We've all been there. You're out shopping when you see something on clearance rack for sale and you think to yourself, "Yes! It's 75% off! What a deal!" In reality, you've just spent money on an item that you don't need, and you find yourself scratching your head when you get home and wondering why you bought that painfully hideous shirt. You fell victim to one of the oldest tricks in the book. You went for the "Deal" even though you didn't need what you bought...so tell me, was it really a deal? Here's a few tricks to make sure you recognize when "Deals" aren't deals.
When Coupons Don't Save You Money
It's impressive flipping on the TV and watching Extreme Couponers make their way into the store and coming out with hundreds of dollars of groceries for pennies. For the rest of us who can't commit 60 hours per week on cutting coupons, we typically cut one or two out of the paper and bring them with us. Unfortunately, coupons don't always save you money. They can either give you a discount on things you don't normally buy, or they give you a discount on something that was raised in price before the coupon was put in the paper. Yes, the coupon may be for a dollar off, but that box of cereal you just bought was a dollar cheaper last week. Take a look at the prices week to week. Coupons can save you money, but be smart about it.
When Credit Cards Offer You Deals
Generally speaking, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid credit cards that offer you promotional deals for signing up unless you've done ample research before signing the paperwork. Big box stores are notorious for offering you a discount if you use their store card. The problem is that they prey on those who don't pay off their balance in full each month. All of a sudden, you're left with a balance on a card and an extremely high APR (To the tune of 30% in some cases). If you are looking for a new credit card that has a lower APR, check out your local credit union (ahem...Taconnet offers Visa Credit Cards with a low APR) and see what they have to offer.
When Buying in Bulk Makes No Sense
There are times when buying something in bulk makes sense. If you use a product regularly and go through it quickly, it's worth stocking up and paying a lower unit price. However, if you're buying bulk just to save money...you're probably actually losing money. Maybe it's less expensive per unit to purchase 10 sticks of deodorant...but are you really that smelly? Buy one or two sticks. It makes more sense.
When you buy Sale Items That You Don't Need
We made reference to this in our opening paragraph, but the clearance rack can be a dangerous place. There's a plethora (your 5 cent word of the day) of sale items that are screaming your name and wanting to come home with you. Whenever you go to the rack, ask yourself these four words, "Do I NEED this?" If you don't need it, don't buy it. It's simple, and while it may be sad to walk away with nothing, we can assure you that you won't even remember what you were looking at in about 10 minutes. Be smart, and save your money!
What are your tips for deals?
-The Taconnet Team