Because my thoughts are on staying cool…and only on staying cool, I find myself lying down, and flipping through magazines quite a bit the past few days. Now, I do love me some magazines. However, I let all of my subscriptions lapse before we moved, and have not renewed any…but soon.

ANYWAY, as I was perusing one of my fav magazines today, I caught a glimpse of this bag…
cute, isn’t it? Well, NOT IF YOU HAVE PLANS TO EAT FOR A MONTH!!! This crazy thing, by Anya Hindmarch is $625.00. Yes, I said…SIX HUNDRED and twenty five dollars! I ’bout stroked. Now, I know this is a ‘fancy-nancy’ brand, with prices to match…AND…I have occasionally..maybe once or twice…paid too much for a ‘designer’ bag. BUT, not a straw tote to schlep to the beach and pool. Not a bag to have my Diet Dr. Pepper turn over in. Not a bag where the top falls off the sunscreen and coconut scented lotion oozes out of the straw bottom. Not a bag where the sand gets stuck in all of the above and will not let go. NO, just NO!

So, I set out on a mission to find a more suitably priced tote. I stuck to those fashioned out of straw, so the comparison would be fair.

Here’s the first one I found. It’s by a company called French Basketeer, and sells for $69.00. Now if you ask me…this is still too steep a price for a beach bag. But, I do like how you can draw the top closed to hold your belongings inside.

Now, this is from that store we all know so well…G*P. I really like this tote, and of the 4, it’s my fav. I really like the shape.The price for this one is $35. Reasonable, I think.

And, lastly, this one from Beall’s comes in several different color combinations, and sells for $10.00…regularly $20.00. I’ve seen many variations of this bag at every discount store around, and while it is serviceable, to me it just looks cheap.

Since we are well into June now, I would imagine that you have already bought a tote for this year. But, that wasn’t the purpose of this post, anyway. The purpose is to point out that everything can be found in a price that is reasonable for you. All these totes are nice to look at, and will carry out their intended function. So, it is with most consumer goods. We can find a nice looking pair of jeans for $200.00, $80.00, or $ 19.99. Or take a couch, for instance…$2000.00, $1200.00, or $400.00.

The next question, then, is the quality. Now that $625 tote will last forever. But, will you tire of it before then? I sure would! I’d much rather have that Gap bag and discard it when it comes unravelled…and get a new one. The jeans…you pay for good quality here. That $200 pair is going to offer the best fit and the best quality denim. But, if you are only going to wear them to work in the yard or to ride your 4 wheeler…go for the cheapest! As for the couch…since I am still in the process of furnishing The Creek House, well…let’s just say…I have a little problem being objective about this…at the moment…but I am sure I will get much better…as soon as the furnishing are all purchased! 🙂

With the economy such as it is at the present, we all have to make our dollars buy the most that they can. Just a little shopping around can yield you a good buy, with money left over. And, while some of us enjoy shopping around and looking from store to store…some of you despise it. Though I don’t understand that, I know it is a fact. So, there’s the internet, and even the flyers in the newspaper. One of the things I have started doing when I shop is trying the store brands at the grocery store and for over-the-counter drugs. Most of these have the same taste and quality as the name brands…and I will be the first to admit that I have been a bit of a ‘name-brand snob’. I am trying to do better. But, I refuse to change from Kraft Mayo! 🙂

I leave you with this ‘funny’……..