Monday, December 29, 2008

Mom's 10 Commandments of Shopping

My mother, the savviest shopper that I know, shared her Ten Commandments of shopping with me. They all seem to be true in Santa Barbara.

1. The price of a product or service is not always an indicator of quality.

2. If it sounds too good to be true, do more research. Sometimes there really are great bargains out there!

3. The zip code of the service will reflect in the price of that service. If you shop in Montecito, you will pay more than if you shop in Santa Barbara, even at garage sales.

4. Everything goes on sale eventually. You just need to know where and when to look.

5. The back of the store is usually where the bargains are, except in January when they move the sales to the front of the store.

6. There is always a less expensive way to get a service. Choices include to ‘do it yourself,’ go to an apprentice, or go for the splurge.

7. Sometimes it makes sense to spend the extra money. Get the $100 haircut when you want a new style, but go to Fantastic Sam’s for the $17 haircut to maintain your style.

8. You will always spend more for spa services if you purchase them at a resort or on a cruise ship. My most expensive pedicure was on Cunard’s QE2, on a transatlantic voyage. For $50, the salon ‘expert’ removed my polish, washed my feet, cut my nails, and added 3 layers of polish. No massage, no small talk. To make matters worse, the nail polish never dried, and smeared 5 hours after the service. I had to pay an additional $50 for a redo. The best pedicure was at a salon called Artistic Nails in the Calle Real Shopping Center. For $25, I sat in a heated massage chair, while the salon ‘expert’ washed my feet, exfoliated, clipped my nails and cuticles, gave my legs a 10 minute massage, and then added 3 coats of polish. She even gave me a pair of flip flops so that I wouldn’t smear the polish.

9. The fewer things you own, the larger your home feels, so have garage sales and donate items you are not using.

10. Don’t skimp if it makes you feel like a martyr.

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I'd love to hear what you have to say about saving money in Santa Barbara.