In the spirit of this site and it’s name, I thought I’d look at ways I give my money away.
I hate giving away more money than I have to when I go to the store for something. I absolutely always check and review what’s on sale for each item I buy and compare the price per unit on the sales tag. Sometimes this means I buy a bit bigger container than I originally had envisioned, but usually I can find a product that has the lowest price per unit in about the size I’d like to buy. I am the least loyal consumer out there. I guess you could call me a bit of a â€œbrand trampâ€. I could care less which cartoon character is on the package, where it’s at on the shelf (high or low), or how pretty the package is in general. When it comes to food, I choose based on price and ingredients. I don’t buy my peanut butter with the jelly already mixed in because it’s a heck of a lot more expensive, (think Goobers peanut butter and jelly). Soda is a prime example of how I buy things. I absolutely could care less whether I buy Coke or Pepsi. I’ve found that just about every grocery chain out there rotates between each brand being on sale. Whichever is on sale is what ends up in my cart.
About the only exception is Dell. I have some brand loyalty for Dell right now because I think they are blowing everyone else out of the water on price and quality. Whatever you do, don’t pay retail at Dell. You can get a significant discount at Dell through Fat Wallet. Just decide what it is that you need, and then watch the Fat Wallet â€œDell storeâ€ for a special on it. I recently got a Dell 19â€ LCD through Fat Wallet for only $251. Dell’s retail price is $479. (I’d been wanting it for at least 3 months)
My wife and I just love to brag about the â€œbest dealâ€ we got at the grocery store. We wear our imaginary â€œtop dealâ€ ribbon around the house for a couple hours when we get home, and that’s just on the groceries.
Besides groceries, I absolutely love to brag about the deals I get on larger items. I’ve probably annoyed the heck out of more than a few people over the years when I tell them the same story about the same item. I’ve developed quite a reputation for being able to beat just about any deal out there on the big stuff. How? I’m always looking. When I decide I want to buy something such as a tool, electronics, appliances etc, I start keeping an eye out and mentioning to people that I’m looking for, or needing something. It is amazing to me how many people will say, â€œOh, you won’t believe the deal store X has right nowâ€, or â€œI’ve got one that I bought and I never useâ€. My barbeque is a great example. My old one was a lower quality brand that I bought after we moved in to our first house. It was getting really old and rusty. I had already replaced all the parts inside twice and it never really cooked the meat very well. I had decided to start looking for a barbeque (keeping my eye out for one). I mentioned it to a few people and a friend of mine said, â€œYou want to buy mine? I’ve only used it about 10 times and I could use the money.â€ Well yes. Yes I would like to buy your bbq. This wasn’t a low quality bbq. It was a very nice Weber grill. I paid him 40% of what it cost new. I brought it home, gave it a quick cleaning and it looked like new. I’m not just saying that. You would have thought it was new if you saw it. Someone just commented last weekend how my bbq was in such great shape. So, I was able to get it for 40% of what it cost new and I’ll be able to keep it for many YEARS. Man I love a good deal.
Okay. One more deal I can’t pass up mentioning. (See I just love the â€œdeal braggingâ€). My truck needed new tires. I had over 65000 miles on the originals and it was starting to get ridiculous. I started keeping my eye out months ahead of the planned purchase and also started mentioning in my casual conversations that I was facing the reality that I needed to buy new tires. I happened to mention this to someone at a party. (I still have no idea how the conversation got to that), but this guy said, â€œI took off the new wheels and tires from my Toyota Tundra when I bought it and they are just sitting in my garage. You want to buy them?â€ Why yes. Yes I do want to buy those from you. These wheels are so much nicer than my original wheels and the tires are NEW. I paid him $600 for all four (The wheels alone were selling for that on Ebay). Then I started thinkingâ€¦â€¦. Someone, somewhere must want these old aluminum wheels if they have steel wheels on their truck now. I put an ad on http://www.craigslist.com and sold them for $225. That means my total out of pocket cost for new tires and VERY nice new wheels was $375. New tires alone would have cost me more than that. (4wd). Man I love a good deal.
Okay, okay. I’ll stop. But I think you get what I’m saying. By trying to plan ahead for those dreaded purchases, and just casually mentioning some of these coming purchases, you’d just be amazed what pops up.