25 April 2008

Calling a spade a spade

Most people want to be frugal, or at the very least, feel that they got their dollar's worth. Things are getting especially tight now with gas being what it is and even the price of food going up. However, I think it's important to know what the difference between saving money and spending money is when it comes to sales.

Every week, every store puts out a flyer. In it are things that are "on sale." A lot of times, there are some good deals in there. Right now I'm looking at the Stop and Shop flyer for this week, and I see boneless chicken breast on sale for 1.79/lb. That's a good deal, and since you can easily freeze chicken, it's a good chance to stock the freezer. Asparagus is 1.88/lb- that's a good price, and it's in season, so it's probably locally grown and packed with nutrients.

Things start to go downhill from there, though. There are some buy one, get one free deals- okay if you have room in your freezer or you plan on eating 2 English muffins a day for 6 days. Corona is 12.99 for a 12-pack- this might be 1.00 cheaper than it usually is. I'm not excited. Then there is an entire page of produce that is marked "LOW PRICE EVERY DAY" meaning that it's that price EVERY day. So it's not on sale. Why would I buy it, then?

I got a 20% off coupon for Old Navy in the mail. That sounds great, except it's April, so nothing is on sale. 20% off full price is still a lot! In a few weeks, they'll start marking things down to 50% off. I'll get interested then.

You're not saving money if you weren't going to spend it in the first place. This is sometimes hard to swallow, but it's true! Think of it as a 100% off coupon I just sent you in the mail. Now, that's a coupon I want to use.

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