When Sales are Not always a Great Deal

Sometimes when we rush to save money with sales, we aren't always getting the best deal.
Just because something says it’s on sale doesn’t always make a great deal.

Amazon is having a very big sale for the next two days. They are slashing prices left and right. They aren’t the only ones doing this. Walmart, Target, and a lot of other stores are competing for those dollars. The question becomes, when are the sales not a great deal? I like to think that I’m a very frugal shopper most of the time. I study the ads each week and try to figure out what I need and/or want the most. Sometimes the marketing of a store can make me stop for a second. I suppose that’s a normal reaction. But I think the bigger question is do I really need what I’m buying?

If it’s food, then the answer is mixed. I don’t always buy the healthiest of foods but that doesn’t mean that I’m unwilling to eat healthy. In fact, I’ve been getting better about it but I make sure that when I buy things, I’m getting the most out of my dollar. For instance, the doctor said I have to eat more servings of fruits. This means watching the grocery store ads like a hawk because for me, fruits can be very pricy. Aldi’s has become one of my very best friends because their produce is usually the best priced. However, places like Harris Teeter and Food Lion will often run ads that show they have the better deal. It depends on where you are, what you want to spend your money on and how convenient something is for you.

I went to Whole Foods for the first time last week and bought some dried fruit. It was excellent but pricey. The best part was I got a $10 credit for Amazon’s sale today and tomorrow. This helped because I ordered the Fire Stick. I finally broke down and did it because the cost of Cable and Satellite is ridiculous. Any way I can save money I will. I was able to get the Fire Stick for 14.99. This particular one is normally 49.99. It was on sale for 24.99 and with the $10 credit, it made it a good deal. We’ll see how well I like it after I get it installed. ‘

Recently, I ordered shoes online. This is becoming a big trend which is putting a lot of other stores out of business. The shoes were under $20 and they were New Balance. I’m on my feet a lot on a concrete floor. I need something that can withstand a lot of use. This turned out to not be a good deal. The shoes over time are hurting my feet by squishing my toes together and causing a lot of pain and discomfort. This is one of those things that if you have feet that are not like the so called normal feet, I suggest finding a way to try before you buy. Shoes are really hard to find a good pair for when you order online. A lot of folks do and it works for them. Since I have wide feet but short feet, I think I’ll stick to going to a store for as long as I can.

We have a local store that works with a lot of non profits in the area. I’m able to find name brand items there a lot that are greatly discounted. They are called REA and they are one of the best kept secrets around. Their items are donated in and the sales go to help the Wounded Warrior Project. Many times I can find things like V8 juices, you know the kind that are normally $4 in the grocery store for $1. I have found all kinds of deals in there like brand new air filters that most stores sell for $40 for $2. You have to be affiliated with a non profit to shop there but they have had a lot more deals than duds. I have had some bad purchases with them though. They used to sell the electronic cat litter boxes for $25. The boxes would last about a week and then die. I did take those back to them and now have a mental note to never buy anything electronic from them for that very reason. Their selection of items varies because they get their items from donations. When they have their medicines that come in I stock up. I can’t beat their prices anywhere and the items are usually current on expiration dates. I have seen a few expired but not many. Health and beauty supplies are another thing I try to get from them. They have some of my favorite brands without hitting my wallet so hard I can’t exist. Believe me, when you are on a tight budget, everything helps.

Don’t even get me started on clunker cars. We spend more on cars than most of us make.

There may be a store in your area that does similar types of sales and if they do, I highly recommend checking them out. Every dollar counts. Since money is tight for many of us, I try to research as many opportunities to save money as possible. Thrift shopping is fun. You don’t have to spend a fortune. You don’t have to look like you shopped in a thrift store. There are several different things that can be found in thrift and consignment shops that can help you look like a million bucks without having to spend a ton.

Watch for forums and also your social media pages for great sales and deals. The biggest advice I can offer you is before you ever spend anything, ask yourself “Do I need this? Will I use it? Do I really want it? Is it worth it to get this?” If you can answer honestly with yourself, then you can decide if it’s worth spending or not. Most of what I’ve been buying the last couple of year are things I need rather than what I want. Movies have been the main exception for me and even with those in the last few years, I’ve been starting to buy more of them in the cloud so that I don’t have so many storage issues.

After we just moved my mom in with me, mom and I discovered just how much money we wasted over the years. It made us sick to our stomach. We had acquired at least two years worth of shampoo, toilet paper, etc. Yes we will use these items but there was so much that we had to throw away food wise and item wise because they had expired years before. That’s how you know that those great deals we got when we got them were just throwing money out and not being a great deal in the long run.

If what I’m telling you all helps any of you out then our mistake was worth it. Don’t buy just to buy. Make sure you can use it and try to make sure that whatever you buy doesn’t get added to the landfills if you can avoid it. The smarter you are in the short run, the better you will be in the long run. We had over fifty years of stuff that my folks had acquired. There were so many books that had to be thrown out because no one wanted them anymore and they couldn’t be recycled. There had to be over $4000 worth of books that ended up tossed out. Books that were from my mom’s nursing days, my dad’s seminary days and my high school and college days. Words can’t even begin to tell you how disheartening it was to see all the books gone. Paint that my folks found on sale and were going to use to re-paint the house and just sat there until it was dry was another item we had to dispose of. Cans of paints and chemicals that we had to properly dispose of. Hundreds of dollars wasted. Again, the sales weren’t a good deal after all.

Keep an eye out for what you acquire. Don’t become a hoarder. We got rid of a lot of things and are still getting rid of stuff. Trends are constantly changing. You don’t have to spend a fortune to keep with the times but don’t hold onto things just for the sentimentality. Someone will have to go through all those things at some point. It might as well be you and if you can make a little extra pocket change for the things that you have an overabundance of then that makes it more of a good deal.

I hope it helps to see that sometimes we do foolish things all in the name of a sale. The question then becomes if the sale is really worth it and only you can answer that question.

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