First Person: I Don’t Chase After Deals

Yahoo Contributor Network

Throughout the years, I've discovered it's better to let the deals come to me rather than chase after bargains. Oftentimes, there is a catch or gimmick attached to a sale price. One of the biggest traps is being lured into purchasing an item that I would have passed by if it had not been on sale. I save more money by never buying the product to begin with rather than buying it at the reduced price. If I stick to a shopping list and only buy what I set out to buy, I still end up with some products that are on sale. I only bring coupons to the stores that match the items on my list.

Losing out on quality

Another reason I don't chase after deals is because my common sense often goes out the window when see a sale. A few months ago, I looked up the reviews to various vacuum cleaners. When I got to the department store, I forgot which vacuum cleaner was said to be the most reliable. I got excited by the vacuum cleaner on sale at a deep discount. Problem was the vacuum cleaner didn't do any deep cleaning. It was a piece of junk. I would have avoided that by making my purchase based on quality rather than price.

Sabotaging my diet

If I give into the specials, especially at restaurants and the grocery store, I'm liable to sabotage my weight-loss goals. I justify my purchase of junk food such as potato chips if it's the buy-one-get-one free deal. When I eat out, I am better off ordering a tasty but healthy item and then taking home half of the meal. I end up liking my meal better and saving money since many of the specially-priced diet meals taste awful.

Getting stuck with extra fees

I avoid buying anything after watching a direct response TV or infomercial because of the hidden costs. The shipping and handling costs are sometimes more than the cost of the actual item. Since part of the "deal" is getting several products, the shipping and handling fees add up. Moreover, even if I decide to return something, I only get the money back guarantee on the cost of the product, not the shipping and handling costs.

Dealing with expiration dates

When it comes to grocery shopping, I always check the expiration dates. Inevitably, the items on sale have already expired or expire soon. I used to shop by looking only at the prices. Now, I'm not checking the price stickers as a first priority. Instead, I'm looking for the "best by" or expiration dates as well as the list of ingredients. I am willing to pay more for food products that contain no genetically modified ingredients.

When I do stumble upon a good deal, I'm always grateful. However, most of my friends who are bargain shoppers end up spending more money than I spend. I think the line between wants and needs gets blurred when people think they are getting a discount or a deal. Even though I don't hunt down bargains, I still end up saving money on the items I actually need.

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