Daphne wanted to go by Claire’s today to get a birthday present for one of her girlfriends. She has had her eye on the Gummi Bear necklace for weeks, insisting that it was perfect for one of her fellow gymnasts. Once we got there and she had said item in her hot little hands, however, she began to long for it herself. “That is how you know it’s a great gift!” I told her, “When YOU want to keep it yourself. That’s always how I shop.”

Claire’s is not my favorite store. There are just a lot of things I don’t want or need in there. Plus, today I was feeling woozy (not in a good way) from lack of sleep over the past two days, and probably from eating more meat than I typically consume in two weeks (but, my goodness, those sandwiches were amazing).

However, today, I hit upon two sales that made me extremely happy. First, their Halloween items were buy one/get one free. Second, they were in a 10 for $10 sale. The way this works is that any item with a red line through the price that was originally $10 or less is $1, when you buy ten things.

This is what we brought home.

Of these things, the only thing for which I paid full price was the Gummi Bear necklace. Everything else was either practical or just fun and I needed it to fulfill my “ten items” mandate. The Halloween hairpieces are cool, and I cut the spiders off of the purple and black braids, then pulled the cats, ghosts, and bats off of the orange, back, and purple clip-ons. Because I have cold extremities during the winter but still use the computer a lot, the fingerless gloves are a necessity; the fact that they have glow-in-the-dark bones on them is gravy… Super fun, wicked awesome gravy. Then there is a make-up bag (the duct tape stopped holding on my multiply-repaired bag weeks ago), a wallet, a couple pair of earrings, two eyeliners, some sparkle lip glosses, an amazing self-(cutely)-contained nail maintenance set, and a set of glue-on eyelashes. Yeah, I didn’t need fake eyelashes, but they’re very cool. The outer edges are adorned with feathers!

Retail price of the items (calculator) versus what I actually spent on everything (receipt).

Daphne was concerned with my spending the princely sum of $35.99, reminding me how tight things are for us. Subtracting the necklace from that equation, we are left with well under $30 spent on the rest of the product. I reminded B that I had dyed the underside of my hair purple last time I colored. That extra application cost $8 and faded so quickly that, after a couple of shampoos, it was invisible. As long as I was able to get the purple braids to work at least four times, the whole lot will have paid for itself.

Real-world econ, people. This is why we say, “When you homeschool, everything is school.”