Monday 27 July 2009

Tight Fist Tip #18: Use Sales and Promotions, But With Caution

But Honey, It Was On Sale!

I know that some of you out there get all hot and bothered at the sight of a sale sign, but these situations are no time to be rash. We Jews know to be skeptical of sales, as we know that even big discounts won't make overpriced, useless crap even vaguely desirable. But since the credit card loving masses out there can have trouble distinguishing a gimmick from a really good deal, let met try to break down a few simple rules.

In order to illustrate when it is justified to partake in a promotion, I've prepared the following mock scenarios for us to analyze.

Q: Crate and Barrel has an amazing honey dipper on sale for 80% off- should you buy it?

A: If you have spent years and years trying to figure out how to transfer honey from the jar to your food, you are obviously too moronic to be making shopping decisions in the first place. For the rest of us, it should be painfully obvious that this is a product that has no right to exist and therefore should not be bought no matter what the price. The moral of the story is that the ultimate Tight Fist rule 'Do Not Buy Crap That You Don't Need' trumps everything. Plus, what the hell are you doing at Crate and Barrel anyway? You should be ashamed of yourself!

Q: You need a new pair of jeans (which of course must mean that you have no other wearable pants, as otherwise the above rule would apply). The Prada store has an incredible 50% off sale on some super-swanky jeans. Deal or No Deal?

Sale on Shin Ramen?

A: Give me a break. Let's solve this with some simple mathematics: 1 Stupidly Expensive Piece of Crap x Some Discount = Still 1 Stupidly Overpriced Piece of Crap. Plus, you would get laughed at behind your back for having stupidly expensive jeans, and you'd have to go out of your way to work into the conversation how you got them for such a great deal, making you look like a complete douche.

Q: Your girlfriend is getting impatient because you haven't gone on a real 'date' for a few weeks. You notice that some new restaurant has a 2-for-1 midweek meals promotion. Can you swing it?

A: You Bet! The best way to make use of discounts is when you were going to have to buy something anyway, and just make use of a sweet discount to dampen the pain. And if you're worried about your date judging you for taking her out on a discount, DUMP THAT BITCH. If she can't appreciate a good deal, she will only cause you pain.

On an aside, this situation reminds me of a lesson learned by my ultimate Tight Fist inspiration, my grandfather Harry. Whenever the family used to come into town to come visit him, he would promise to take us out one night to a restaurant. Immediately, he would bust out his giant 'Entertainment' coupon booklet, which was full of restaurant deals, and we were allowed to pick a restaurant based on the selection of where he had the best coupons. What a legend.


  1. You know it was your father who dubbed the Entertainment Book "Jewish Food Stamps"

  2. Another killer post, Stein.

    You know my mom once bought a melon baller? My dad was so mad. He won't buy a flathead screwdriver because "What do we need it for? We have butter knives. What are we, carpenters?"

  3. Do not buy chicken hearts on sale! They are not worth it.

  4. Dan, you are awesome. With these Q&A's I think you ought to start an advice section.

  5. It's definitely in your blood Dan. "jewish Food Stamps", that's funny!!!

  6. Fenella, you read my mind. Stay tuned for the 'Ask a Tight Fist' feature, which will debut sometime soon.

  7. How about selling honey dippers? Is it Ok to sell crap and make money?

  8. Of course it's ok! These people hate their money and want to get rid of it no matter what. By gladly taking care of it you are doing them a favor.

    If you go to any mall in middle America near Christmas you will find kiosks with Israelis selling all kinds of terrible crap. These guys are just doing their part, and making serious loot.

  9. So where's the twitter? Not that I'd follow it of course, but I'm sure someone would. Time to get your tweet on! (Oh whatever the hell they call it!)

    Oh, and I totally agree with this post. Beautiful stuff.

  10. "Jewish food stamps" - LOL!

    An added note to this post is that stores will often jack up prices 50% before a "50% sale" - or jack up the other prices in the store just as they put another item on discount.

    I was curious if you know anything about how frequent that phenomenon is.