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A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

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Minimizing Spending
We all know that there are a ton of deals on that you would LOVE to take advantage of, but do you really need whatever you're drooling over? It's that unnecessary anxiety you feel when you hover over the "Checkout" or "Submit your order" button.You may be a 35 year old male who has a 9-5 job and a daughter who's only 4 at home. Do you really need that $15 fur-lined hooded vest from Aeropostale? Yes, it's $15 shipped. No, you probably don't need it. No, it's not a good "investment" - your daughter won't fit into it for another decade and by then, even if it's in good condition, she probably won't like it.You may be a 22 year old woman pursuing baking but the last couple of times you were gung-ho about that apple pie, you set off all three fire alarms in your apartment and still have that smokey, over-baked pie crust scent infused in your couches. You probably don't need that awesome adjustable measuring cup yet. Yeah yeah, it's only $5 shipped. Still, the answer is no, at least not yet.
The first step to saving money is to not spend it. A penny saved is a penny earned. How true can that cliche be? All the little things that you bought but didn't actually need will someday add up to the amount you could have spent on something you really wanted and will really use. Just pretend there's a mod on your shoulder, being your deals conscious and helping you decide whether or not you really need that "all in one" tool that fits in your wallet.

Maximizing Consumer Surplus
There can be steps to this.
1. Decide on what you want need. Compare any specs or brands that are contenders and decide on which model or brand you want to go with. Also consider the different models or specs as well as the previous model or the previous year's style. Items that weren't just released tend to be on the cheaper side but often have the same main attributes you're looking for.
2. Compare is a pretty nifty tool to use. Just type in whatever you're looking for. Use keywords such as the item, the brand, and even the model or style name/number if you have it. Scroll through the results and you'll be able to gauge just how much you're probably going to have to pay for it.
3. Look on Maybe someone from the community already found a great deal on what you were looking for & put down additional tips or coupons/rebates to save even MORE money! Or, if you found a great price from step 2, look for a coupon for whichever site you found the item on. (Then share the deal!)
4. Consider price-matching companies Found the TV you wanted but you're not to keen on the idea of ordering from a company that has no ratings? Get the price matched. There's a ton of companies who do this and they're the reason why the market's so competitive. Just search to see if you can find whether or not a more reputable store price matches then simply talk to a representative with your findings and work out a deal.
5. Cashback OK so you found your great deal and made note of all the awesome coupons to go with it. Now what? No. Stop. Don't checkout yet. Find a cashback site such as or Signing up is rather easy and takes about 5 minutes. Search for your store through their website and go to your store's site again THROUGH ebates or bigcrumbs in order to receive cash back. Sure, it may only be 3% and you may have to wait nearly three months to receive it, but as the cliche still stands, a penny saved is a penny earned. Note: The easiest way to receive cash back is through Paypal so making a Paypal account would be useful as well.

Hope this helps. Happy deal-hunting everyone!
arsiel posted Jan 31, 2012

I have a Florida room full of "deals" that I did not need, but were so cheap. You guys will see me on an episode of Hoarders" soon I am sure :D

akaricke (rep: 161k) posted Jan 31, 2012


@akaricke, I sure hope not. That people on that show are unbelievable. There was an episode of a woman who ALWAYS bought food whenever it was on sale no matter what it was. She grew up not always having food so she despised wasting it. That mindset would've been fine if she didn't buy every deal she saw. Her motto for food was that if it wasn't puffing (AKA over-molding), it's still good.
Two words for you akaricke: garage sale :)

arsiel (rep: 13.1k) posted Jan 31, 2012


It's funny that I stumbled across your post. I used to go on just to stock up on cheap things. Useless things I didn't NEED. I would buy rawhide bones in bulk, sweaters after sweaters and pots & pans! I loved receiving the packages in the mail as I looked forward to them every week. I realized that even with all the purchases I made at such affordable prices, there was still something missing. It felt like it was never enough. Alas, I made a commitment that I would STOP. Completely stop from buying things I don't need. Stop putting as my front page for my Google chrome. I don't need that personalized fleece blanket from or the Kate Spade bag on sale for $88 w/ free shipping. Passing on the deals was NOT easy. I actually felt a sense of withdrawal syndrome! I stood my ground and continued to do this and am still fighting the urge to punch in my Amex number. All I know is that when my credit card bill comes in the mail, I will feel a sense of relief to see the balance. I am committed to keeping this up- lets see how I do. :)

gangstabarbie (rep: 21k) posted Jan 31, 2012


@gangstabarbie That's quite a success story. Haha. I'm sure a lot of people go through that phase but as you've experienced, it really should only be that - a phase. Good luck to you and your low credit card bills!

arsiel (rep: 13.1k) posted Jan 31, 2012


Thanks Arsiel. This is my new years resolution :)

gangstabarbie (rep: 21k) posted Feb 01, 2012