UNITED STATES—How do you actually know when you have garnered a good deal? That is a question I think many Americans tend to think they know the answer to, but in all truth, they have little to no idea what they are talking about. Let me explain, I think the best sales that I can ever imagine I found as a result of the unfortunate circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic that transpired this year. You might be asking me what do I mean by that?

Well it was a double-edged sword because retailers were pulling out all the stops to bring consumers back to the stores. Yes, I utilized curbside shopping a bit, but that was nothing compared to a bevy of deals that I actually found in stores. I used to think you could find exceptional deals online, and to some degree I still believe that, but if this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that nothing beats and in-person deal people nothing.

Normally, I would never list retailers, but I’m doing it because the deals I found were so huge, how could I ignore them? For starters, Macys delivered me the opportunity to get all my Xmas shopping done in June and July. I mean I found Levi jeans for $5, regular $70 (that is more than 95 percent off). That’s massive people; the same for Levi T-shirts and a host of other clothing goodies for the family.

The deals I nabbed at outlet stores like Nordstrom Rack, Calvin Klein, Fossil, Guess, U.S. Polo Association, American Eagle Outfitters, Coach, Levi, Nike, Lucky Brand Jeans and a host of others where I honestly got gifts for all the people I planned to purchase for this holiday season. I mean when you get a pair of designer jeans regular priced at $130 for $15 that is a major and I mean major discount.

The unfortunate side effect is that the pandemic led to some of my favorite retailers closing their doors and as a result, I got great deals, but I won’t see those deals anymore because that business is no longer in business. I cannot tell you how many businesses that I have none to be around for years have to shutter their doors in a matter of weeks or months as a result of this pandemic. It has been a terrible impact on the world of business and our economy as a whole America, and it’s so unfortunate, because I wish more could be done to implement change for the economy.

Yes, we had the CARES Act, but the problem with that was so much money went to the large businesses and people who fraudulently submitted claims and used the money for lavish expenses. The result the small businesses that needed those funds to stay afloat and keep their employees lost out and it sucked royally. I know Congress wanted to help and they acted as fast as they could to get things done, but more could and should be done.

It is not about asking for a handout, it’s about doing more to ensure small businesses survive because not many of them are geared to survive, just look at the massive retailers who have already gone under or are on the brink of closure. So what does all this mean? It means that a deal is only a deal if you’re actually saving a ton of money in the process. I used to believe that 50 percent off was a decent amount of savings, but the realization has arrived that 50 is good, but not great. I love 80, heck 90 to 95 percent is even better. When you save more money you are inclined to spend more money at the retailer and that helps to strengthen the amount of money being moved around in the economy.

Yes, I see a lot more deals transpiring in the retail arena particularly in the clothing arena especially, some electronics here and there, and food it does depend, but many of the small businesses have been doing a lot more in terms of delivering the biggest bang for the consumers buck to keep the doors open. What I’m saying is for those who can afford to spend and have the money to spend, spend local America, help the businesses and retailers who are desperately clinging by tooth and nail to stay alive. There are plenty of good deals out there you have to look for them.

Written By Zoe Mitchell