Mutt Mart Markdown

Yesterday afternoon we were feeling apprehensive about the impending snowstorm, so naturally we headed out to get a little fresh air and do some recreational shopping.
And there’s no place like the local Mutt Mart to smell and be smelled.

Some dogs prefer a straight ahead walk in the park or the pure recreational exhilaration of an off-leash area, but for us it has always been a retail experience that gets the tail wagging.

The Mutt Mart is bursting with exotic smells and a mind-blowing variety of high-end food. We are all about high-end. The great thing about the Mutt Mart is that not every dog goes there. I’m not saying we’re snobs, but we’ve investigated a lot of ends and just so happens we like the high ones best.

But yesterday we noticed that something has changed at our favorite store.
The gourmet snack aisle was remarkably un-busy.

Unlike human society, the canine world is obsessed with rank, so trotting up to the register with a bag of fully organic, corn-free, gluten-free, hypoallergenic, free-range chicken flavored Scrumptious Morsels is much sweeter when there are other shoppers standing by to watch and admire.

Where were they? Word from Bloomberg Businessweek is that many of the other Mutt Mart shoppers are rooting around for snacks in the backyard compost and drinking out of mud puddles. Our economy has tanked so badly, even the dog pamperers are cutting back, letting their precious pooches play with common toys, eat ordinary food, and wear shapeless, uninspired fashions. We saw a poodle wearing baggy sweat pants!

So it has come to this.

One could argue that this sort of extravagance should have been the first thing to go, though frankly it is much easier to cut back on someone else’s frivolous expenses than to slash your own. So let’s start there.

What should other people stop spending money on?

75 thoughts on “Mutt Mart Markdown”

  1. My daughter and I just had this discussion on Sunday. She and her husband have scrimped and saved and denied themselves some daily pleasures to be able to take a five-day Disney cruise. At Wal-Mart she ran into a friend who has hinted more than once a criticism of the waste of that trip; the friend, as she often does, was buying $100 worth of movies.
    We propounded a scheme whereby in round-robin each person examines the spending of the next and tells them where they are wasting money.
    At our household right now we waste money on pharmaceuticals.

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    1. disney cruise is a wonderful eexperience. there are no drunks or mean spirited people on board. it is a very nice vacation if the weather cooperates, i love others teling me i am doing it wrong.

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    2. I’ve never really understood the impulse to buy movies in large quantities. It’s nice to have about a dozen or so of your absolute favorites in the house. Mostly, though, if I’m going to watch a movie I watch one I’ve never seen before, and as long as you can rent them or check them out from the library, why buy them?

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      1. we actually have a running list of favorites we want to own. When they show up at Half-Price or somebody wants to know what we want for Christmas, we have our list.

        It isn’t long, and we don’t have a ton, but having say, your own copy of It’s a Wonderful Life (when all copies are gone at the library) is a nice thing.

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  2. i believe today is the first ever double posting. steve on rebel conflict and dale on going to the` dogs. a chance to be doubly involved after missing yesterday entierly. soup and game day 3/3 at 7

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    1. My arthritis pain was so bad I didn’t get to my computer all day, which might be a first. How lucky that I’m able to walk and write today. tim, dop the folks on Disney cruises act as dumb and sweet as the characters in Disney films?

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  3. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Since I am hopping a plane out for a warm Southern place today (Savannah, GA), nobody should eliminate spending on travel! I’ll be in and out of the Trail while we are away.

    Other people should not by Sherpa-type vehicles–those gas hogs! Harumph.

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    1. Good morning to all. For a few days I will be forced to use my backup computer and will not be as active as usual on this blog. I found out why my computer screen on my lap top was blinking. It was due to a damaged wire on the power supply and now the power supply is completely off and I have to wait to get a new one shipped to me.

      I can not understand why people buy large very expensive cars and trucks that use so much gas. I would think that they would be off the market by now. Didn’t anyone in the auto industry listen to how ridulous they are as portrayed in Dale’s pieces about the Sherpa?

      I must admit I spend too much money in restaurants with high priced menus. That is my guilty pleasure.

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      1. Jim, I share your dislike of monster-sized SUVs. The one thing I can forgive in those people is the desire to have “a lot of metal” around their kids. No matter what we feel or think about the environment, when our car does have a crash it isn’t good to be in a tiny, gas-savings coupe. Of course, it is selfish to drive such a heavy car that you assume the other vehicle will be the one totaled. But when suburban mothers want to protect their kids with massive metal armor, I can’t hate them.

