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Green — Saving it, Shopping for it, Spending it

September 6, 2013 - Phyllis Sigal
My kids are 25 and 27. And how I got roped in to "back-to-school" shopping is beyond me.

No, it's not beyond me. It's my fault.

And it all started with an email from The Gap that mentioned the color green.

(Like in money ... what I spent, and what I saved.)

Green is my son Leland's favorite color, so I thought I'd check out what The Gap had to offer in the green category.

I discovered that The Gap was having quite the Labor Day weekend sale. And, on this particular day only, I could save another 40 percent off clearance items.

I picked out a few green items for Leland. And in the meantime, daughter Amanda happened to call. "I was just doing some 'back-to-school' shopping for Leland," I told her.

"I need some 'back-to-school' shopping!" she exclaimed.

So, it's not really back-to-school for them, but they're each traveling this fall to new places. It's sort of the same thing. (And I'm a sucker to make my kids happy!)

We looked online and found some things that might come in handy for her trip. Then she texted me photos of about five more items.

I started dropping items in my virtual shopping cart and, before I knew it, I had about 13 or 14 things in that cart. I did pick out one thing for me and a couple of sweaters for my husband Bruce.

As I went to check out, I was confused because some of my items — that clearly were marked "clearance" — did not come up with the extra 40 percent off.

I decided to call The Gap's 800 number to speak with an actual person to clear up my confusion.

I talked with Jay — for a good 35 minutes. I think we're best friends now. I know that he's a nutritional scientist, but he had gone to school for acting. He eats broccoli, chicken and rice every night for dinner and has lost 11 pounds in the past month. He has the lived-in checkered shirt I bought Leland. And he wears his with khaki shorts — not with jeans. It just wouldn't look right with jeans, he said.

You sure can't get that kind of feedback online! We laughed. We digressed. I shopped some more.

The real benefit that I derived from this phone call — aside from the human interaction — was that to make up for my confusion, Jay could give me 10 percent off my total order. And because I was using my Luxe Banana Republic card, he could give me another 15 percent off. And I might as well use my $40 in rewards while we're at it. And because I only bought one thing for myself, wouldn't I like to consider one of the maxi dresses "that were flying off the (virtual) shelves?" (No, I would not, but thank you.)

When all was said and done, not only did I BUY a lot of green items (and some blue and some pink and some black), but I SAVED a lot of green! Thanks to Jay.

And it was virtually one of the best shopping trips ever!

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