Monday, August 4, 2008

Frustrating Signs of the Times

It seems like so many of the conversations Mike and I are having lately are about how things used to be. How gas used to be less than a dollar and places weren't shutting down from lack of business. I guess I'd always heard about what a bad economy does to everything but I just didn't think it would happen when I was 28.
Today we had some errands to do in Plano so we thought we would stop into Plano Tavern and have some lunch. Just a little over a month ago we were there and purchased a $25 gift card since they were giving you a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase. Surely, with our OB/GYN/Hospital being across the street and the fact that we are in Plano at least a couple of times a month, we would use the gift card soon. Well, we planned on using it today until we drove up to an empty building with a "Closed Forever" sign on the door.

I was SO annoyed that they were selling gift cards just last month and now they're closed. We could have just thrown our money in the trash but this is the second time this gift card thing has happened to us this year. Earlier, we bought one for Don Pablo's and the location a couple of miles away from us closed within weeks too.

Last week, Mike wanted to go to Bennigan's for lunch since they have that great $4.99 lunch menu. We decided on something else and that night I saw that Bennigan's had shut down all of their non-franchise locations (or most of their locations). It's so crazy that these places that have been open for years are closing down all of a sudden like that.

A couple of weeks ago we drove over to Richardson to a baby boutique where we purchased several things for Clay and they were closed for business, too. I have definitely noticed that baby boutiques close down frequently (this is one of three that I've seen since Clay was born) but I'm always having to find another place (like online) to get the stuff I love.

One of the other changes I've noticed with the economy is how baby items have risen in price. The price to beat on diapers when Clay was born was .19 cents per diaper. Now it's .23. It doesn't sound like much but when they use 4-6 diapers a day it adds up!

I know everyone's seeing the markups on food and even Clay's Gerber meat sticks have gone from .96 a jar to $1.22. Yikes!

The Boppy Newborn Lounger is one of those products that I always wanted with Clay but just never did pick up at the store. They were $29.99 when he was born. Fourteen months later, they're $36.99. That's an increase of almost 24% and it's the exact same product!

So many of the products that we used for Clay and now want to purchase a second one for Carolina have gone up. Our Diaper Champ, changing pad covers and so many other things have gone up by at least $5 without any visible improvements.

I don't know if it's just something that happens in life and you just get over it but I keep wondering if things will ever stay steady again. Are prices going to continue to rise and things shut down? Mike's already told me there will be no more gift card buying for us (unless it's some place we REALLY want to shut down!)

Is anybody else noticing the crazy price increases or places closing down? I'm curious what everyone else is seeing...


Anonymous said...

You are right there are so many signs of times changing in the economy that make it very real for all of us. I've had the same thing happen to me with gift cards. It is so frustrating! Here is an online baby boutique that is always adding new products. Give them a try. They will give you 20% off your first order if you sign up for their newsletter!

AutumnJade said...

I know what you mean! Dustin and I are going crazy with all the price hikes here. I am soooo sad that Bennigans is closing.