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      2. Dunno Steve – having been in an accident where I was in a largish SUV (borrowed) that also included a compact car and another SUV (in a poorly marked construction zone with a sudden stop), I gotta say that 1. Had I been driving a smaller car, I could have stopped sooner and probably avoided having the accident (or at least reduced the damage), 2. Crumple zones on small cars work (the one child in the accident was in the back seat of the compact and was unscathed) – it was probably the safest car to be in and 3. I felt horribly guilty being in the large car that caused the damage. Since then I have challenged folks who think they need a large vehicle to be “safe” to think about the safety of others as well when they are looking at their purchase. How would they feel in that same situation had the child in the middle car been injured due to their inability to stop (because of the weight of the vehicle and its velocity)?…

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      3. I concede all those thoughtful points, Anna. But I have two responses.

        1) The data basically argues against your experience. Big cars usually flatten small cars, although clever engineering can do a lot to improve the odds of a small car’s occupants surviving.

        2) Whatever the truth is, the conventional wisdom is that large cars are safer. My point to Jim was not that we should all buy fat-assed cars but that because of this conventional wisdom we “should not hate” folks who decide it is better to destroy the planet than to destroy their precious kids.

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      4. To add to Anna’s observations, I witnessed an accident on West 7th once where an Isuzu Trooper hit an icy patch, went sideways and rolled in the middle of the street. The vehicle wasn’t moving that fast – maybe 35 mph – but SUV’s are very topheavy. I like being in a car with a lower center of gravity. My squat little station wagon wouldn’t roll on a flat surface.

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      5. click and clack always go to volvo when the conversation goes to safety. i started with volvo in 86 and was in a couple of accidents where it was good to be in a tank. when my mom had an accident in a minin van i loaned her i got her a volvo, then she borrowed a lincoln town car i hkept in folorida and i was glad again i had a tank for her but if volvo is a safty choice buy a 2 year old one. they are stupid expensive and the bottom falls out fast. linda and steves subarus is gaining value every time she starts it up i think. they are great cars. i have a good friend at borton if interest is there.

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  4. Oh good! Dale is allowing my very censorious alter out of the cellar. I believe people should not spend money on tobacco, fast food, chewing gum, chips and snacks, (except corn chips for salsa), diet soda, video games, Little Debbie Cakes, cheap ice cream, any and all processed, pre-made frozen entrees (except the frozen perogies the Local Ukrainian Institute makes, and also frozen ravioli or filled pastas that are really a pain to make by hand), Barbies, petunia plants and geraniums, or bottled tap water. There, I’ve got that out of my system. Now I can be kind, accepting of others, and benevolent all day.

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    1. Indeed. As a reward run down to the gas station and buy an extra-large latte with extra cream and buy their cup too.

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    2. Slightly OT, Renee, but YES to the petunias and geraniums! A few years back I worked at a small garden center west of Minneapolis and one of our very wealthy customers who shall remain nameless always ordered several hundred Pepto Bismol pink geraniums to line her several-hundred-yard long drive. It was a standing order for decades. With the wealth of plants to choose from, she remained faithful to her vision. But what a missed opportunity. A lot of my daydreams start with “If money were no object . . . .” but even when money ISN’T a problem, people make unimaginative choices. Or they pay someone else to make their choices for them. It’s not only a waste of money, but what’s the fun in that?

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      1. oh come now. I am still reviving the red geraniums we bought 12 years ago the summer before my grandfather died. We had bought a bunch to plant at his house, and a few extra for the pots on our front porch. I smile everytime they start greening up again. Same with my older next door neighbors petunias. She packs in a load of color on the planters on her back cement slab-mostly petunias. I enjoy the new trendy landscapes on Summit Ave. as much as anyone, but those little neighborhood planters of hardy geraniums and petunias really make me smile. Besides, they just don’t cost THAT much!

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      2. I used to find geraniums sort of pedestrian, but I appreciate their charms more with each passing year. They are very forgiving of neglect. I don’t think a geranium has ever disappointed me. They are considerably more expensive now than they were ten years ago, but it is possible to winter them, as MIG says.

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      3. You have a point, mig, and she did stick to her vision, more power to her. I’ve also revived geraniums for years for the same sentimental reasons that you do. 🙂 They ARE cheerful and reliable and low maintenance! And remind me of who gifted them. But there’s a lot of room between trendy and predictable. If you’re making cookies, wouldn’t you throw in a few chocolate chips once in a while? Or have pancakes instead of oatmeal at least once a decade? If you had a $10,000 budget for gardening this year, would you spend it ALL on geraniums? Every year the same color? (I’m talking about hundreds of geraniums bought new each year, same color, for 30, 40 years) I guess I just don’t get it. A garden isn’t static. It’s constantly evolving into something fresh and new. Plants die or ‘travel’, people give you cuttings, shade trees come and go, something is always changing. It’s not that I dislike geraniums, just this woman’s tunnel vision. That’s what felt to me like a waste of money.

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    3. No Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls?…say it ain’t so. I wouldn’t have gotten through college without those (mind you, I haven’t purchased a Little Debbie in at least a decade, but still).

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  5. And do, please, add a huge roll covered in chocolate.
    I am finding it delightful to be snarky about how you people waste $ on foods I cannot eat.

