Fighting the good fight: Good Deals vs excess STUFF!

Fighting the good fight: Good Deals vs excess STUFF!

I am a sucker for a good deal.  My mom taught me well when it comes to searching the clearance racks and looking at clothes in the off season!  There are times I can find new kids clothes for cheaper on clearance than used clothes at garage sales!  (Thanks, Mom, for teaching me this important skill!)  It’s my version of hunting!  Sniff out a good deal and move in for the kill!

However, I can get caught up in the game.  As I’m on a rampage trying to lighten my load here at home (aka: purge the excess STUFF), I’m becoming more aware of what I bring into the home now.  But sometimes it’s so hard to pass up a good deal thinking of all the money I could save on some purchase when it’s 80% off!  And then I realize I save even more buy not buying at all.  DUH!  But it’s still hard to let a good deal go.

I’m learning, though.  I found it’s even easier to avoid temptation to spend hard earned cash on unnecessary things if I shield myself a little.  For instance, I don’t even read my Lands End and Old Navy emails anymore.  They’re two of my favorite stores I shop (mostly online.) Unless there’s something specific I NEED I just delete the emails advertising the big sales.  If I don’t browse catalogs and websites, I won’t see the spectacular deals, and thus I won’t feel like I’m missing out on an opportunity. If the budget amount for clothing for the month is already spent, then I don’t look at clothing stores.

Have you ever realized that stores REALLY want you to buy their stuff?  The pay people big bucks to market products, to make us feel like we really need their products!  That’s advertising!  I’m not against capitalism and advertising.  I just want to make wise purchases.  So before I buy something there’s a few questions I ask myself:

  • Do I need this item?
  • Is there a specific place for this item?
  • For clothes: do I LOVE it, or is it just the allure of a good deal?
  • How many other items like it do I already own?
  • How will this make my life easier?
  • How will this make my life harder?

I use these questions to evaluate:  is this item worth buying?  I find if there’s any doubt I’m better off leaving the item on the shelf and walking away.  It’s more money for another day and another good deal…on something I DO need/love!

How about you?  How do you decide if something is worth buying?

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4 Responses »

  1. You have nailed the issue perfectly. Good Deal vs. do I need it at all. Ever notice all those jewelry and furniture stores all advertize 50% or 70% off? All these on-line ads, coupons, and groupons and daily specials for 90% off? If they came right out and told you that you just HAVE to have this latest turquoise trinket guaranteed to heal your arthritis and leave you with both perfect skin and a full head of hair – most of us would skip it. I say “most”… there’s a reason that grocery stores still sell millions of copies of “Globe”, “National Enquirer”, and that whole rack of drivel at the entry-end of the checkout line. People really are that gullible.
    But for those who aren’t, how do you resist “a GREAT Deal” like 80% off?
    You have hit the nail on the head… yes, there are better times to shop for some items. You and your Mom were always good at getting the most out of a dollar, whether it was food, clothes, or whatever.
    Your other point is even more important… asking yourself if you really need it, and why.
    First, if you needed it, you would have already been looking for it before the ad came out. Why do you need it now, but you didn’t need it 5 minutes before seeing the ad?
    Second idea you have absolutely nailed – “If there is any doubt…” Lemme ask you this. Would you be married to your current spouse “if there was any doubt”?
    When in doubt, walk on out!
    If it’s really that important, you can always go back.
    And it doesn’t hurt to ask the questions you’ll have a month after you bought it… where is it now? Where do I put it? What do I get rid of to make room for it? What’s the worst that will happen if I didn’t have it? Would I be willing to ask a relative if I could borrow theirs for a couple of days?

    Possessions aren’t evil. It’s just that they can take more attention than they deserve, and when they do that, it’s real easy to lose focus on what’s important.

    Finally, I ask myself… if I buy this thing, is it better for me or for the person who sold it to me?

  2. Great post! I’ve made the same little journey too.

    It also helps me to show my husband all my “deals” that I bring home. Not for his approval, but just to help me keep in mind what OUR priorities are. He is always nice, but sometimes I can tell from his expression that maybe I could skip that deal next time.

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