finds leave you speechless! I don’t know if they have telescopic vision, but they know where all the sales are (near and far; on line and off) including the moment of their occurrence. Finding the “blue light” specials is their specialty as they emerge into one or several of the smart shoppers categories below:
1. The Bargain Hunter – Gets the best price.
2. The Impulse Buyer – Acts quickly to snag a deal.
3. The Loyalist – Uses rewards to save big.
4. The Researcher – Compares every offer.
5. The Negotiator – Always haggles.
6. The Shopper on a mission – Plans strategically.
To my nieces, I am recommending that you set up a personal shopping business. You will make a mint! Sometimes, I wonder who is the best shopper – Beverly, Sharon, Stefe, or Stacy. It’s too close to call. They are all … just that good!
Here’s my advice girls –
To get you started, I’ll prepare your business plan and develop the necessary business particulars. Use your skills and talents to shop for others and make big money doing the one thing that you love – shopping! Cha Ching!
Photo credit:; Illustration by Aimee Camilien; Source: Essence Magazine


By Vernalee
I had a fabulous shopping experience last week. My finds were terrific. Guess where I went? No, I did not go to Macy’s or Saks Fifth Avenue at Lagacy Village or Beachwood Place. Waking up to see the Eifffel Tower out of my Hilton Hotel window and walking the streets of Paris cruising from one boutique to another would have been great. It is on my bucket list!
Instead and not as exciting as the previously mentioned places, I walked into my guest room and went shopping in my closet. That’s right! It was there that I found a number of items with price tags on them. Really! Where did these items come from? The answer is simple. I went shopping some time ago, bought some items that I liked, put them in the closet, and forgot that they were there. Unbelievable! How many women can tell the same story? Hush! Yet, I don’t know how many times that I have said, “I don’t have anything to wear!” How about you? Shame … on you and me!
What I realized is that my closet was not organized so I didn’t know exactly what I had. Oh my!
It doesn’t surprise me that the average woman spends over $3500.00 a year and some change on clothing.
However, I am here to testify that a shopping experience is within arms reach with an archival dig and better organizational skills.
A whole new outfit awaits you when you shop in your closet. Take it from me! So before you go to the store, go to your closet first. Afterwards, here’s what you need to do:
* Team up with your tailor.
* Repair and Renew.
* Accessorize outside your jewelry box.
* Get crafty.
* Mix and Match it up.
* Strategically reposition and organize your clothing.
Now because I took a few steps, walked into the next room, and pulled out a few hangers that were already there, I have about 10 – 12 new outfits. Groovy! I am thrilled. I have new glamorous outfits to sport a new look with no money spent!. I am also rethinking my look and style. It’s time for a makeover since I got up off my rear end to move beyond my comfort zone of wearing the same things over and over. To my fan club, you will be seeing me in a flash of more colors than my standard traditional black. While searching, I also found colorful scarves and attachments that I didn’t know I had! I plan to add a little spice to my life by accessorizing with vibrant sun bright colors … and more. You go girl!
Time and energy are my only hurdles because I have 3 more closets to go! Then I’m off to search through my jewelry boxes. Vintage jewelry, anyone? Join me … but do so in your own closets … not mine!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
We all know people who shop until they drop. Perhaps, you may be one. Take a look below and see if you or someone that you know is addicted.
12 signs that your shopping is out of control:
1. You have a closet full of clothes with tags on them.
You don’t have to be adorned in new garb every day to be a shopaholic. In fact, it’s pretty common for a compulsive shopper to have items that sit unopened or with tags still attached—things that you’re ‘saving’ for when you really need them, explains April Lane Benson, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of compulsive buying disorder. For women, these purchases often include clothing, jewelry, shoes, and accessories; men tend to buy bigger-ticket items like watches, cameras, and sports equipment, she adds.

2. You can’t go a day or two without buying something for yourself.
Even small purchases—like new lipstick (in the same shade you already have) or thank-you notes to add to the pile you’ve stocked away in a drawer—can signal problem shopping if they happen chronically. That’s because these unnecessary transactions, though small, demonstrate a lack of control when it comes to spending. ‘There are the big binge shoppers, and then there are the shoppers who are spending money where it’s a death by 1,000 cuts—in other words, no individual purchase is bad, but it adds up,’ says Art Markman, PhD, professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas at Austin.
3. You experience ‘shopper’s high.’
Shopping addiction is fueled by a powerful cycle of emotions—and this includes that sense of exhilaration or ‘high’ after making a purchase that can become addictive. Shopping releases the brain chemical dopamine, which is associated with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Dopamine also plays a big role in drug abuse as well as other addictive behaviors like gambling. Some people even experience a sexual feeling during the act of shopping, according to researchers in World Psychiatry.

4. You experience a let-down or buyer’s remorse after a spree.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘what goes up must come down.’ When compulsive shoppers buy something the brain’s reward center is stimulated, giving rise to that euphoric feeling or ‘shopping high’ they can become dependent on. But the high is quickly followed by a lowered mood after a purchase, explains April Benson, PhD, creator of This can include feelings of disappointment, stress, guilt, and remorse. A true shopping addict, however, can rationalize any purchase if challenged—and this is despite remorse.

5. You’ve gotten in a fight (or two or 20) with your partner over shopping.
Whether the argument is over mounting bills, unnecessary purchases, or hours spent browsing online, if your partner notes your compulsive shopping habits, it’s a good indication that you have a problem, says Kimber Shelton, PhD, a psychologist in Duncanville, Texas. When the cycle of shopping and spending has negative consequences on your relationships, it’s a telltale sign that it’s time to seek help. Another red flag: You’ve continually promised your loved one that you’ll stop or cut back—and you can’t.
6. You depend on ‘retail therapy’ to cope with stress or anxiety.
Shopping makes most of us feel better and, in fact, a survey from the coupon site found that more than half of Americans admit to ‘retail therapy,’ or shopping to boost your mood. In moderation, this can be good for you; shopping can increase dopamine levels and reduce stress and anxiety. If you’re a compulsive buyer, however, you’ll begin to rely too heavily on these feel-good effects, which will become fleeting and quickly replaced with guilt or frustration over your inability to stop shopping.
Without detailed elaboration, take a look at the remaining six signs. They speak loudly and clear.
7. You feel anxious or irritable if you can’t shop.
8. You can’t focus at work or at school.
9. You’ve skipped work or social obligations to get your shopping fix.
10. You’ve begun hiding bills and forging signatures.
11. You’ve started hiding your habits and purchases.
12. You’ve tried and failed numerous times to stop.
After digesting these behavioral signs and taking into consideration the experts’ opinion, I have one question to ask. You can keep the answer to yourself.
Be honest, how many of the signs apply to you; to someone that you know? Are you a shopaholic? Are you addicted? If you are over the edge, you know exactly what to do! Stay out of the stores! May I add this extra tidbit of advice also – stay off and away from the on-line shopping sites; home shopping television sites, catalog ordering, or other forms of shopping inducements. You can do it! So can I! If successful, I wonder how much money this will add to our bottom line. Shhh. I’m stilling counting my extra cash!
Photo credit:; Source: www.readersdigest/Susan Jara

Receive our Blog in your Inbox

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Stuff We Talk About on Twitter