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Shopping Deals: Deal or No Deal?
If you have found yourself on my site, I am assuming that you love good shopping deals as much as I do. After all, who doesn’t love saving money? But how do you know when to snatch that deal up or to resist with all your might? No worries! I have come up with a list of 5 questions to ask yourself before you put that item in your cart.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Springing for that “Deal”
Do I need this item?
This should always be the VERY FIRST question you ask yourself before you spring for any deal. Yes; Target may have a great deal on decorative pillows, but if you take 10 minutes every day taking said decorative pillows off of your bed just so you can go to sleep at night…you probably have enough decorative pillows. Brace yourself; there actually is such a thing as too many decorative pillows. (The truth hurts people.)
The point is – the best way to save money is not to spend it! If you are trying to save money, you need to get extremely good at distinguishing the differences between what is a want and what is a need. Oh, and you need to become a pro at self-control when it comes to your spending. Still a work in progress here!
P.S. If you do just really need something at Target…you can get free shipping & returns when you spend $35 at Target.com.
Is it really a good deal?
Just hold on now.
Before you go crazy over this supposedly awesome deal, reel yourself in and take a step back. Are you just being convinced that it’s a good deal because of the bright stickers or eye-catching promotional display? Huge signs or stickers with words like rollback, blowout, clearance, price reduction, deal, savings, etc are all designed to make us think that we are getting a great deal.
Think about the usual price of the item and compare. If the item’s normal price is only a few cents more typically, it probably isn’t that great of a deal. However, if the item is one of your routine purchases and you know the usual price of the item, a few cents could be a good savings for you. Just know your prices! More on that later…
All I’m saying is to not let marketing tactics fool you into thinking something is a great deal when you wouldn’t typically buy it. You can read more about those tricks in my post linked below.
Can I find a cheaper price somewhere else?
Speaking of knowing your prices…be educated! If you have nailed down the store that has the best price on your usual shopping items, use this knowledge to compare to “deals” you find in other stores. For example, if you know ALDI usually carries milk for $2.56 and your local grocery store runs a sale advertising milk at “the great low price of $2.75”, you already know this isn’t the best deal!
Before you buy anything, always consider if you can find that item for less at another store. Also, don’t forget that certain stores like Walmart and Target are doing price matching now. If you bring in a competitor store’s ad that shows a cheaper price for a certain item, Walmart and Target will match this price.
Will the price drop even lower?
While exploring shopping deals, consider if this is the lowest price that the store will offer. This frequently comes into play with sales on clothes and other apparel. Instead of buying the item when it’s 30% off, wait until the store puts out new merchandise and they will drop the price even more to get it off the floor. I’ve been able to get things 75%-85% off when I originally considered buying the item at 25% off. Good things come to those who wait! Here’s a great post on Target shopping secrets that includes their markdown schedule and how to know if the item will be reduced further.
With Amazon Prime, you can sign up for email alerts when an item in your shopping cart or on your wish lists drops in price. This is super handy for getting the best shopping deals on Amazon – which I love! I think we probably do about 75-80% of our shopping on Amazon…so needless to say I’m a big fan.
Am I only buying it because it’s on sale?
Do you ever see those shopping deals that are just too good to pass up? Like hand soaps 10 for $10. (First thing I could think of!) I’m sure you can think of other examples of tempting shopping deals you have recently came across. Before you put that pallet of hand soaps in your cart like one of those Extreme Couponers, just stop yourself.
Refer to the very first question above; do you NEED these items? I would venture to say that you do not need 10 or 20 hand soaps. Where are you going to store them? What if you get tired of the product? What if you or someone in your household is or becomes allergic to the product? The list goes on and on. Save your money and just buy what you need. You can read more of my thoughts and concerns with buying bulk here – Does Buying in Bulk Save You Money?
Ultimately, just because something is a good deal doesn’t mean you should buy it! I can get caught up in this when I use my coupon apps. If I see that a product has a coupon or a rebate, it makes me want to buy that product just because I can get a good deal on it, even if I wouldn’t typically buy that product.
THIS ISN’T SAVING MONEY.
If I don’t actually need a product or wouldn’t typically buy it, then I am saving the MOST money by NOT buying it. While coupons are great and us savvy shoppers love a bargain, don’t lose sight of the big picture. Bottom line: don’t buy things just because they are on sale.
Are there any questions you ask yourself before going all in on seemingly great shopping deals?
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this post.
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