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The Kmart post

Posted on June 12 2016

Whoever is buying for Kmart needs a big fat pay rise. Although they may be currently hiding from outraged husbands everywhere, they deserve a massive pat on the back.

I'm a self confessed Kmart tragic. It's the adult equivalent of toy kingdom, the thrifty shopper's Mecca. I'm also a massive tight arse so it's my jam. It's cheap, sometimes nasty but it's addictive. And dangerous. (In a non life threatening way).

The other night Sam and I decided to go to Kmart. Off we drove to Plenty Valley. We needed a few 'fill in' items for some photos. Although we have so many TSID outfits at our fingertips, who can resist a 6 buck tshirt?

On the way there we gave a little thought to how long we would be. An hour? Hour and a half? Yeah right. It was 8.30pm and PV shuts at 10. We laughed and laughed and headed up Plenty Road to the 24hr store in Reservoir.

It was a freezing cold rainy night, the sort that encourages you to stay home by the fire in your dressing gown, but we are dedicated to Kmart. Not even a Category 5 cyclone can keep us away. 2 minutes in the door and it's begun. Phrases like 'omg I totally need that... This would look SO good on you... That totally matches your... I need a new...' began pouring out of our mouth like verbal diarrhoea.

We grabbed a trolley. To share. I know, I know, rookie mistake. 'I need PJs', says Sam. 'Same', I said. I don't. I have plenty. But something in that flouro lit cave of heaven made me forget that I even own ANYTHING. On the way to the PJs we see shoes. 'Shoes!!' We squeal, like two school girls who have spotted Justin Bieber. Our ugg boots were off quicker than a bride's nightie and we tried on shoes that were completely superfluous to our already overflowing racks at home. We managed to convince ourselves that the Kmart 'cons' were just EXACTLY like the real deal (who reads labels right?) and we both grabbed pairs in each colour.

Ok now where were we. PJs. Yes. But OMG look! LONG SLEEVED TEES! We absolutely OMG NEED 17 each. Done. Trolley is looking very full. At this point we had trouble even looking each other in the eye. We knew we were on a very dangerous slippery slope to retail hell. I wordlessly slip off and get my own trolley. We split up our items without a sound and continue. We reach the PJs. I very reluctantly abstain. Sam doesn't. Her trolley is now fuller than mine. I'm winning.

At this point Sam remembers that her baby daughter could use some clothes too. So we chuck a U-y and head back through womenswear to the kid section. OMG! Flannelette shirts! With hoods! 'Yep I need that' I say firmly. 'I'll live in it, I know I will'. I'm speaking as convincingly as a defence attorney but I'm wasting my breath. Sam isn't going to talk me out of this. She's got my back.

While Sam heads to the baby clothes I'm waylaid by a wall of cushions. A WALL. Like a deer in the spotlight I'm stopped in my tracks. I look at my trolley and back at the wall. Even if I was to buy cushions, there's no room in my trolley. At this point I start to do some pretty serious soul searching, and start asking myself the big questions in life, like 'do I need all the shoes in navy, red, olive, white and grey?' 'Will I wear my flannelette with pride or will I feel like a lumberjack?' I'm still standing there when Sam comes back. She can sense my dilemma. The stench of potential buyers remorse coming off me in waves. 'Are you ok Hun?' She asks. 'Not really' I say. 'I just think that the money I wasn't going to spend at all today would be better spent on stuff for the house. Rather than outfits and shoes. I don't NEED this stuff, but I do need cushions. Like bad'. She sympathetically smiles at me. She knows I'm right and is supportive.

Our late night trip has suddenly taken on a new direction. Our energy increases. We take stock of our trolleys, and start putting it all back. Armed with a clean slate, we head to homewares. With vim and vigour, we talk colours, we are acting like the judges from the block, our dialogue peppered with phrases like 'bang on trend' and 'interesting palette'. We are strutting like we know our shit and we once again begin to load up our trolleys. I have a concrete candle. A timber fruit bowl, cushions and a throw rug. Ooh look! Teaspoons! I need teaspoons. I'll have 2 packs. I don't give a toss if they don't match my set. I'm tipping they will end up with the missing others, in the bin at school.

