Warning! What you are about to read is entirely about shopping and sounds completely materialistic. However, strange things happen to a woman (me), when faced with incredible, practically free deals.
I have got to blog about the most mind-blowing shopping expereince I have ever had. I am not sure if you are familiar, but there is a store called “At Home America” which is ran much like a Pampered Chef, or Mary Kay, with independent sales consultants. “At Home America” has rediculously cute stuff, just a tad out of my price range. Well what do you know, my friend Joy started selling it, down near St. louis, and told me that she thought the distributing warehouse was literaly a mile from my house. Sure enough, it was. That is the back story.
Rewind to a few weeks ago. My friend Emily shared her black Friday shopping stops and mentioned the “At Home Clearnence sale.” To which I stopped her and said “what? I didn’t know they sold from there, I thought it was just where they manufactured and shipped out!?” She then filled me in that every so often, around Christmas, “At home” opens their huge warehouse to shoppers. Everything is marked….get this, 5 dollars or less!!!!! Completely new, undamaged, and in the box. We are talking shelves, wreathes, mirrors, candles, dishes, lamps, I could go on for days…. It starts on black Friday and continues every Friday until Christmas. Well, I was going to have to check this out.
Casey, Jamie (an old highschool friend) and I, decided that this Friday we would see what all the hype was about. We headed over and found the parking lot already jam packed (the sale had opened only 10 minutes earlier) we parked on the outskirts of the lot and headed inside. I gasped as we stepped into the HUGE wearhouse filled with adorable home goods of all kinds. And it was all $5 or less!!!!!! Jamie stood in line for a refrigerator box, while I stood frozen with shock. The “At Home” workers were taking huge boxes, poking holes in them, and then stringing “caution” tape through the hole (something to pull the box with) to hand out as make-shift carts, pretty hilarious. We ended up with three of them between us! I was useless, as I was pushing a cranky Hazel in her stroller. Casey and Jamie were wonderful and whenever I found something else I would yell “HELP!!!” and they would zip around with the box. We had to be quick as Casey had to get back for work and we were already a half hour past Hazel’s naptime, but we didn’t anticipate the 45 minute wait in line!!!! Although Hazel would disagree, it wasn’t that bad and went fairly quick. The people were friendly and also filled us in on the history of this momentous sale. Apparently, the last time they did this was seven years ago. One woman said she waits every year until the last minute to do her Christmas shopping, in hopes that “At Home” will announce that this is the year! She has been waiting for 7 years! It’s almost as rare as the cicada locust!
Oh and there is more, if you spent $100 you could purchase a mystery box for $10 which was literally another huge box filled to the brim with more awesome goods. Emily got one and said they estimated about $300 worth of goods in her mystery box. My tally sheet had 27 items on it and I tapped out, with tax, at $97! Just missing the box, but honesty, I don’t know how we would have fit it in the car. I had one huge refrigerator size box just with my stuff. Jamie and Casey, however, did exert better control and could fit their modest boxes of loot on their laps, but there was also Hazel and stroller to squeeze in. While at the loading dock waiting for my 400 pound box, there was a woman in a huge Suburban loading her goods next to me and she had her car literally jam packed from floor to ceiling. I felt a little less crazed after watching her chuck her car seat into the air. I never did see the child…
So what did I get??? Well, I wasn’t entirely selfish, and most of the items are Christmas presents and cannot be pictured. But here are some of my incredible 5 dollar (or less) finds.
The company is a Christian ran family operation. So… my shopping was really an act of service. 🙂