In our effort to cut costs and find the best deal on consumer products in a time of sky-high gas prices and increased cost of living, certain common ‘saving’ methods prove to be harming more than helping our tight budgets. It’s natural to want to snag the best deal around, but sometimes these deals are masked into duping consumers to buy unnecessary items, which could end up costing us down the road. See if you fall victim to these five common ‘saving’ methods aren’t always worth the deal.
1. Falling for free promotions: The word ‘FREE’ is attractive to any consumer — who doesn’t love free stuff? — but falling for ‘free’ promotional giveaways isn’t always worth it. Stores use buy-one-get-one-free promotions or “free shipping” with a certain purchase amount to entice buyers into picking up items they didn’t plan on buying in the first place. Falling for ‘free’ gets us to spend money impulsively on items that aren’t budget for, and consequently, aren’t really worth the deal.
2. Buying in bulk: Unless you need to buy groceries for a big family or event, buying items in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco could end up costing you more in waste than the cheaper unit price spent on it. If you can’t consume or use up the bulk purchases bought at these warehouse store before it goes bad, you’re basically throwing your money down the drain.
3. Overbuying at the Dollar Store: While some items like household cleaning products are a steal at a dollar store, some items are actually dangerous when bought on the cheap side. According to Consumer Reports, electrical items like extension cords and lamps might have fake UL labels that certify its safety, and even some over-the-counter medicines could also be past their expiration date.
4. Indulging on the value menu: The fast food dollar value menu is sometimes the quickest, cheapest option to cure your hunger on the go, but over time, eating too much fast food can lead to even bigger problems. The Cancer Project found that many items on value menus contain higher levels of saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium than other items, which can lead to dangerous health problems and increased risk of cancer. When it comes to your health, it’s better not to put a price tag on it.
5. Do-it-yourself fixes: You might be good with a hammer, but some household fixes are better left to a pro. Big home do-it-yourself projects like roofing, carpeting, plumbing or electrical problems are better left in the hands of a trained professional so you don’t end up spending even more money for repairs of your repairs.
For more ways to help budget your life, check out more of our Tight String Tuesdays features!
[Source: CBS Money Watch]