Five Times Hunting for Deals Actually Costs You Money


It doesn’t matter how much money you have in the bank, savings is savings. We all want to save on specific items that we purchase, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some like to save because it’s responsible spending and others like to save because they work regularly with a tight budget. It doesn’t matter; at the end of the day we all want a deal. But did you know that sometimes looking for a deal actually ends up costing you a lot more than it should? It’s true; and I should know this. I shop a lot – both in store and online. And I’ve learned a few things over the years, including the fact that sometimes bargain hunting is not going to save me any money. Read on to find out when you should just shop and forget the bargain.

Hesitating on airline tickets

I learned this the hard way – and I’m still upset about it. In fact, this is going to go down in history as my biggest regret (and that’s big because I don’t believe in regrets since I’m happy in my life and everything, every person and every experience has led me to this happiness whether it was good or bad – so why regret it?). My dad’s side of the family has a family reunion at my grandmother’s in northern Texas every other summer. This was that summer. She’s far outside of anything even remotely notable – the closest airport is Amarillo and that’s still a few hours from her house. We can also fly into Lubbock, but still a few hours. So it’s hard to find affordable airline tickets for my family of six.

When we first began looking at tickets, they were very low for tickets to my grandmother’s. They were under $400 per ticket. But I decided that if they were that low that far out, they’d drop in the ‘suggested’ window and we’d be able to get them even lower (remember – I need six tickets!). Unfortunately, that did not work out for me. We ended up getting into that three month window and tickets had gone up and up and up – so I waited a little longer thinking that there was no way they’d get even higher and that they had to go lower. Nope; I booked my tickets for just over $900 EACH. Needless to say, the twins ended up sitting in our laps. The worst part? We had to make the trip very quick thanks to work obligations of my husbands, which meant a late Friday flight and a 5 am Sunday flight – quick.

Our flight Friday night was delayed more than 4 hours so we missed our connection. The following day, we couldn’t get a flight for all of us – and we ended up just coming home. Biggest lifetime regret. Don’t wait on airline tickets when they’re low and you know they’re low.

Warehouse club shopping

I have a Sam’s Club membership. I’ve used it once. And even then, I was not impressed. I was actually so annoyed with the store in general that I decided I’d never go back. I don’t feel that the prices are all that great. We use ketchup, sure, but maybe twice a year. So spending $20 on 600 gallons didn’t seem like a great deal to me. We eat a lot of fresh food, so it wasn’t conducive to shop for food here since I won’t actually eat most of what they have to offer. You have to be careful when looking for deals at warehouse stores. I remember when the twins were born and I made that trip to Sam’s, I thought buying their formula in bulk would be a good idea. I stood there and did the math and realized that, in fact, the formula in bulk was more expensive than just buying the same number of singular cans the same size.

Cutting Coupons

Let’s be real; you’re spending more money when you cut coupons. I have looked and looked and looked for coupons that would do me any good and I only find one or two every week on the Publix app – where I can ‘clip’ my coupons and then enter my phone number at checkout to apply them. There are hundreds, but I don’t need 95% of the stuff that’s being offered on sale with coupons. So when you use coupons to save, you actually just bought something that wasn’t even on your list to begin with.

Limiting your insurance budget

Trust me; I was highly affected by Obamacare – in a negative manner. My very affordable, very good insurance policy was eliminated thanks to this bill and now I’m paying four times what I was paying for less than half the coverage I had for less money. Seriously; those who now have $48 insurance might think that they’re doing quite well, but those of us now paying four times what we paid in the past don’t appreciate that. I’m not sure where the whole “affordable” part comes in for people like myself. Either way, it’s not a good idea to cut corners and look for a deal on insurance. If you have an illness or accident, that cheap monthly policy isn’t all that helpful when you have to reach your $15,000 deductible before the insurance company pays that 80% they offer to pay.

Deal websites

These are almost the worst thing that ever happened. For some people, they’re great. For others, they are awful. I admit that I subscribe to Groupon, and I have purchased the occasional item. I purchased tickets to a local wine tasting through Groupon because I got one free with my purchase and it saved me money (and we were already planning on going) and I’ve purchased a few other things. But I have a friend that buys everything because it’s such a good “deal” to her. She doesn’t seem to comprehend that she’s spending money on things she didn’t even want or need until she saw that ‘deal’ so, therefore, it is not a deal.

Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images


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