Deal or no Deal?
Shopping can be a very euphoric experience, especially when you score a brag-worthy deal. Not all “deals” are deals though. Smart shoppers take a step back and determine the deal-ness of a purchase.
Need vs. want
With prices like these, I can’t afford not to buy this! Have you heard (said) that before? It’s kind of contradictory, if you really think about it. Always, always use the need vs. want system to evaluate a purchase. Is this essential, or is it nice-to-have?
If you do impulse buy, only do so if you’ve got room to swap with something else in your budget.
If you see something you really love, walk away, even if it is only for five or ten minutes.
While this seems counterintuitive, putting a little distance between you and the purchase can help you more objectively evaluate it.
If after time has passed, and you still yearn for it, then go back. You may find the urge passes (or you may even find something else that is a better deal!). The store clerk may even help you out on this one and put it aside for you.
Watch your language
Buy three! Get one free! Don’t get fooled by the tricky language around the deal, which can muddle your smart shopping process. Rest assured, the retailer is trying to entice you to buy as much as possible while in their store.
Buying more than you intended, or spending on something you don’t need is not free at all. Side note- if you do stumble along one of these buy one get one free (or however it is advertised) deals, split it with a friend. Now it’s a deal!
Buy for today
Don’t ever buy something you don’t need right now, but convince yourself that you’ll use down the road, simply because the price is right. For example, don’t buy pants a size too small saying you’ll lose weight, or hobby equipment for a new activity that you may or may not take up.