A good deal can only be defined by you

I had some things to attend to over this last weekend but I’m back now and ready to share some more tips about saving money while you shop.

Want to know if a deal is good for you? Can’t figure out where to find the best sales for the items you want? Need a coupon for something and you can’t find the printable one you read about yesterday for some reason? I can help! Read on!

When I started reading blogs a while back I was all for the great deals that would get me free or cheap things but these days the blogs are promoting just as much about online sales as they are the store sales and although sometimes these are absolutely wonderful finds for something cheaper than you normally buy it for, it’s not saving you anything if you didn’t have the money to spend on it to begin with.

It is up to you to decide if something is a good deal or not. But, it always helps to ask yourself a few questions.

  • Is it saving me ANYTHING? (Time, money, etc.)
  • Will I use it? (Stockpile, Gift, Donate)
  • Will I be able to continue using this product? (If you fall in love, will you be able to wait for sales)
  • Can I REALLY afford it? (or) Will THIS deal mean I have to miss a better deal later?

These are questions you should ask yourself when it comes to any freebies or great sales that make an item cheap or free after coupons. I’ll give a few examples from my own experiences that cover all of these questions.

I love the B1G1 Free meat sale that our CountryMart is having right now on pre-seasoned grill meats (ribs, burgers, Shish-kabobs, and chicken). These meats are higher in price because of their pre-seasoned qualities but since they are on sale B1G1 Free it makes it a great deal for me since I don’t have to prepare sides AND the meat (plus, they’re just yummy!).

I’m stocked up on laundry detergent I love right now but before I got there, I found a coupon and sale for some detergent that we don’t like. Now I’m stuck with a bottle we won’t use. I’ll find a way, but it never should’ve been bought as a ‘good deal’.

There was a GREAT sale on Purex Crystals that made them nearly free a few weeks back and since we had never used it before I only picked up one. Big mistake! We fell in love and now at $5.99 a bottle, I’m forced to wait for the next sale or buy it for more than I’m used to spending on fabric softener.

As for, can I REALLY afford it, I ask myself that with every deal now because of spending far too much stockpiling things we could have waited to get. When there was a great sale on diapers I missed out because I had already spent my weekly shopping allowance on other sale items and we really needed diapers so now I’ll have to buy them at regular price instead of nearly 1/2 price. I hate it when that happens.

Most of the blogs have store sales ads up a week (sometimes 2) before the sale so you can always do some research on what sales are coming up soon. My advice would be to do a search for an item you are thinking of buying on Google and hit your ‘show search tools’ on the left and do it for the last 24 hours. Include the words, sale, deal, or coupons, and you will find all of the blogs that are posting for those deals now. I also use this to search for coupons before I go shopping. It’s a great way to see only the things that have been posted recently, reducing your search time.

I hope this post helps those of you who are like me and just starting out with the freebies and deals. There are some great things to be had cheap or free out there but beware the things you will fall in love with, hate, or bankrupt you. No deal is worth stressing over. So also remember to ask yourself, Is the time I will spend chasing this freebie or deal, worth it? If the answer is no, save yourself the headache and just let that one go. There will be plenty others you will find far more valuable for the time and effort you spend snagging the deal.

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About CharityAnn

I'm a small town, stay at home mom living on a shoestring budget. I spend my time working as a ChaCha guide from home, searching out internet coupons and deals, and entering sweepstakes for fun prizes we couldn't normally afford. Through ChaCha, coupons, deals, and sweepstakes I have found a way to continue staying home with my kids while still affording the things we want. I'm still learning what works and what doesn't, but I hope to share my finds with local readers so that we may all enjoy what our small town has to offer without paying big city prices.

Posted on April 12, 2011, in Tips for Newbie Couponers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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