The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Saving Money

It seems that no matter who I talk to, the subject eventually comes around to saving money. Everyone is having problems and is looking to scrimp and save in any way possible.

When it comes to clothes shopping, many of my friends have admitted that they no longer buy offerings from designer labels. Those who used to shop at Nordstrom’s now set their sights a bit lower. Those who used to shop at Old Navy or whatever now go to Target and Wal-Mart. This applies to all items of apparel, from work stuff to weekend wear and even lingerie.

I for one am pretty sick of all this talk about saving money, not being able to make ends meet, etc. etc. I can’t wait for the economy to get back on track so I can start spending freely again! I need to shop!!

Easy Gift Idea

As you can tell from this blog, I simply love to shop! But I enjoy shopping for myself and for my immediate family only. Once I have to start buying gifts for friends, acquaintances, business associates, and distant relatives, I become as stressed out as anyone else. After all, it’s hard to buy appropriate gifts when you don’t know the recipient very well, and it takes a long time to browse around at the mall until something good pops up.

That’s why I’ve started giving memberships to different wine of the month clubs for birthdays, anniversaries, and other gift-giving occasions. Wine-tasting has never been more popular than it is now, and almost everyone enjoys a good bottle of wine.

All I have to do before purchasing one of these memberships is make sure the intended recipient is a wine drinker, and I’m set. Once I buy the gift, the recipient will start receiving a couple bottles of wine every month for the duration of the membership period. It’s a great gift that is unique and will actually be appreciated!

I wish I had thought of this idea years ago!

Finding Freebies

I participate at a couple of shopping-related message boards, and I know of several people who devote a significant amount of their spare time tracking down free offers from various companies. Over the years, they’ve found a handful of reliable websites that provide leads on everything from free shampoo to free mortgage quotes, and have actually amassed quite a collection of great products.

Most people tend to think that freebies aren’t always worth pursuing because the giveaways tend to be trinkets such as keychains, pens, and magnets. While it’s true that you will come across tons of offers like these, there are some worthwhile promotions from time to time. For example, I’ve personally received iTunes gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, year-long magazine subscriptions, windbreakers, t-shirts, and even DVDs as giveaway prizes.

Obviously, you won’t get rich from freebies like this, but it’s always fun to get samples and such in the mail. So if you have a lot of spare time on your hands, you might want to try following up on some of the offers you see. Who knows what cool swag you could end up with!

The O.C. — The Complete Fourth Season

The Fourth Season of the teen drama The O.C. was its shortest, as the program was canceled midyear due to a significant decline in viewership. This was an unfortunate turn of events, as I really thought the show was returning to Season One form after an admittedly poor second season. The first half of the third season wasn’t anything to brag about either, but the last few episodes were good.

But the Powers That Be at Fox apparently decided enough was enough, and pulled the plug after just 16 episodes. At least the producers, writers, cast, and crew knew the end was coming, which meant they had ample time to wrap up ongoing storylines and tie up loose ends.

The O.C. — The Complete Fourth Season is a five-disc set that contains all 16 eps that aired from November 2, 2006 to February 22, 2007. Some of the memorable episodes from this block include “The Metamorphosis” (where Taylor starts to fall for Ryan), “The Chrismukk-huh?” (that showed what everyone’s lives would be like without Ryan), “The Shake Up” (when Ryan finally admits that he loves Taylor), and of course “The End’s Not Near, It’s Here” (the series finale).

There are only three special features in this box set, which was pretty disappointing given the fact that it’s the final one. They are:

  • Unaired Scenes (not very many, actually)
  • The Magic That Is Chrismukkah (about the annual holiday episodes)
  • Summer Roberts — Beauty Meets Brown: The Creation and Evolution of One of the Show’s Most Lovable Characters
  • Commentary from Josh Schwartz on the finale

My favorite bonus feature was the one about Summer, as she was indeed my favorite character of the show. It was cool to see how she developed over the years, and how much of the development was in direct response to fan reaction to Bilson. She was just supposed to be a minor character, but fans loved her so much that she became a regular with a much bigger part.

Overall, The O.C. — The Complete Fourth Season is an absolute must-have for any fan of the TV series. I paid $16.99 for my brand-new copy, and think that’s a very fair price. Heck, I would have paid that much just for the finale alone, as that’s my favorite episode of the entire series (one that I’ve watched numerous times already). If you enjoyed The O.C. and came to love Seth, Summer, Ryan, and Taylor in your own special way, then you MUST buy this box set!