Monday, May 23, 2011

Saving Money- Not!

I love sales. Items on sale, especially items I was planning on buying anyhow and have plans to use make me do a little jump for joy. Why pay full price for something if you can get it cheaper?

Today I was in the store buying some pretzels for an occasion (anyone know how to make them from scratch? Not the soft pretzel variety!) and saw that the pretzels were on the special sale display shelf.

"Awesome!" I thought to myself, while internally dancing a little jig. Buying pretzels anyhow- if I can spend less than planned, that's terrific!

Then I noted the sale.

One bag for 2 dollars, 3 bags for $5.75.
Easily I did the math in my head. 3 bags not on sale would cost me $6. So if I buy 3 bags instead of the two I had been intending on buying, I'd save myself 25 cents from the original purchase price.
Had I bought 2 bags, I would have spent 4 dollars, which is a dollar and seventy five cents less than I'd be spending on three bags of "sale" pretzels.
Comparing the cost, seeing what was more worth it- not even a question! Spending an extra $1.75 on something I don't need, even if I'd eventually use it, just so I could save 25 cents?
A true example of a sale that isn't worth it. I'd be spending an extra $1.75 so I could save $0.25. How can anyone really call that saving money?

When it comes to sale items where you have to spend a certain amount of money in order to qualify for the sale, you have to think things out. Not always is it so clear cut as in the case like this. In some cases you have to spend 25 dollars to qualify for a sale price on anything over 25 dollars, and can save up to 10 or 15 dollars if you spend at least 25. But if you only were planning on spending 15 dollars and ended up spending an extra 10 dollars on random things you didn't need just so you could save 10 dollars, how is that saving anything? Saving money means spending less money, not spending more on something so you can "save".

Today, my husband picked up something I needed from near his work. It cost $8.60. I recently saw the same thing for only $5.15 in the center of town.
At first I thought to myself "How could he have spent that much extra money on that item", but on second thought, I realized that had my husband gone to the center of town, he would have spent $3.50 on the bus to save $3.45 on that item.
Savings? I think not. Spending an extra $3.45 on that item actually worked out to be cheaper.

Sometimes, "saving money" isn't much savings at all.

Do you have any experience where you were tempted by a sale and then decided that it wasn't worth it in the end? When you think about how much money you're saving, do you look at how much you "saved" on the receipt, or look at how much money you spent altogether?

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