Should I Snatch Up Every Good Deal That Comes Along?

I would love to hear your thoughts on balancing “snatching up a good deal” versus “impulse buying”. I feel like there are often time-limited sales or good deals that come up, but if I haven’t budgeted or planned to spend that money I have to pass them by or else spend money I really shouldn’t be spending. -Anna

I think this is such an important topic to bring up — because we must have balance in our lives. It’s wonderful to get great deals and bargains, but I think we need to set clear criteria for what constitutes a true “deal”. Otherwise, we can spend a lot of time and money needlessly chasing down supposed bargains that really aren’t a good deal for us at all.

Here are five things that we’ve set up as a criteria for making sure we’re not overspending and that a good deal truly is a great deal for us:

1. Create and Follow a Budget

Without a budget, we won’t have any way to track whether we are truly saving money. In fact, without a budget, we might be spending more money by chasing down sales and bargains.

Sticking with a cash budget has been so helpful to me — especially because I’m not a spreadsheet nerd. I know that the money that I have in the envelope is what I have to spend. And when the money’s gone, the money’s gone. Cash provides instant self-discipline and guarantees that you don’t spend more than you have.

2. Budget for Everything

We have fairly specific cash envelope categories and find that this really helps us to stay on track. For instance, instead of just having a “clothing” budget, we have individual cash envelopes for each person in our family. We don’t just have a Food cash envelope. We have a Groceries envelope and a Dates & Eating Out envelope.

In addition, we budget for everything — from hair cuts and clothing to homeschooling supplies, gifts, and car maintenance. Everything we regularly spend money on (even if it’s just an annual purchase that we routinely make) has a category in our master budget spreadsheet (I’m so thankful that a married a math nerd who loves to create and track things on spreadsheets!)

On those rare occasions that a necessary purchase arises that we haven’t budgeted for, we either have to find a way to shuffle things around in a few categories to be able to afford it, we don’t buy it, or it comes out of our blow cash envelope.

3. Analyze Every Purchase

Because I have a limited supply of cash to work with in each envelope, this forces me to evaluate every purchase and make sure I’m getting the best deal. I’m constantly asking myself questions like, “Do we need this?” “Is this the best use of this envelope money?”

Note: I think that you can get to a point where you over-analyze purchases — like I did with my candle purchase. If you’re agonizing for 30 minutes over a $0.50 purchase, you may need to lighten up a little bit. :)

4. Don’t Buy Something Just Because It’s a “Good Deal”

What’s a good deal for someone else won’t necessarily be a good deal for you. This is an important thing to constantly remember. If you don’t have the money for it, it’s not a good deal for you. If you don’t need it, it’s not a good deal for you.

If you feel panicky because you’re missing out on a “good deal”, that’s probably a sign that you need to step back and re-evaluate things. It’s great to get good deals and I’m all about stewarding our money well, but I think we need to be careful that we don’t become obsessed. Life is about a whole lot more than getting the best bargain.

5. Take a Break From Bargain Shopping on Occasion

It’s good to occasionally to just shelve your coupons and maybe even take a break from reading blogs that share bargains. I do this at least once or twice a year — and I find it really freeing!

Taking a breather will help you get some fresh perspective and help make sure that you’re staying balanced in life. And it also usually causes you to be re-energized and excited when you come back to bargain shopping again!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Weigh in on this in the comments!

photo from BigStock

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Comments

  1. Kim J. says

    I have a friend that is OBSESSED with couponing and price matching. While she gets good deals, she stockpiles and buys stuff her family doesn’t really use and gives the stuff away. In my opinion buying something that you will never use and you will end up giving away (unless you gift the items) is not good money management.

  2. Aleah says

    I also stick to a cash budget and that really helps! You can even set aside money for situations like that that come up. For example, five dollars every month can go toward unexpected stock-ups or extra deals. But, for sure, DO NOT snatch up all the deals!! I started couponing and then discovered that I was spending a lot of time (even if it was little to no money) accumulating stuff I never even used. Now, I stick to price matching and using coupons for products I actually use! It’s such a better use of my time which, to me, is more valuable than money!

  3. Emily says

    I am a spreadsheet nerd. :) I keep track of our basics in a spreadsheet then plot them so I can best guess when they’ll be at their lowest. It also lets me know what I paid the last several shopping trips. But I majored in economics and forecasting is something I love. This likely isn’t practical for a lot of people.

