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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