Distinguish between Wants and Needs:Have you ever gotten the Sunday paper and there is this great sale and you have a coupon, so you head on out to get the item before they are all gone. It is important even with bargain shopping to really evaluate if the purchase we are making is something we really need or just want. If an item is something that I am getting for free and we are out of it or going to use in the next week or so, then it is worth the trip. For me it is not worth a 20 mile drive to get a couple trial size items for free with a coupon, or buy an item for next to nothing that I would not have considered if it wasn't next to nothing. By the time I pay for gas and tax, those free trial items aren't so free anymore. Now if I am already going to the store for something I do need, or I am litterally passing by the store, then why not grab a few wants that are free or nearly free that I will use within the next two - three months. Sometimes I read about deals that are soooo good, I trick myself into thinking I need it, when really I don't. By doing this I am able to save money a little at a time. An example of this was the Neutragena sale at Rite Aid this week. I had coupons, and it was a really good deal. But when it was all said and done, I still would have paid over $8 for three items. Now that isn't much for Neutragena items, but it is $8 I didn't need to spend and items I wouldn't have considered otherwise. By doing this that is $8 to put away for a rainy day or stash in my Christmas Fund.
How do you determine a need from a want? When is a deal worth the drive for you?