When a Deal Really Isn’t A Deal

by Merissa on May 4, 2012

in Frugal Living Tips, Thrifty Living

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Confession time. I love to shop clearance sales. It's like a past time for me, I'll head to the store on a quieter day and see what I can dig up and bring home. Some days I come home empty handed and some days I have a cart full. I never feel guilty about these little excursions because I'm become an expert in a very basic, but very important shopping strategy, I know when a deal is really a deal.

Recently I've been checking out the deals at Shopko alot. The one in our town is not heavily shopped so I can usually find some great deals.  They often have items on clearance for 90% off but that doesn't mean I'll buy it. Here's my internal checklist I think about before I put any item in my cart.

1. Do I need it? You should ALWAYS ask this question to yourself first before making any kind of purchase!

2. Is it really a good deal? Believe it or not, just because it says 90% off doesn't mean it's a great deal or that I can't get it cheaper elsewhere. I see this happen most of the time with clothing deals. Even though it's 90% off it may have been $100 to begin with and way overpriced.

3. Do I have a place for it? If it's a large item, it may be a great deal and I may need it but I may not have room for it.

4. Can someone else use it? Since neither me or my family lives in town, I'm always shopping for someone else when I go in. So if I do find an item that is a great deal but I can't use it, I will also run through a list of family members that might need it instead.

Once I have all those questions answered I can then decide whether it's going into my cart or back on the shelf.

Clearance is also one of the ways I build my Non-Perishables Stockpile. If I find a totally awesome deal on something that won't spoil or doesn't have an expiration date on something I know we will use in the near future, I stock up. For example, this spring I found 2 pairs of mittens for just $0.50. I go through those little mittens like no tomorrow so I stocked up and bought about 20 pairs and put them away in a winter clothing box. They will never go bad and I know without a doubt I will use them!

What questions do you ask yourself before you purchase a "deal"?

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10:53 am

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa Bock Ellison May 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

At this very moment I was contemplating a new make-up kit from an online special deal good only for today! I need to take the time to think about if it’s a good deal for me.


2 Pamela March 19, 2015 at 4:22 pm

How many ways can I use this item? Is it more work to use it then
I am apt to want to do? How will this item fit in with my/family’s
life goals? Will this item distract me/us from other goals/plans?
Will I be willing to maintain this item? Would it be better to wait and
ask my husband if the item is more than $50.00? Am I being affected
by advertising? Visual, auditory, olfactory, and (in person) advertising tempting me? Did I decide I needed this item, at home, or in the store?


3 Pamela March 31, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Here is my TEST FOR VALUE list.

1.) Can we do without it?

2.) Does it do more than required?

3.) Does it cost more than it’s worth?

4.) Can we do what it does with things we already have?

5.) How often will we use it?

6.) Where will we use it?

7.) Will using it be more work than we’re apt to want to do?

8.) How many ways can we use it?

9.) Have we checked with people who own one and with
consumer ratings?

10.) Would I/we be smarter to resist and put the money toward
another goal?


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