When I was younger - teens, early/mid 20's - going to The Mall then was as essential to us as going grocery shopping. We were there all the time. At Christmas of 1986, we walked Cumberland Mall for 7 hours trying to make me go into labor (didn't work). When I was pregnant in 1994, we had to go to Town Center Mall all the time because I craved Chik-Fil-A lemonade, and it was the closest place to get it.
Then, of course we took the kids for pictures with Santa every year.
The first year we moved into this house, my son's school took them on a field trip up to Riverbend Mall in Rome to have them visit with Santa. We went back later and did some shopping.
But then after that Riverbend Mall closed down, and I didn't know where the new Martha Bery Mall was, so we stopped going to the Mall for a good while.
At some point I found Martha Berry Mall, but I guess we were just out of the habit by then. We'd go once in awhile. I'd take the boys and try to take some pictures of them with some of the Christmas decorations, but I'm not that great a photographer anyway. And then alot of the stores started closing up. It never was a really busy mall anyway....don't know whose big, dumb idea it was to move the mall from down in town in the absolute center of all the shopping, to out in the country where there was nothing else around. Did they assume all the other stores would follow them? They were wrong.
Other than MBM, the last Mall we went to was over in Anniston, Alabama a few years ago. I was having trouble figuring out what to buy my people for Christmas, and I believe I was looking for some Hot Electronic for the boys that year, and we somehow made our way over there. I enjoyed it. Most of the time I don't like crowds or lines or aggrivation. But I like the hustle-bustle of Christmas at The Mall for some reason. I really love all the decorations, and seeing everyone with their shopping bags.
These past several months since I started coupon shopping, there have been sales/coupons for Mall stores, but I've just been like, Yea, whatever, I don't care about that. Then the other day I watched one of Collin's "Follow Me" videos at Hip2Save, where she went Mall shopping with coupons. She made it all look so exciting - and I am such a sucker for that kind of thing. She spent like $40.00 on $100.00 worth of items. Items I wouldn't have bought, but what the heck, it's only money, right.
We had been wanting to go on a family outing up to Rock City anyway, to the Enchanted Garden of Lights event. It didn't start until 6:00pm, so I thought it'd be a good day to spend carousing the Hamilton Place Mall, enjoying the Season and decorations, and seeing if I could do any good at Coupon Shopping at The Mall.
First I went into The Limited, with a $15/$15 coupon. But the cheapest item they had was skimpy spagetti-strap tops or tshirts for $24.50. Even with $15.00 off, it was still around $9.00. I just couldn't pay that. I get those same tops at the thrift store for .50 cents.
Next we went into Bath & Body works. I had two coupons, one was Get a Signature Collections Travel size item Free with Any Purchase. So my husband got one of $5/$5 hand sanitizers, and a Signature Collections travel size Shower Gel. Turns out when you only buy one, the hand sanitizers aren't $1.00, but the regular price of $1.50. He paid $1.64 including tax for the hand sanitizer and shower gel. Not too bad, I guess. Good for travel.
My coupon was for Free Item (up to $13.00) with $10.00 purchase (excluding 3-wick candles, Scentbug, and Giftsets). I got a pair of chenille socks that I thought were $7.50, but turned out to be $5.00, and a tin of mints for $2.50. I got another tin of mints when I found out the socks were cheaper. For my free item I got some kind of Plug-in Diffuser valued at $12.50.
So I spent $10.93 for $22.50 worth of items. Except the stuff was so overpriced, I don't feel like I really got a deal at all. Nor did I really want or need any of the items. It was good for the experiment, though, and good if someone actually wants/needs this stuff, or has someone to give it to as Christmas presents.
Next we visited a Hallmark Store. Wished I'd known there was 2 Hallmarks in the Mall, but then again, my husband might have blown a spark plug if I'd made him do it again.
I had 3 of the $5 off coupons to Hallmark, so I gave my husband and middle son one (the other kids went off shopping by themselves), with instructions to look for something for $5.00, or right at, could be a combination of things, long as they added up to $5.00 or just over.
Right at the front doors of the store was two displays with candy and small Christmas doo-dads for around $5.00 and under. And more around the checkout counter. I got a bag of Runts for my youngest son (priced at $4.00!!! OMG) and a Russell Stover type candy for $1.25 that I could get at Walgreens for .39.
But my total after coupon was .74 cents, so can't hardly complain about that.
Ryan found himself a bag of Sour Patch kids candy and a couple of chocolate covered pretzels. His total after coupon was $1.50. He didn't think he did so well, but it wasn't too bad.
John had found himself an ABBA CD on the 40% off shelf, marked down to $5.37. He said he had found something he was going to buy, since his other one had gotten destroyed when "Someone" (Ryan) had wrecked the car. I read over the coupon to make sure it didn't exclude mark down/clearanced items, and didn't see that it did, so I said get it then. So he paid .87 for his ABBA CD.
(Instead of being pleased with his deal, he was mad because he'd had to pay his .87 with his debit card. Nevermind it was his own fault he forgot to pick up his money off his counter before we left.)
I had gotten a coupon booklet in the mail from JCPenney, with a coupon for $10.00 off a $25.00 purchase. Normally I wouldn't have thought that a good deal, but I actually shop at JCPenney for the boys' jeans and usually buy one or more of them a Hoodie for Christmas. In a sale I can usually find Hoodie's around $25.00, so getting it for $15.00 would have been a good deal for me.
But apparently there wasn't a sale...actually I couldn't even find any Hoodies like I was looking for, with some sort of current musical group logo on it.
They had some deerhunting printed sweatshirts my husband liked on clearance for $9.99, so we got one of those, and then Ryan said he'd like another zippered hooded jacket like he was wearing, but in a different color. We had got a real deal on it, at Kohl's. It was on sale for $15.99, and my Mom had given me a $15.00 Any Purchase card she'd gotten in the mail, so we ended up paying $1.06 for it. Not as great a deal this time. They were $19.99.
Total spent $22.00 after coupon
I also had a couple of coupons for Victoria's Secret, which I was looking forward to using to get some things for my 19-year old neice. I had the Free Solid Tank with Any Pink Purchase, $5 Pink Nation T with Any Purchase, and $10.00 Certificate.
According to others' reports, they had found $5.00 items to buy, got the Tank free, got $5 T and spent the $10 on all of it. But I was told I couldn't use all the coupons together.
Well, okay, I really kind of expected that anyway. But I couldn't find any $5 items. No $1.50 pink lollipops. No $5 panties. They were having a 5/$25 Cheeksters sale, but if you only bought one it was regular price.
I got confused and frustrated, so just left. I can go to the VS at MBM one day next week and see if I can do any better without a crowd and my family waiting on me.
I also had a $10/$20 Yankee Candle coupon, but I didn't even go there. I decided I didn't need to waste another $10.00, even for my experiment.
We got some PretzelTime pretzel bites - no coupon - but these were a treat...we don't get them anymore since the one at MBM closed up!
I had wanted to check out the new Earth Fare store, and had my coupons for a free Poinsettia, but we didn't know we were going around there, and there was so much traffic, and the weather was so nasty. So we just went on our way.