Stop to shop at every chance to spend and save

Diane Mack
Family Matters

Does anyone like to shop? I do and, I think it’s hereditary. 

Last Christmas, I overheard my sister mention that she has an obsession with shopping and that she is a compulsive shopper. 

Diane Mack

She somewhat explained it as a need to shop with no preplanned knowledge of any particular item you need to shop for, other than a desire to shop. 

Does that make sense? I think I’m one, too. 

I do have a problem. I can’t stay away from a sale.  

This past week, my sister Judy was in Kansas. She came to watch three little grandsons. Judy’s son, my nephew, had taken his wife to Hawaii. Judy was in Kansas and I was in Missouri. We were about 30 minutes from each other.  

Now that is scary, because of our sales addiction. 

In spite of our spending disease, I love when Judy babysits her grandkids, because I get to see her. 

Yes, Judy is a clearance sale junkie, just like me. There is no stopping either of us with our insatiable cravings. 

Well, guess which state had the highest clearance revenue during the past week, while two sisters were side by side? I’m not saying! 

Years ago, I was known as the highest spender at the “blue light special.” 

I would take my lunch to Kmart and make a day of it, following the blue light around the store. You know, I really saved money. Ten $2 purple scarves with matching umbrellas was a steal. 

I don’t know what it is. I can’t resist a bargain. 

Last September, I drove by a store known for overstock and clearance items. I hit my brakes when I saw a crate of something on the sidewalk marked $.10 each. Whatever it was I needed it. 

I quickly parked the car and raced to the store front. There I found behind the $.10 sign, magnetic towel racks, previously marked $9.98.  

I picked up the entire crate and carted it to the cashier. I bought 42 magnetic towel racks. What a buy! Everyone got one for Christmas. 

A few days later, I found AM/FM radios with headphones, for 75 cents each.  

I had to have 20 of them. I used them as stocking stuffers. 

Wait a minute. Do you think I need help? 

After observing my sister sprint in and out of Kansas sales, I thought it was time to curb my shopping sickness. I set a goal to not shop for a week. 

Monday was fine, and so was Tuesday. By Wednesday, I was starting to weaken. Whatever was at the store, I knew I needed it. 

I held firm and by Friday morning I was going through withdrawal. By afternoon, I had settled down and was doing fine at the office.  

Until I heard a co-worker mention how the after-holiday sale items were marked 90% off. 

I told myself, “Steady.” I took a deep breath and got back to the laptop.  

I was doing really well until my boss pointed out that we had over 90 client files to work on, in December. 

That did it. I grabbed my purse and was out the door in five seconds. 

You know, I saved 90% on those packages of tinsel. I know, I haven’t used tinsel in 30 years ,,, 

But just in case, I have 50 of them. You never know when you’ll need tinsel. 

OK, I have a problem. But so does my sister Judy. When she flew out yesterday, Kansas had a billboard up thanking her for visiting.  

I am not that bad, I promise. Wait a minute, if you’ll confirm that I don’t have an obsession, I will send you a towel rack.  

Just drop me your address. 

Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County's Family Week Foundation. Email her at