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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Knowing a Deal When You See It

Have you been amazed at the good deals that have popped up already this Christmas shopping season? I have! It seems like some of these companies are almost giving away their products. Who can turn that down?

I've actually had to be careful as I've been perusing the online deals. It would be easy to buy things just because they're wonderful deals. Who doesn't like to save a buck or two or twenty? I've been keeping our Christmas budget in check by staying organized.

Christmas is the one time of year when I am sorely tempted to overspend. Not on myself or on things for our home, but on gifts for our loved ones. We're surrounded by friends and family who truly do deserve the best!! But that doesn't mean that I need to blow our gift-giving budget. Each year we make a list of the people we plan to buy gifts for, and we write a dollar amount next to each person's name. The key then is to stick to that budgeted amount. In fact, you can download a copy of the form that we use for our Christmas shopping HERE. It might be a bit much for you if you're more free-spirited, but it works for us.

The best part about using this organizer is that it helps me evaluate each deal that I find. I can ask myself a few questions before clicking the Add to Cart button.

  • Is it something we were already planning to buy?

  • Can it take the place of something that we were already planning to buy?

  • Does it fit the budgeted amount for the recipient?

  • Am I buying it just because it's a deal that's too good to pass up?

  • Do we have the cash (or money in the checking account) to pay for it? Or would I be charging it until we do? (Cash/money in the checking account is a must before buying, especially at this time of year!)

If I'm satisfied with all of my answers to those questions, then I go ahead and buy. Oftentimes I'll realize that I was just caught up in getting something for 90% off! If I can't use the item to fulfill some part of my gift-giving list, it really doesn't make the purchase a good deal after all.

For more great frugal living ideas, stop by Frugal Friday hosted by Life As MOM and Works for Me Wednesday hosted by We Are THAT Family.


Sherry said...

Definitely isn't a great deal, if you are spending money you don't have. Thank you for the help! I sometimes need to step back and assess.

Kaye said...

Great tips...especially for this season when many of us are on (even further) reduced funds and there are SO MANY great deals to be taken advantage of! Thanks for the tips and reminder!