Smart Festive Shopping10:37 AM
As you probably know from a previous entry, we are heading to Lucknow this Diwali. This is not something we do every year due to time and financial constraints. So, when we do, it is a big event that pretty much mean we are expected to go all out with gifts. Such trips requires a lot of planning from us too. We book our travel arrangements as early as possible, and then spend a lot of time figuring what to gift to who. This year was no different, the semi-final shopping list includes hand bags, board games, sarees, books...the usual. Once we sort the list out, DH usually turns the task over to me for the premilinary round of shopping research.
Out of the two of us, I am the savvy shopper. I hunt deals, look for discounts and bargains. I ponder every expenses to be made and am known to go look in several different shops over the course of a day to find something as simple as a black t-shirt and only come home with that, provided I found the right quality at the right price, nothing more. I grew up with a very concervative approach to money and spending, and having lived in Switzerland, I am used to not having any MRP (non existent in my homeland) and having to literally shop around to find a deal.
So, when it comes to something as big as us going Diwali gift shopping, I pretty much function the same way I would for any big expense, and start looking early enough.
Over the years, I signed up with every major e-shopping sites in the country, not because I was planning to buy anything but just to get subscribed to their Newsletters. You never know when a good deal will pop, these newsletters do come regularly with assorted discounts and special promotions. I rarely have any use for them, but still too often enough, I find myself being glad I did sign up. I also love loyalty programs of all kind and use them.
But, just because there is no such thing as getting to many deals in your mailbox, I also look around for special sales, deals and coupon sites and recently found very useful one: CupoNation. They partner with all my favourite e-shopping sites, list all their special deals and offer additional promotions you can only get through them for these sites. With our Diwali shopping having entered the research phase, this is pretty much heaven sent to assist me in my quest figuring out what to get from where. Beside, they also have coupons for restaurants. This is always a good thing considering that when we end up at the mall, we often end up treating Ishita to something like KFC or McD (we don't get to the mall that often by the way).
I am, and always will be a frugal shopper. As much as I enjoy roaming in markets and shopping districts, or going e-window shopping, I only really buy stuff when I really need them (and take a long time deciding if I really really need it too). Going to Lucknow always mean we are going to spend a lot of money between the travelling and the shopping. Which is why we do plan right AND ahead. Thanks to e-shopping and now Cuponation, that task gets easier every time and really help us stay on top of it.