Bill and I have a little addiction problem. It is called buying lots of stuff from REI. Tents, skis, snowboards, helmets of all kinds, backpacks, purses, skirts, bike shorts, pants, jerseys, bike lights, pedals, truckloads of shoes (trail runners, road runners, bike shoes, hiking shoes, flops, climbers), socks, fleece, leg warmers, arm warmers, water bottles, sun glasses, knives, climbing harnesses, ropes, jackets, carabiners, running shorts, running tights, running capris, bikes, kayak paddles (I don’t even own a kayak, yet I have kayak paddles), bike racks, luggage organizers, camp stoves, Gu/Cliff Bars/Nuun/Sharkies/Chomps/Luna Bars, sleeping pads and ski hats.
Still on the to-buy list are snowshoes and cross-country skis.
We registered at REI when we were engaged. Bridal showers are better (at least to me) when you get to open tents, sleeping bags, crash pads and PFDs. Way more fun than spatulas and gravy boats.
Eventually we realized that we were spending more money there than we probably should and decided to stop blowing our life savings on outside toys. Until a friend who has worked at REI for years encouraged Bill to get a part-time job there. “I have a full-time job,” said Bill. “Why would I want to work more?”
“Because,” our friend said, “of the employee discount.” Immediately I was on board with Bill working there. I would get most of the discounts too! I could do noting and spend way less money. Sold! Bill crams in shifts between semesters, on weekends and after his regular job and now our house looks like REI exploded inside it. The trick is buying only stuff we still would have bought without the discount.
The other day we got the following:
• Arm warmers
• Leg warmers
• Bike shoe covers
• Two pairs of winter bike gloves
• Water bottle
• Fleece shirt
• Helmet liner
• 40 Gus/other portable edible things
• Two tubes of Nuun
• Winter bike pants
• Fleece ear cover thingies
• A toy firefighter that, if you spin his arm around, turns into a flashlight
• A fleece vest
• A fleece hat
We bought all the fleece in North America. And, all this junk ended up costing $225. Lovely!
My favorite all-time discounted REI purchase? A $570 North Face shell (I cannot fathom what makes this thing $570, no matter how hard I try) for $90 (I can fathom what would make this thing $90). So far it has made a superb raincoat.
I hope Bill works there forever and ever. Amen.
|An ultimate goal: Use everything in the house from REI|
all at once.