Monday, July 27, 2015

It's Not a Bargain If...

It's no surprise to many of you that I'm a bargain hunter. In my quest to save a buck, I've learned some valuable lessons:

1.  It's not a bargain if I don't use it.

What's the point of picking up cabbage on sale if the smell of it cooking makes me nauseous?

On the writing front, why pick up that plotting book when I'm a SOTP writer? It may be in the bargain bin, but no matter how I've tried in the past I'm not wired for plotting. Oh, and don't forget the lap desk I purchased, which sits and gathers dust in my closet.

2.  It's not a bargain if I'm not sure the product is something I'll use long term.

Buying 5 of an item when I haven't tried it before can turn into a wasteful purchase. I did this with a skin product one time only to discover it made me break out in a rash.

As a writer, I'm always looking for items to make my workload more manageable. While purchasing file folders in multiple colors may seem like a good idea, my track record for staying with various maintenance systems is shaky at best.

3.  It's not a bargain if I end up busting the budget every week.

While getting coupons in the mail can save major George Washingtons, I have to ask myself several questions:

A.  Is there a requirement to spend a certain amount over and above the coupon? For example, get $10.00 off a $25.00 purchase. Our grocery store is famous for giving $4.00 off a $50.00 purchase. Their latest coupon package raised the amount to $80.00.

B.  Do I NEED another pair of shoes, pants, dress, etc.?

C.  Is there a birthday gift I'll have to purchase or other occasion coming up?

As a writer, I'm a sucker for coupons from office supply stores. I apply the same questions to these purchases.

Writers and Readers:  What are some bargains that test your will power?


Jean Fischer said...

Hi, Susan. My willpower is tested by end of season sales on garden plants, and my willpower is always weak when ice cream is on sale.

quietspirit said...

you ask the question, "What are some bargains that test your will power?" A certain pharmacy has these coupons available to its customers. Most of the products they advertize in these coupons I don't use. And there is the $4.00 off if you spend $20.00. On those days, I don't reach the larger amount to make use of the coupon. Being on a fixed income, I have times when I choose NOT to fall prey to their sale tactics.

Karen Lange said...

Good points, Susan. Becky and I have joked in the past about sales on shoes. It isn't a bargain if they aren't comfortable, no matter how pretty they are! :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

I get those coupons as well. Unfortunately, most of the products they're on are overpriced to begin with - another trap to avoid. Coupons are also designed to get you into the store because chances are you'll purchase more than you intended.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

I agree! Of course, when you find shoes that are comfortable and cute, that's a hard combination to resist. :)

quietspirit said...

Susan: You are so with it. I have fallen into that trap of spending more than I intended on too many trips there.

Jennifer Brown Banks said...

Love this question, Sue!

Usually anything that deals with home decor, decorating, or food, and I buckle a bit. :-)