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Best! Deal! Ever! (Until Next Time)

“Lowest price of the season!”

“Our best deal yet!”

“Biggest sale of the year!”

You’ll see this type of advertisement all year long. Does it make you twitchy to buy right away, while the price is right? That’s sort of the point. Retailers want you to think you’re missing out on something big if you aren’t shopping their sale.

But, there’s always another deal! I promise.

Buying something just because it’s on sale doesn’t actually save you money in the long run. You’ll end up spending money that could have been put to better use somewhere else, only to find the item on sale again a week later. Or worse yet — finding out that the amazing deal wasn’t much of a deal at all.

Like the Restaurant.com deals I keep seeing on the daily deal sites. Usually, it is paired with movie tickets or a retail gift card — $35 for a $25 Restaurant.com certificate and a $25 gift card. The catch? Restaurant.com certificates are already at a deep discount. That $25 voucher only costs $10 when you buy it directly from Restaurant.com. Wait for a coupon code, and you could get it for as low as $2. [Use coupon code FUN to get them for $4 this week.]

I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch for deals — I’m a big bargain hunter myself. You just need to be careful not to get caught up in the hype of a sale, and consider if the deal is worth it to you. Here are a few ways to decide if you really should take advantage of the sale:

  • Is it the best deal available?
  • Is it something you actually need?
  • Is it something you use regularly?
  • Will you be spending the money soon anyway?
  • Will you actually use the item?

If the answer to these questions is yes, proceed to the nearest checkout counter. If the answer to more than one question is yes, feel free to stock up. And, can you get one for me?

Photo Credit: Flickr

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