So today was the big day, a test to see if my bargain shopping addiction is getting better – I went to Target for their big “Spend $50 on groceries, get a $10 gift card” deal. I went in with a list of foods we buy every single week – eggs, cream cheese, butter, bagged salad, etc. I also brought a list of foods we buy regularly but not every week such as tuna, mayonnaise, and string cheese. I printed out a few coupons and we headed out the door at 8am.
When we got there, we first walked around the food section checking prices and punching numbers into the calculator of what we wanted to buy. We hit $35 and I realized that it was probably a good idea to go ahead and do the deal. I had to resist the temptation of buying things just because I “had a coupon” or it would push us closer to the $50 threshold. At one point, we had coconut oil ($6), Slim Jims ($3), and peanut butter ($2.30) in the cart.
When we stopped to really think whether we needed (or wanted) those items, we put them back. I had only picked up the peanut butter because I had a coupon and it makes a decent snack on our diet (low carb keto diet). The Slim Jims were only picked up because there was a Cartwheel discount. The coconut oil was just a splurge thing I wanted to we could make Keto chocolate. That means we almost spent over $10 on items that we don’t need!
We did decide to get a few extras that were not on the list. We picked up some sugar-free chocolate pudding and some unsweetened cashew milk. The pudding was something that we really wanted (and took out of our “allowance” for the week rather than the grocery budget) but the cashew milk was not. I only bought it because I had a coupon for a free half-gallon. Unfortunately, I fell prey to the idea of getting something that I didn’t really need just so I could save a few dollars. The worst part is that when we went to check out, the coupon came up as invalid. But because I had built the transaction around getting as close to $50 as possible, we could not remove it from the transaction.
When I got to the car, I realized that this was the universe’s way of teaching me a lesson. I paid $3 for something I didn’t need so I could learn that just because something is “free” that doesn’t mean that I need it. I was also being taught that you can’t really save money if you buy things just to “save money.” It was definitely an eye opener and I am thankful that this happened because it is helping me break my deep-seated bargain shopping addiction.