  4. joyce says

    this is a good post! what i learned about bargains when i was a young girl- elephants at two for a quarter are only a bargain if you have a quarter and need two elephants! my girls have heard that repeated often in our house, when it comes to staying balanced on our budgeting/spending. i’m still working on not wanting to purchase all the ‘good deals’ that are posted on this and other similar blogs….

    • Erin says

      So true. And hard-core drug store couponing almost forces you to buy stuff you don’t need in order to get a great deal on the stuff you do need, which is why I’m really limiting drug store purchases. I almost always do a single “fun” purchase (i.e., HBA stuff free after ECB that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy) rather than elaborate scenarios requiring multiple items, most of which I don’t usually want.

  5. Kristi says

    Great tips! I also think it’s important to not compare ourselves to anyone else. Sometimes I’ve found it discouraging to read about people who have a really low grocery budget, but they may live in an area where groceries are less expensive or have several computers to print coupons for multiple deals, etc. We all have to determine what works in our situation to spend our money wisely.

  6. Sarah says

    For me personally, I have learned what items I will always use and so I never stop stocking up on those items. Is it something that does not expire? Is it something we use constantly? Do I have to room to store it? If I can answer yes to those questions, then I have no problem going “over budget” to get a great deal on them. We happen to be blessed with the ability to “go over budget” one month and be under the next month because we are fortunate enough to not be living paycheck to paycheck and have the funds to cover “overages”. It does take a while to find that balance though. When I first started bargain hunting and couponing, I did feel like I needed to get every good deal that came along and try every new product that I didn’t use that I could get for a great price with a coupon. Over time you learn what works for you and your family.

  7. Em says

    I love this post. I follow numerous blogs that post deals. I also have a budget with a certain amount in each “envelope”. There has to be money to spend money.

    If there is a big purchase we decided to make, it has to come from another fund. For example: we took our children to a 3D movie over spring break as an Easter gift. It cost more than was in our entertainment/movie fund. I took the difference from our vacation fund.

    I also recommend readjusting your budget every couple of months as things change. I just did this as I find I am filling a freezer/cupboard with deals I needed a little more in groceries. We needed less in another category so I just switched them. We were able to eliminate out day care folder but it went into sports as now my 3 children all play sports and attend camps.

    I keep all of my “accounts” on a piece of paper in my purse and update it every two weeks on payday. That way I can always see if we have the money or not so I can take advantage of deals!

    ( I love tables in Microsoft Word more than actual spreadsheets…I am more a pencil and paper type of girl!)

  8. Katie L says

    I don’t do this anymore. Even if it’s a really, really good deal, if I didn’t have it on my radar as something I’d buy anyway in the next few months, I don’t go for the deal. I found it was too time consuming.

    If it’s not on my grocery list or a staple pantry item, I don’t buy it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a money-maker or could fill a gift basket. Let someone else have the deal.

    If it won’t fit any of my children in the next year, I don’t buy it. Maybe I’ll pay marginally more to buy a similar piece of clothing when my kids need it, but I will have saved the space the item takes up until then.

    If I don’t have the pictures loaded & ready to go, or a gift in mind already, I skip the photo/photo book deals. They take too much time to put together for me right now.

    I think I save more money by just NOT buying, rather than “saving” so much money on items I don’t need. I know I save time, and in this season of my lilfe, time is very valuable.

  9. KG says

    I’ d like to be in the position to have this be an issue. Seems that more often than not, we’re not in the position to take advantage of great deals – at least not on items that are purchased on a regular basis, such as groceries, gas, etc. Not so much on shoes, clothes, etc.

    Don’t mean to sound ungrateful, as we do get by, but it’s be nice to stock up or even not have to wait until it’s absolutely necessary to buy or even go beyond that point, in some cases.

  10. Hanneke says

    We’re on a student visa here in the USA (from NZ for 3 years!!)) and so I do try and get most of the toiletries deals as we are NOT allowed to work and are fully supported by our church back home. Although I homeschool my girls (I have 4) I do ‘make’ some time to read/check for the best deals and then about once a week I go and get all my freebies/deals! It allows us to do have some luxaries like very cheap frozen pizza (we don’t eat out at all!) so some chocolate that is a must at certain times of the month :). Ofcourse I do live by the principle that if the money is not there it is not a bargain! (or you don’t need it!) I use YNAB which I LOVE, did MS Money before that and Quicken before that, YNAB is better than all of those! Once every couple of weeks I download my bank transaction and I also schedule payments to see my ‘real’ balance in the future. I also have the YNAB app on my smart phone and so I’m able to check instantly whether we have the cash in our electronic ‘envelope’! We get funded a lump sum about 3x a year and so if I didn’t stick strictly to a budget we would be in major trouble not to mention mismanaging other people’s money! So on that note, what is a acceptable/realistic/frugal amount for groceries for a family of 2 adults and four girls (ages 11-5). Currently I have budgeted about $450 a month. We have no special dietary needs nor do we eat a lot of processed foods.

