All Bargains Are Not Created Equal…Or Are They?

(Official-Sounding Disclaimer:  This post is meant to be a humorous look at my own experience with bargains in our marriage and in no way generalizes gender behavior.  Or behavior of normal people, for that matter.  However, if either shoe fits, please feel free to wear it.)

For most of our marriage, I’ve handled our budget and bills (no, this isn’t the funny part.)  I’m always looking for ways to cut expenses, and for two years, I’ve had my eye on our home phone and cable bill.  For two years, hubby has resisted.

A few months ago, hubby finally sat through my entire spiel, which included how much our bill is each month.  That got his attention.  I told him we could save about $25 a month by stripping cable down to the basic package.  The bill is in his name, so I handed him the phone and number and went back to paying bills.

Twenty minutes later, hubby walked in wearing a grin.

“So, how much less will our bill be?” I asked, excited at the possibility of more money in savings.

“Well…the bill’s going to be about the same,” he said.

“What do you mean?  The same amount for less service?”

“No, I got us more for less.”  He was all kinds of excited because they gave us another tier of programming (more channels we don’t watch), call waiting (no one calls, there is no waiting), conference calling (why??)  My attention faded as he rambled on about more phone features we didn’t need.

I wondered how he could see the bargain in adding more stuff we didn’t need.

Just so you know I’m not picking on dear hubby, I’m going to turn the tables and dish on my own bargain hunting.  First off, I’m a multiples shopper.  What this means is that when something goes on sale, or I’ve got a great coupon, I’ll buy enough to last several months (as long as it’s non-perishable.)  What this also means is that shelf space can become limited, which drives hubby nuts.  He sees it as me being a hoarder-in-training.

Yes, I bought 11 boxes of the organic cereal the kids love when it was 99 cents a box (normally $2.99.)  I tried to hide it, but there are 9 bottles of foaming hand soap in our linen closet.  It was a discontinued scent I picked up for $1.25 a bottle.  Yeah, I brought home another bottle of bleach (I still have a few items of clothing without splatters) but it was FREE!

I did buy 12 new books last summer during a killer sale – some of them were even hard cover.  It only cost me $27.  I know my bookshelf was already full, but even a bad book never spoils.  I found Nike backpacks on sale and bought spares, since the kids will wear them out.  In April, I stocked up on winter clearance clothing, which I will store until it cools down in October.

I can’t pass up a $3 shirt.

Just like hubby can’t pass up getting more channels and phone features at no additional cost.

I’ll remember this when I ignore a call waiting beep and feel guilty when I see the caller ID displayed on our TV.  I hope he can do the same if the 34 rolls of toilet paper spill out of the cabinet when he opens the door 🙂

I’m not a hoarder…I’m just prepared for the worst.

Do you shop for bargains?  Are your habits similar to those of people you live with?

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26 thoughts on “All Bargains Are Not Created Equal…Or Are They?

  1. suzicate June 6, 2012 / 4:29 AM

    I know exactly what you mean! I won’t even tell you about the “smart” television my hubby just purchased…and to think originally he was going to try to pawn it off as a mother’s day gift to me -I don’t think so!

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2012 / 7:06 PM

      I’m glad it’s not just me, Suzicate! I’ve heard about those smart televisions, and I think I’ll just stick with my ‘dumb’ one (at least I feel somewhat intelligent that way.) Love the fact it was going to be your gift. How generous of him 🙂

  2. GodGirl June 6, 2012 / 4:41 AM

    Nah, not hoarder-in-training – it’s only temporary hoarding, because you’re slowly using it all up! That is, until the next sale comes along, haha. This made me smile, thanks 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2012 / 7:04 PM

      I’m glad you got a smile from this, GodGirl. Good to know I’m not on the hoarder track. If I start collecting newspapers, I’ll worry (especially since I don’t get a newspaper delivered :)) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. idiotprufs June 6, 2012 / 6:32 AM

    If 34 rolls of toilet paper, prepares you for the worst. The worst must be just awful.

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2012 / 8:14 PM

      The stock market rises and falls, the job market may be unstable, and uncertainty may surround us, but with toilet paper, I know we’ll be okay.

      So that was dramatic…really, I just don’t like to run out of TP. Thanks for stopping by, Idiotprufs!

  4. nrhatch June 6, 2012 / 8:42 AM

    I am right there with you . . .especially the non-perishable food part. I don’t care how many boxes of pasta I’ve already got . . . when pasta is buy 1 get 1 (or 2!) free . . . I get more.

