Buying something you don’t need because it is on sale isn’t a good deal.
If no one in your family eats oatmeal, a $.25 box of oatmeal (while it’s a good deal) is a waste of money. It’s going to sit in your pantry until it expires and then you will throw it away. Getting a flat screen TV 50% off means you are still paying that other 50%. And if there is a perfectly good television already in your home, then you are wasting money and resources.
Here are some simple steps you can take to not be sucked into the “I must have it because it’s on sale” problem:
1. Don’t cut out coupons for things you don’t need- if it’s not an item you will use in your house, give the coupon to someone who will.
2. Make a list before you go to the store- and stick with it. Someone told me the other day of a friend who calls Target the “$100 store” because she can never leave without spending at least $100. A list can help with that.
3. Know what you already have- How many times do you go the grocery store, buy something and come home to find you already have it? Try to know what you have so you don’t end up with too much. One woman takes a picture of her pantry on her cell phone before she leaves the house. That way she has a picture of what she already has.
What about you guys? What do you do at the store to make sure you don’t overspend?