  11. Luba says

    I used to cut out every single coupon. However, now I immediately throw away coupons for anything I do not buy (pet food, most convenience foods, and the like). I also used to try to hit every store. Now I go to 2, maybe 3, at the most per week. :)

    • Monica says

      I take a couple of months at a time off from bargain shopping, usually the summer humid months here. I have had a few deals lately, I just did not have the money for, or just was not in the mood to look, print, cut and make the drive to the store. I agree with some of the post above. Sometimes saving a few dollars just isn’t worth it, if you’re already stocked up or just don’t have the time to drive to the store. One thing that is dicouraging is getting to that store with your coupons in hand and the product you were expecting to get a good deal on, is gone.

  12. Carrie says

    When I first started couponing, I would get so upset if I missed a good deal. I would stop up on the items that were such good deals and have a huge stock-pile, but wouldn’t have much food for the day to day meals. “Sorry, kids, but tonight for dinner, you can have cereal, spaghetti sauce or peanut butter!” I’ve balanced this out a little better now. : )

    • Monica says

      I’ve been there, but no longer come down on myself. It gets easier, I’ve been couponing for almost 9 years. Eventually, you’ll know what deal you can pass up and what might be worth the hassle.

  13. says

    Really enjoyed this post. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed! I try to have the perspective, “If I get it, great. If I don’t, that’s OK.”

  14. Elizabeth Kane says

    I especially identify with #4! A month of so ago I felt I was clearance shopping a little too much for clothes – particularly in the “it’s the end of the winter season so I should buy these 70% sweaters!” way. Budget shopping can be great for clothes sometimes, but if you’re buying more clothes just because they’re on super sale that you really don’t need, it can be a problem.

  15. Jessica says

    I did this for about two years and my house got really cluttered up really fast. Then the mindset lingered and I’d feel anxious when missing out on a deal or sale. I’d buy things just because it was a great deal.

    Now I have 3 kids and less time/patience for shopping. I have cut out the drugstore game because I’m fully stocked on that stuff, like, for a LONG time. I don’t need any more shampoo even if it is free. So I save my time and gas by avoiding it.

    There is a cost to the deals. You have to spend your time figuring them out, getting them, bringing them home, storing them, organizing them and then disposing of them if you don’t like it, can’t use it or it no longer fits your lifestyle.

    I’m realizing this all too well as I declutter my house and have to deal with the aftermath of so much deal chasing. There are a few blogs I don’t even visit anymore because all they post is deals, deals, deals.

    • Susan says

      Love your last paragraph.

      I used to coupon a lot, and I ended up with tons of stuff we didn’t use. I donated some, but it was all so wasteful. I “save” more by not buying anything that we don’t really need.

    • says

      Me too! Two kids and maybe seven years of bargain-hunting later, I am digging out of a bunch of deals I didn’t need. I’m finally OK with missing out – time and money-wise I’m better off getting most of the fewer things we need when we need them!

  16. Sol says

    I just lost my coupon book and after almost crying about it, I realized I felt free. So I am on a break from bargain shopping and rethinking my game plan for future couponing. Thanks for this post.

  17. Jiya says

    This is something with which I struggle, especially the Living Social/Groupon type deals. I’m still learning how to recognize what is a great deal on something I will actually use, and to distinguish it from something that looks appealing at the moment but I will wonder why I bought it later. So, right now I’m trying to focus more on experiences than on things — I did get a Groupon for my daughter’s favorite magazine (Disney Princess), since she loves it so much that it’s worth it, and for a play I’ve been wanting to see (I think having a Groupon for it actually prompted me to schedule plans to go see it, instead of just saying that I’d like to see it “some time”).

  18. Tina says

    I find one things that helps is ignoring deals that aren’t convenient for me. For example, I don’t live near Target, so I don’t even read those posts and therefore don’t feel like I am missing out :)

    • Tina says

      I also do a monthly food bank run for things I have gotten for free that we won’t use. Keeps the clutter under control :)

  19. Marie says

    It’s definitely a balance. I really haven’t had the time for couponing like I used to so I just purged all my coupons and did away with a HUGE coupon binder. Aldi is my number one now and it’s simplified my life. I do still keep an eye on “deals” that I know I’ll use.
    Recently there was a great deal on NERF guns at Target. I wrestled with it for a little bit and then realized I didn’t have budgeted money for it so I didn’t do it. It was so freeing!! I think it’s easy to think “you’re missing out” if you’re following blogs but you have to remember it’s a tool to help not a rule to follow. Every person’s needs are different.