I spot a painted canvas. It's $6. 'I think I need that Sam'. I say tentatively. 'YES!' She squeals in her special Sam way. I grab it and add it to my wares. I turn around the corner and all of sudden there's another canvas. A nicer one. With different colours. It's $19. Pricey. I like it better, but the $13 has me thrown. Now I know that even as I write this that that sounds ridiculous, but when you are on a spree like I am, every cent counts. Now all my other stuff doesn't match. I once again empty my trolley into a dark nook (sorry Kmart staff) and once AGAIN, hunt for soft furnishings in my colours. We re-approach the wall of cushions, and all of a sudden the Libra in me comes out. I can't make decisions at the best of times but now I'm sweating and hopping from one foot to another like a toddler busting for a pee. 'I can't do this!' I wail, 'the canvas is now a different colour in this aisle and I'm worried it won't match my couch. You are going to have to choose Sam, I just can't even begin'. My patient, stylish, calm friend has got my back. Again. She sets up a little mini section and starts recreating my lounge room, grabbing brown leather boots to mimic the colour of my couch. She grabs cushions, sends me off to find a neutral throw. She sorts me out in seconds and restores me to normal. I'm done.

We decide to leave when the sound of thunder booms through the store. The rain is beating down so hard, we know we need to keep shopping to avoid getting wet. So we do. Sam finds kitchen canisters. I re-grab the fruit bowl, a chopping board, some tea towels. It's 11.45pm. We MUST leave.

This part is probably the scariest. Scanning your items, doing a final 'do I or don't I' and paying. Buyers remorse comes creeping back and I swat it away with murmurs of 'I deserve this'.

We drive home laughing again. We really shouldn't be allowed out together. We are enablers to each other's addiction, the worst kind of friend.

She drops me off and I sneak in the front door trying not to wake everyone with my rustling bags. I quickly set out everything. I feel like a Block contestant with 5 minutes til reveal. I do this so my family don't wake to my bags. I naively assume my new items will blend into our decor of towels on the ground from last nights shower and the 83 plastic cups they have used that day.

I creep into bed, willing my husband not to wake. He doesn't. I'm safe.

Next morning I get a phone call. 'Nice cushions Love', my husband says. 'You noticed?' I say incredulously. Im shocked. I ring Sam to see what she thought of the photo I sent her of my newly styled lounge before bed. She is laughing as when her husband got up, he questioned the bongo drums she had sitting on the bench. Canisters. They were her new canisters.

Does anyone else do this? Do you have a Kmart buddy? Do you hit the shops and find yourself losing all control and sensibility? Tell me all about it!

Claire X

5 comments

  • SandyD: October 23, 2016

    My husband wanted to buy a whole heap of things at Officeworks to keep paperwork and supplies organised in the cab of the work ute his employer had just supplied him with. The first item alone was a divided document folder/box for $30, and he wasn’t getting reimbursement from his employer. I sent him to Kmart, $4 for the folder, he got everything he needed at Kmart for a TOTAL of $30.

  • Kristine: June 14, 2016

    Ha, ha. Yes Claire, Kmart totally rocks! Every now and then I get random text messages from my mum which simply read “Don’t you just love Kmart?”. Like I need reminding!

  • Claire: June 14, 2016

    I LOVE Kmart. It’s the number one store I visit next to IKEA for my clients (I’m a interior stylist)….I become like a rabbit in headlights, and walk out with half a trolley full of stuff for my client and another trolley and a half full of stuff for me, that I don’t really need and my husband is going to freak.

  • Renae: June 12, 2016

    We dont have a Kmart where we live so last time we went away all my family were so excited for Kmart. When we walked through the doors it’s Kmart heaven & I had to refrain myself from taking a picture of the big Kmart sign to rub it into my friends back home. We go bloody crazy filling our trolleys then YES we get the buyers remorse at the end when we realise how much we’ve spent and then have to start culling. I am praying to the Kmart gods that oneday we will get our very own Kmart!!!

  • Kirsty : June 12, 2016

    OMG I think I’ve found my lost twin!!! LOL
    #WeLoveKmart

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