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      1. Oh, I forgot that one. Go out and splurge of expensive wine. Let’s see what else can’t I eat or drink? Beets. Get lots of organic beets.

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    1. And, Renee, he didn’t warn me he was doing this. I sent in the “Rebel” story and heard not a word from him. I was going to write him today to ask what was offensive or inappropriate in my story so I would avoid that in the future. And then–poof!–there’s my post. Could he have run two when he only meant to run one?

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      1. My guess: he set it to come up tomorrow by some calendar did not recognize the 29th exists.
        I am having a very hard time getting in at all.

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      2. Agh!
        I confess that the double post today was NOT intentional – it was forgetful-compulsive.
        That’s a new personality disorder I just invented. I forgot that last week I had scheduled Steve’s post to publish today, and then yesterday I compulsively wrote a new one of my own.
        Sorry Steve!

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      3. i think it should be scheduled for the day before leap day every time it comes up. make note dale in 2016 when we are voting for rt rybek for president in the upcoing election do a doubel post again on feb 28th.

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    1. my family is addicted to soda pop and potato chips. we are not able to be without them. milk eggs bread butter and potato chips dr pepper and coke

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  6. Ok, there seem to be no sacred cows today (I mean really-taking a shot at Little Debbie), so I will weigh in on people who spend what must be a FORTUNE on overheating their homes!

    and turn off that light while you’re at it!!!

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    1. Just invest a few bucks in compact fluorescent lamps, and then you’ll never need to turn them off again!

      I tried to keep my home as cold as yours last year, but my back hair got so long I began to worry. You could be endangering your son’s social life unless there is a girl or two in the class with a yen for Neanderthals.

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      1. Too young for back hair so far. Maybe that is why he has such an impressive head of hair though.

        At his age and level of interest, not having girls interested in you is just fine. He has nothing against girls in general, but drippy, soppy girls-please.

        I think his status as one of the top class nerds is holding them off just fine. Once they figure out smart is its own kind of attractive, the party will be over.

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      1. We have a flourscent in our dark dingy basement, and keep it on constantly. One set of bulbs lasted 12 years. Not kidding.

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  7. Cut flower arrangements. I’m not sorry that people are free with their money, since I get a tiny cut of their largesse in the form of my seasonal flower shop paychecks. Still, Valentine’s Day is a sort of travesty in environmental terms – planeloads of roses being flown in from South America in the dead of winter so that every female in the country can simultaneously have identical bouquets on their desks, and throwing them all out six days later. Better to celebrate Valentine’s Day in August and get some flowers from the farmers’ market.

    I do enjoy a small bunch of daffodils in February or March, though. $1.69 at TJ’s.

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    1. Get the bulbs at next to nothing in the late fall, chuck them in the fridge in the crisper drawer until a couple of weeks before you want to see them, pot up and enjoy.

      But you already knew that.

      and yes, hard to find more joy for a mere $1.69.

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      1. Thanks mig – I didn’t already know that. You can leave them in there kind of indefinitely? Like till March?

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  8. People should quit spending money on ill-fitting clothing, in fashion or not. If your pants hang at your bum, they’re too big. If your pants hems drag on the floor, they are too long (and really – if you’re a grown-up and working in the corporate world, the price of having pants hemmed is not a large expense). Same with clothes that are too small – if you are not that size or used to be that size but aren’t anymore or really want to be that size, swell. But put ’em in the closet until they fit. And life is just too short for ill fitting foundation garments or shoes that pinch.

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  9. Super PACs! I am fortunate in that I almost never watch TV so I don’t have to suffer through all the political commercials but the samples I’ve seen here and there are obnoxious. What a waste of zillions of dollars.
    Oh, wait, the question was “What should other PEOPLE stop spending money on?” Are Super PACs people? Are corporations people? I guess the Supreme Court thinks so. SIgh.

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    1. Corporations are people, according to Mittens, so it must be so. They’re just like you and me. Only with a lot more money, more power, more rights, and no discernable accountability. Other than that, they’re just like you and me.

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    1. Indeed he (she?) is – just has that, “I’m a friendly dog who just wants you to play with me and like me” look. A dog to curl up with on the couch on a cold night with a good book.

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    2. If poor Mitt could only look so authentically pleasant and alert, he would have the nomination sewed up by now. And, I suppose, the economy would still be in the trash. Forget the paltry amounts being paid for hybrid cars and compact fluorescent lights, I figure the restoration of the American economy is mostly due to the battles between the Super PACs supporting Mitt, Newt and Rick.

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  10. Stilleto heels.
    Video games.
    Crystal meth.
    Guns.
    Highly caffeinated drinks (except of course for my favorite from Caribou).

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    1. And, let me guess, the stilleto heels have real stilletos in them?

      Is all this stuff for work or hobbies? …perhaps a bit of both…?

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