    • sand says

      i have folowed alot of posts, i do not stockpile like people on extreme couponing. i struggled today at target ! i bought 10 boxes of hot pockets, my son takes them in his lunch every day and i also would eat them for my lunch at work .they ended up costing me 1.00 per box. i had the coupon s for them and struggled about buying more. i am now home wondering if i should go back ???

  20. Tracey says

    What type of wallet do you use to keep track of all the cash envelopes? I used Dave Ramsey’s paper ones before but wondered if you knew of or have some other
    (maybe cute?) option or wallet. Let me know…thanks!

    • Aleah says

      I recently splurged $3 (WOO!) on an actual wallet for my grocery budget. It’s the one I use the most, so it’s nice to be able to have a place to put my receipts and change that doesn’t get mixed in with my other money or fall out of the envelopes. We just use regular envelopes for the other categories because we don’t spend out of them as often.

  21. Brenda says

    Why it isn’t good to snatch up all those bargains: After Christmas, I purchased a lot of white gift boxes on clearance. I had to “store” them somewhere and I haven’t used them in two years! I bought Scotch tape for nearly-free from Walgreens several years ago, and I still have lots. Again, I had to “store” them somewhere. I bought a giant container of colored paper clips. Again, I had to “store” them. Having extra items stored here-and-there makes a messy disorganized house. The makeup-bag-freebies from Target — how many makeup bags and one person really use? If you keep your house organized (and minimized) and are mindful of what you need for daily and occasional functions you tend to buy less. And as I shop, I remind myself that whatever I buy, I have to find space for when I get home.

    • WilliamB says

      Some of the freebies I get, I donate. Female’s sanitary products, Depends, makeup, small containers of toiletries, hand sanitizer, and suchlike are are eagerly sought by homeless shelters and churches. The make up could go to a church or, if you have access to one, a place that helps women move into the workplace.

      School supplies can be dropped off any school. I do this frequently in August or September after hitting the school sales, but supplies are needed year round. All I do, literally, is walk into a school with a box. Believe me, I’ve never been turned away!

  22. says

    I have a list of things that I need. If it’s a thing that I’m going to be needing, then I buy it. All my older son’s shorts and shirts were “good deals,” meaning that I bought a season or more ahead of time and spent less than $4 per shirt–usually $3–and $5 or less for his shorts.

    Finding size 10 slim pants on clearance didn’t happen, though, so I had to buy those at Wal-Mart prices.

    • Stephanie says

      I buy kids clothes 2 sizes ahead but I keep a running list of needs and everything fits in their closet with space left over. We deliberately have smaller wardrobes so that helps a great deal. The longer until I need it then the less I am willing to pay. I do the same thing with holiday and birthday gifts (shop year round). We don’t give tons of gifts so if I find the perfect doll in February and a great book in July then they will be birthday gifts in September. I am already looking for matching pajamas for December.
      I bought a case of organic taco shells from Amazon a while ago, my husband thought I was nuts until I reminded him that we have tacos once a week, they were six months from expiration and worked out to $1.75 a box of 12. We just opened the last box and he asked if we could get another case since it worked out so well. Same with the case of toilet paper- we have the space and money but I wouldn’t do that with mayonnaise or crackers, it would be a waste for our family.
      I want to get better at the drugstore game and coupons but the deals involve so much we don’t buy at all.

  23. Jennifer says

    I like to get items for free and then turn around and use them to barter with my girlfriends! I pay about $0.12 for shave gel that’s “free” with coupons. I then trade with my girlfriend because she gets good deals on food items.

  24. says

    I tend to keep a$100+/- “slush fund” built into my budget just for those things that might not fit into the budget. I basically have a running list of needed items that I can likely “hold off” on purchasing until I really good deal comes along. Those items might be upcoming gifts or clothes or household goods. For instance, I DID have this really fabulous curling/straightening iron, but I dropped it one too many times, and after 10 years of service, it had finally had enough. I am making do with a hand-me-down one until the right one comes along at the right price. As it does not do near as good a job on my hair but takes twice the time. But I’ll wait til the right one comes along and pay it out of my “slush” fund.

