I love to shop, and I love to save money, but I know that not every sale is actually a good deal. Stores deploy so many different sale strategies it can be difficult to know which to jump on and which to pass on. For example, I try to avoid mail-in rebates offers because I often forget to mail them in, and that means I don't really save anything. That said, there are some sales I just can't let pass me by, and here is a list of my favorites.
High percentage off sales
There is nothing I like better than to see items I want or need on sale for 50% off or more. After all, 50% off is basically the same as buy one and get one free, or two for the price of one. When I see a deal like this, I try to take full advantage of it. I recently purchased some crafting supplies that were 50% off, which meant I was able to get $120 worth of supplies for $60, and that's quite a bargain.
Cash back or store credit sales
Cash back or store credit sales are new to me. I'm used to seeing this type of offer on bigger purchases like auto loans, but they are becoming more common in local stores. Not long ago a store offered $5 worth of store credit for every $25 spent. I spent $50 for some of our household necessities, and earned a $10 credit. The store allowed me to apply my credit right away, so I walked away with my items for a total of $40. Within the last six months I have earned nearly $100 with these types of sales.
Free item with purchase
I shop online quite often, and one of my favorite stores holds a sale every few months offering a free item with a qualifying purchase. The most recent promotion said that customers who spent $50 on qualifying items wold receive a $40 quilt for free. To qualify, the items simply couldn't be reduced in price as a part of any other promotion. Although I didn't really "need" the quilt, I used it as an excuse to buy a few items I had been wanting for a while. I can't say I "save" money on these types of sales, but I still have a hard time passing them up.
I saved at least $70 by taking part in these offers, and even more if you count the cost of the free quilt. Even though I have a hard time passing these sales by, I have to keep my overall budget in mind while shopping. The bottom line is, no matter how good the deal is, if I don't have the money in my budget I simply refuse to participate.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.More from this contributor: First Person: 3 Reasons I Avoid Mail-in Rebates