sale sign

I love snagging an unbeatable deal.  I find hunting for the best price exhilarating.  If you’re shopping with me and we become separated, just look for my crazy curly hair in the clearance section or intently sorting through my coupon box.

I was a bit of a crazy bargain hunter even as a child, and my mom taught me the most valuable principle of frugality that I’ve heard yet.  It isn’t a good deal if you didn’t need it in the first place.

Over the years I have found this principle to be true.  Sure, it might only be $10 when it’s normally $75, but if I don’t need it, that $10 is a waste of my money.

I usually carry my coupon box while shopping, and often get quite a few comments about it.  Most are along the lines of, “I used to use coupons, but I always spent more money.”  I’m guessing that those folks don’t understand that it isn’t a good deal if you don’t need it.

Following this principle is way easier said than done, though.  Just the other day we had to make the painful decision to skip a good deal that we really wanted, but didn’t need.

My husband and I love tent camping.  Our loaned-to-us 4-man tent is going to be pretty tight now that we have 2 kids.  We came across a nice 8-man tent on Amazon for roughly 40% off.  It seemed like quite the unbeatable deal, and the tent was one we could use for years, even as our family grows.

But in all honesty, we haven’t gone camping for a couple of years, and right now we need a house way more than we need a tent.  While that tent is a great deal, it isn’t a good deal for us, now. The willpower to say “no” to a good deal is way more useful than finding the good deals in the first place.

Even though we’ve completed most of our Christmas shopping, I still want to scour the ads for some great prices.  But I’m cutting back, because there aren’t many things we need, and therefore, not many great deals to be had.  And after all, I’ve got better things to do with my time, like completing all those halfway finished tasks around my house!