  25. says

    I couldn’t agree more! We too budget for every little thing and even if a deal comes around, if it’s not in the budget we have to pass. Also there are too many unexpected things that you can’t always plan for – we try to plan for the “unexpected” but if you’re spending money on deals out of the budget then it will really mess with your budget when the unplanned events actually happen.

  26. says

    I like using coupons and making lists but I also don’t like to plan every aspect of my life. I was watching the movie Couples Resort and laughed because one of the couples were complete planners. They made power point presentations about everything. Saving money is great but I won’t let it consume me.

  27. sheri says

    I have done couponing for a while now. And I have found that stockpiling food products does not work for this family. Things either do not get eaten or they go out of date. So I stockpile household and personal products. I do not stockpile toothpaste or mouthwash because they have expiration dates. I have enough product that I do not have to buy for 6 to 8 months. And I have gotten where I do not get toilet paper or paper towels at any of the stores. I use my amazon gift cards. Then I started making my laundry soap with the soaps I get from amazon which is with the gift cards. I have not shopped for about 3 months and the stockpile looks fine. I still have 12 bottles of shampoo and several body washes so I will not be going shopping for a while. I do not do every sale and will let my binder empty out for 2 to 3 months on the household and personal products.

  28. Jessica M says

    I live in a small apartment, so I literally cannot take advantage of all the deals. My stock pile is very small because there is just not the room to store items. For example I can only fit one extra pack of toilet paper/paper towels, not many Kleenex boxes. Only a few deodorants/shavers/shampoos and 3 boxes of cereal is my max!

    Taking a break on deals is a GREAT idea! I had been hardcore deal shopping for well over a year. I cut my budget, clipped my coupons and meal planned every weekend and worked so hard at it. Early last November I found I am pregnant with my first child (YAY!) but with that came HORRIBLE morning sickness. Until February I could not walk into a grocery store without dry heaving. Needless to say I couldn’t do the deal shopping I used to! I couldn’t even look at the ads! My husband did good buying the food HE needed as cheaply as possible (I could eat very little) but he does not have the time to spend on couponing like I had. I found a little relief on the weekends that I didn’t have to devote a large amount of time on the ads and planning. How relaxing!

    Well, now I am feeling better and starting my baby stock piles, but I think I have a better balance with it after experiencing my ‘down time’.

  29. says

    Since my husband and I live in a small apartment with little storage space, we have to pass up on some great deals simply because we can’t stockpile; instead we find ways to save in other areas WITHOUT coupons or sale ads, like waiting a few months to see a new movie at our local $1 theater rather than at the multi-plex, or splurging on an ice cream cone rather than a night out on the town ;)
    Even then, sometimes it is important to balance that saving and responsibility with some freedom for a little luxury. What’s the point of saving all that money if you aren’t going to use it to better your life or someone else’s?

  30. Cris says

    I can relate to that and also to having to think before I buy something I might get by without because “it only costs a dollar”. I have for a long time had 5 liquid measuring cups (3 glass, 1 plastic and one in metric system my mom got me when I moved here so I could still make her recipes). The plastic one was bought years ago at the dollar tree probably before I got the smaller glass ones and could not be used in the microwave (not good for me). It finally cracked and I had to throw it out. Recently I was at dollar tree and saw it and almost bought until I though “you have another 4 at home. Put it back. It’s not even that good”

    Today on the other hand I found something that was MUCH MUCH more than a deal, it was a STEAL and I did not pass it up, eventhough I already have one of the same item, but not as nice. I was getting to a garage sale (great place to buy stuff you don’t need haha!) and saw what looked like the back of a bread machine. Sure enough as I get close, there it is: a Zojirushi bread machine that looked practically new on the outside, except the inside was a bit dirty. I have a cheaper older bread machine that I also bought in a garage sale for $5 last year after reading so many of Crystal’s bread recipes. So I thought this one would for sure be much more than that and when I asked the price I was shocked (tried not to show it!!); they wanted $2!! I didn’t have much cash left on me but I did have that (mind that kids clothes were price at 50c) so I did not think twice. It’s bigger than my cheap one but I plan on using both. I asked if it worked and they said someone gave it to them to sell but that it should. I got home anxious to plug it and sure enough it did!!!! Now if I can only find a Kitchen Aid mixer for cheap, my current dream purchase.