    Same for Bush’s vegetarian baked beans . . . JIF peanut butter . . . Near East grains . . . Muir Glen organic fire-roasted tomatoes . . . Dole pineapple chunks . . . Sunmaid raisins . . . Planters peanuts . . . Blue Diamond Almonds, etc.

    I know what I like . . . and I like it even better on sale!

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2012 / 8:35 PM

      Yes! Thank you – another multiples person. I’ll have to show hubby your comment, Nancy 🙂 I love your last line – I like what I like even better on sale, too!

  5. philosophermouseofthehedge June 6, 2012 / 3:09 PM

    Buying like this saves money…so you can pay for all those channels you don’t watch! (So identify).
    But good for kids to see – helps them when they are out on their own with that tiny starter paycheck

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2012 / 8:53 PM

      Like your rationalization, Phil…kind of feels like running in place! Kids are already getting a taste of budgeting with their allowance. Hope the lessons stick when they have more money to ‘play’ with 🙂

  6. Sandra June 6, 2012 / 4:56 PM

    I love this. To each our own. I WISH I had your discipline to ‘multiples shop’. Because in the end, you DO save money. I don’t have to foresight or planning ability for that. I shop for things only when I need it, which means I’m always running to the store for only one thing or another. Its interesting that Mars and Venus just worry about different things. But I’d like to think that between DH and me, we’ve got things mostly covered. That ying-yang sign fits this post perfectly. Just like they fit each other perfectly!

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2012 / 9:05 PM

      I must confess, Sandra, my shopping is not discipline – it’s often quite the opposite 🙂 I am trying to reign it in a bit because it takes up so much space. Moderation. That’s the key! I’m glad you like the yin and yang – I wanted something that went with the idea that opposites can fit together.

  7. cuhome June 6, 2012 / 5:30 PM

    I have nominated you for the Inspiring Blogger Award–I hope you’ll accept it and enjoy it for awhile!! I truly find you inspiring… and funny… and talented… and astute! I enjoy your blog very much!! 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2012 / 9:10 PM

      Thanks for the award and your support, Janet! I’m thrilled that you enjoy reading my blog posts – thank you 🙂

  8. judithhb June 6, 2012 / 7:42 PM

    Hi Janna – I missed your blogs while I was away. My mother was not just a hoarder in training. She would regularly buy, whether on special or not, a very large pack of soap powder every week even when there were only two of them left at home. When she moved into a retirement/Alzheimer residence my sister had the job of distributing several dozen large packets of Tide to friends and neighbours. 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 7, 2012 / 9:09 PM

      I actually wonder if I will behave similarly, Judith. I’d like to think I have it under control, but the (lack of) shelf space indicates says otherwise!

  9. pattisj June 6, 2012 / 8:45 PM

    I do love a bargain, Janna. I don’t have 34 rolls of TP, though. Still laughing at idiotprufs comment!

    • jannatwrites June 7, 2012 / 9:10 PM

      Yay, a fellow bargain person. Thank goodness we haven’t had an incident which required all of our reserves. But it’s nice to know they’re there just in case 🙂

  10. braintomahawk June 7, 2012 / 11:09 AM

    You are right, stock up if they are non-perishable! Also the discontinued, and make sure they are not wasted on the guests.

    I try to buy books at goodwill/salvation army, but have started using the liberry almost exclusively at this point, if to save space, not just $.

    • jannatwrites June 7, 2012 / 6:41 PM

      I’ve done shopping at Goodwill, too, Braintomahawk. The library is great, but sometimes the wait for a book can be months long. If it’s not a new title, I can usually get it within a couple weeks. Saving money is great, though!

  11. Debbie June 7, 2012 / 12:19 PM

    Janna, you’ve made me laugh out loud over this one! My mother is just like you — yes, a hoarder. She buys multiples when they’re on sale, coupons, ad-matches — you name it. Yes, she saves money…sometimes. I have to say some purchases are money-down-the-drain because the item goes out of date. Or somebody decides they won’t eat that or use that brand any more. I’m frugal, but not to that extent!

    • jannatwrites June 7, 2012 / 6:44 PM

      Glad you found the humor, Debbie! I have had to throw a few expired items out, but I slip them quietly into the trash to avoid a lecture from hubby 🙂 You are right, that I need to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. (And I have had to eat some things when the kiddos decide they don’t like it anymore…I keep that in mind when I buy!

  12. pattyabr June 8, 2012 / 11:56 AM

    when you have a lot of consumers in your home i can see buying in bulk. but as an empty nester i go through a lot of tp. kinda embarrassing for me. lol

    • jannatwrites June 11, 2012 / 7:58 PM

      Gotta love those bargains (my hubby would say “in smaller quantities”, though) 🙂

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