When a Deal Really Isn’t a Deal

Bargain hunting and deal shopping are great ways to stretch an income. Pinching pennies can help save for a vacation or pay down student loans. Living frugally may even afford one parent to stay at home with the children. Our dreams and desires become motivation for saving money and unfortunately we can mislead ourselves into thinking a bargain isn’t a bad deal.

So how can we tell the difference from a good bargain and a bad bargain? How do we determine when a deal really isn’t a deal?

Food that is marked down because it’s expired and discolored isn’t a deal.  Spending more than originally planned just to qualify for free shipping may not be a real deal. If you stock up on dog food because it was on sale and you had coupons, yet you don’t own a dog, then it’s not a deal–at least not for you.  Donating bargain finds to those who can use the products is charitable but if the only reason you made the purchase was because it looked like a deal, then it may just be an impulsive purchase.

It’s possible to get so caught up in couponing and shopping for savings that we lose sight of the goals we’ve set for ourselves.  Before making a purchase, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do we really need it?
  • Is there room in my budget for this purchase?
  • Is this a charitable purchase?
  • Can we use something less expensive?
  • Is there an alternative item for purchase?
  • How much value will I receive from this purchase?
  • Can I save money by making it myself?

 

Have you ever become victim to a bad bargain? Tell us about a deal that really wasn’t a deal by using the comment form below?

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Shari is a freelance writer and speaker specializing in the topics of starting a home business, living richly on less, and the challenges of raising children while doing both.

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