  31. Amie says

    If it is a great deal for me, I buy it. I do buy stuff I don’t use sometimes if it benefits me when trying to reach a certain thresh hold for an x off x coupon, to roll ecbs or if it is a money maker. I don’t buy it just because it is free. I have a good sized stock pile and my grocery budget is set up to cover staples – dairy, veggies, and meat and then purchase the stock up deals. I admit that I stopped tracking my spending in January when pregnancy nausea overtook me. I decided I’d rather have a clean house than a stack of receipts that I didn’t feel like dealing with. I also cut way back on shopping and couponing. When I would shop, I noticed I was spending about the same amount, but getting much less without couponing and deal seeking. My nausea is finally better and I’ve started back with couponing. I will begin working my spread sheet again in May.

  32. Debbie says

    I definitely struggle with this and while I’ve toned down the amount of couponing and deal-searching that I do, I still find it hard to pass up a good bargain. Which means I end up buying things I haven’t planned for (but can afford), like kids clothes for future seasons or things that I would like but don’t necessarily need. Just this week I was really tempted by the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer deal at Kohl’s that was posted, but after I thought about it, I don’t really need it. I’ve done just fine these past few years with my baking without it. I’ve been trying to go to CVS all week to pick up some cheap chocolates (b/c I have a high value coupon) but just couldn’t fit it into my schedule with my kids. In the end, it wasn’t worth it to make a special trip just for a cheap bag of chocolates. I find that having to take my kids along to get these deals makes me have to re-evaluate if I REALLY need it or just really WANT it. But, its definitely a work in progress.

  33. Ashley says

    Great post, Crystal! I really have struggled with this very issue this week. In my area, Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter both had double and triple coupon sales! We’ve been on a more limited budget due to our job circumstances and I already had a full pantry, but it is so tempting to snatch up a good deal, even if it’s something I could use, but won’t need right away. Here is my rule of thumb when it comes to deals like that.

    1). Do I have the money? If the answer is “No,” then stop right there. Dave Ramsey says it’s never a good deal if you can’t afford it and that’s 100% true. Buyers’ remorse is not a good thing, especially when you realize the money you spent on an unessecary item could have been used to cover a bill or a surpise expense.

    2). By couponing, can I get the deal for free and is it an item I will actually use? If so, then I pick it up. With some ninja coupon moves, I’ve been able to secure loads of feminine products for myself for free and they are something that I will always use. Our church also supports several organizations in our area that shelter women who have come out of sex trafficking and I was able to donate extra toiletry items to help there.

    3). If I can’t get the item for free, how good is the deal? I try to look at getting the item at 45% off or better. Standard retail mark-up is 50%. I know if I can get the item at about their cost, then it’s probably worth it.

    4). Finally, if I can answer yes to the above questions, then I finally ask, “Do I have room for it?” We live in an apartment, so my pantry/closet/cabinet space is quite limited. Unless I want to start making extra chairs or ottomans out of all the extra toilet paper or paper towels I can snag on a bargain, it’s probably not worth it. We’re not the most organized folks around, but we always want our home to be hospitable. It’s a bit difficult to do that if our guest bed is made of strategically placed packs of paper towels.

    Thanks again for this great advice. I don’t feel too bad about missing the sales. :)

  34. says

    I think at times my freebie habit has gotten away with me. I’ve been freebie hunting since I was 15 years old so I have at times annoyed everyone around me with surprise packages in the mail. I have only recently added couponing to my arsenal of savings and I have to say that I pass up on a lot of deals because I’m just not sure it’s the right deal for me. I try to get my deals as close to free as possible and if I don’t have the money for it then I just don’t have the money for it. I’m working on not beating myself up for deals gone wrong. Two weeks ago CVS was having a deal on a shampoo/conditioner brand that was normally 5 bucks a bottle. When Extracare bucks and coupons I got it down to 1 dollar a bottle. I was so excited until I got my purchases home and realized that instead of purchasing two bottles of conditioner that I use all the time on my curly hair I hadn’t paid attention and bought a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of conditioner. But, in that case you just have to pick yourself back up and tell yourself that everything happens for a reason. As it so happens my boyfriend only uses shampoo on his hair, and I had been dealving into my freebie sample stash for him when he took a shower at my house. Now I have a full bottle of shampoo just for him when he comes over so it worked out.

    I guess the take away here is to not beat yourself up because you made an oopsie and didn’t get as good a deal as you wanted. Plenty of times I’ve gone to the store all reared up for an awesome deal I’ve read about online only to find out it’s not at my store. Dollar Tree is super bad about that, but it’s still worth it to go in and check and if it’s not there, oh well.