Buying On Sale Does Not Save You Money!


Rather, it costs you money, and probably more than you would have spent in the first place.

I was having lunch with a friend on Saturday (who shall remain nameless) and we were talking about how much stuff he had gotten lately on sale at a few electronic stores. He could not believe his good fortune that a few things he really wanted (but did not need) were on sale and how much money he had saved. I quietly pointed out to him that he did not in fact save anything; but rather he had spent money that he could have kept in his bank account only because these things were on sale.

These were not things that he needed….the LCD TV he bought replaced his perfectly good 32 inch “regular” TV that would have worked for years and his new cellphone replaced the one he just got 5 months ago. I do not have a problem with people buying things that they need or that they have saved up for, but it pains me when I watch people that don’t really have the money buy things that they don’t even need just because they are on sale. This guy drives an old beat up car that costs him hundreds of dollars a month in repairs…every month, that is. He lives in a crappy little apartment here in Los Angeles and has been wanting to move for almost a year now, but says he cannot afford to. So when he complains about not having the money to do what he wants, but then goes on to tell me all the great stuff he got on sale….well, its hard to feel any sympathy for him. I have known him a very long time and I have tried to point these things out to him, but it is all about instant gratification with him and no long term planning. Thus, the Sunday paper and all it’s advertisements are the highlight of his life because so many things are on sale that he “needs”.

When you see things on sale, it does not REALLY mean that you are saving money if you do not need what is on sale. It means you are spending money, and you should give some thought before buying that newest gizmo just because it is on sale. Spending money when you don’t have to is not saving money…..

I tried to tell him he would be better off spending his cash on a new (used) ride, but that TV was calling him, so I backed off…I try not to get too involved with friend’s personal decisions unless they ask my opinion, but this kind of thing pains me to no end!

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Comments (10)

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  1. […] post by david and plugin by Elliott Back […]

  2. Elbo Cenvari says:

    Advertisers have drilled this into our heads since we were children. That to save money, you have to buy stuff on sale. When like the article says, to really save, means not spending at all!

  3. Festival of Frugality #64 Recap…

  4. […] Buying On Sale Does Not Save You Money! from My Two Dollars. The more you spend the more you save. […]

  5. […] I guess I didn’t know how old Ben was but he’s got a kid and this week’s tip from him is about how to save money shopping by playing shopping cart slolam. John at QueerCents had a few suggestions for what you can do to entertain yourself and not spend money doing it. Jeff Strain of PFAdvice has a great little nugget about why trading in your stuff is a bad deal and Bargain Quest came in with a great post on how to maximize your gift cards. Lastly, something which I learned myself just recently, David writes about how buying things on sale doesn’t always save you money. […]

  6. […] Buying On Sale Does Not Save Money – If you don’t need it in the first place, then why buy it? […]

  7. […] & Selling: david presents Buying On Sale Does Not Save You Money! posted at My Two […]

  8. Brian Smith says:

    The only time buying on sale DOES save you money is if you find stuff that you were going to buy anyway. I’m quite frugal, now that I have all the gadgets I want, but of course I still need to buy food.

    As I walk up and down the aisles at the grocery store I keep an eye out for sale items and BOGOFs (Buy One Get One Free), and if its something I was going to buy, or will use in the near future, I buy LOTS of it! But I’m careful not to be tempted into buying two of something I wanted ZERO of in the first place 🙂 Recently I stocked up on breakfast cereal, cous-cous, spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, which is a saving I *know* I’ll benefit from.

  9. david says:

    Thanks for the comment Brian. There are always exceptions to the rules!