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Finding the Best Deal ISN'T Always the Best Deal

Are you a bargain junkie?  Do coupons burn a hole in your pocket?  Does couponing and shopping take time away from things you really should spend time doing?  Sometimes finding the best deal isn't always the best deal! 

When you get caught up in the coupon game and chasing deals you may lose sight of the true reason for the hunt.  I am certain that SAVING MONEY, not spending money, is the true reason most of us began this journey.

Many times that coupon in your binder isn't going to make the best deal.  Have you been guilty of buying it anyway?  Buying 40 items just because they only cost you $.10 each may really end up being a WASTE of your money if your family doesn't use them.

Do store coupons and sales seem to call out your name?  Using that Bath & Body Works coupon every week is probably costing you more than you realize. 

I have a few confessions to make.

1.  I stopped shopping at Bath & Body Works (and other mall stores) years ago. 
Yes, Bath & Body Works is popular and it smells good. But spending money to get a FREE Signature Collection Item is no longer a good use of my money.  I still have FULL Bath & Body Works soap containers on every sink in my house thanks to this Foam Soap Recipe, which is FREE to make.  It may not smell quite as good but I am sure nobody at my house notices.

2.  I don't hit every deal. 
You may get the impression that I am an obsessed bargain hunter --I'm not.  I'm a bargain hunter and I love the deals, but I am not obsessed.  I don't run out several times a day to score the deals I find.  Gasoline in my tank and family time are much more important to me.  The deals may not wait for me, but they'll come back around again sometime.

3.  I don't buy just because the price is great.
Cheryl and Co.  may have a chocolates 90% off and Amazon my have a pan I want for next to nothing, but that doesn't mean I am buying.  These things do cost you money even though they are cheap and it does really add up!

4.  I save without coupons.
Everyone can find little ways to save-without coupons.  My ways may not be yours, and yours may not be mine.  I may not re-use my ziplock bags (even though I should), but I do cut my children's hair every four weeks, make all the birthday cakes at home, make my own foamy soap, and save big by making my own wrinkle releaser.  Cutting back on things we don't need (like junk food), saves me more than buying it with a coupon.

5.  I am not Over-the-Top Frugal.
Hear ye, hear ye...I am not living life so frugally that it is no longer fun.  I have found my middle ground and I am at peace with it!  I realize that saving money in any way is better than not!  But I am not giving up my tile backsplash just because I can live without it!  And I do buy things without a coupon!

So, readers, where are you in your frugal journey?  How do you find your middle ground?

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Anonymous said...

I totally agree. I have a hard time with this sometimes when there is a great deal on something I want but don't need.

I had to pass on the Domino's deal last week. We had already bought our groceries and planned our meals for the month.

I don't shop at the mall either. Way too many temptations!

Laura said...

I agree. Don't get caught up in the game. It's about feeding your family for less. It's not about stockpiling mustard until the end of time!

Lisa said...

How do you make wrinkle releaser? I agree completely with you...it's easy to go overboard: you're not saving money, you're SPENDING it!! Although bargain hunting helps with items you would have purchased anyway, it's important to keep yourself in check.

Amanda said...

This is exactly how I approach saving! I started out trying to get every deal I saw and about made myself crazy, and even though I saved hundreds, ended up with a lot of stuff that I had to force myself to use to keep from wasting it. It didn't take long before I was able to weed out a useful deal from a wasteful one!

Anonymous said...

I've found my middle ground by working harder to "make" things as we run out of them with minimal ingredients or materials. I have re-usable coffee filters and fabric softener sheets and we use microfiber towels instead of paper towels. I make my own cleansers, laundry detergent, hand soaps, body soaps, etc - I can make these all with minimal ingredients and they're healthier for my family and I to use. It takes less time for me to make these things than it does to clip coupons and hunt for the best bargains. I can now look at the deals with a more critical eye and only snag the ones that make the most sense for our family.

EZ said...

I look for sales and use coupons with them, but only on what we use.Also get the best(latest) dates on products.
But I really havent printed out coupons, as I am finding the ink cartriges are expensive each replacement.
How do you save on that when you print out all the coupons.

Money Saving Madness said...

That's a good topic and I might tackle it for a future article. It really all depends on your ink and paper costs.

My paper was free. I have 4 cases from Office Depot deals. My ink cost is $.004 per coupon print. Yes, that is half a cent. It is worth it.

I have a black & white laser printer. I bought it specifically for saving on ink and for printing coupons.

momma-lana said...

I agree with everything you said! I haven't been to the mall in years except maybe the tool dept at Sears with hubby, no temptation there.

HOLLY said...

I am about the same as you. Thanks for sharing. You made me feel better...sometimes letting deals go, makes me feel guilty, but I know I need to spend my time wisely on the the things that really matter in life.

HM said...

Regarding making your own soap -- Instead of using dish soap, could you not use hand soap ??

Kasey said...

I use alot of coupons, and always shop CVS, however I will only buy items that my family uses/will use. I also do not buy much junk food-just a box of Cheez-its here and there, I think it is really easy to get caught up in couponing. But I have learned that it is really about our budget, and not just about the "deals" that I can get-although I do have an awful lot of toothpaste and deodorant!!! I also joined a CSA, and grow and can my own fruits and veggies in the summertime, and my husband is a hunter which cuts down on our meat budget considerably-overall couponing has helped a ton-but I also started watching my spending a bit closer to truly be more frugal.


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