You won’t find a glassy-eyed 10 point buck blankly staring down at you from the walls of my home. I’ll never be found in a deer stand at 4 am, covered in doe urine, peering through the scope of a bolt-action Remington. You’ll never peek into the bushes to find me laying there in head-to-toe camo, with grease paint on my face and a branch on my head blowing softly into a duck call. If I do happen upon an animal in the woods, I may yearn to pet it or at the very least feed it. Shooting it isn’t on my agenda. But, make no mistake. I’m a hunter, through and through.
When you walk through my home, you’ll see my hunting trophies scattered around but none of them have been freeze dried or mounted. I’m a bargain hunter and I rarely pay full price for anything. Among the bargains I have conquered, you’ll see our last name artistically displayed on the wall in the entry way. I saw the concept of vinyl lettering on the wall in a decorating magazine. The company had beautiful ideas but their prices were far above what I was comfortable paying. So, I found something very similar in an E-Bay store and had them custom make my idea for about 10% of the cost.
In my kitchen, you’ll definitely notice my cobalt blue KitchenAid stand mixer. This particular bargain was a real fighter. I had to track it for months before I finally bagged that beauty. You see, it has been my dream to own a stand mixer ever since I started tuning into the Food Network years ago. I just couldn’t get past the cost. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t justify to myself spending that much money on something I wanted but did not need. So, last year, I grew tired of just stalking stand mixers and decided to pull the trigger. I studied the migratory habits of stand mixer sales and learned which store had the best price on the color that I wanted. Then, I asked my family for gift certificates to that store for Christmas. I gathered some additional store credit and scouted for online promo codes. Locked and loaded with my own personal brand of ammo, I hunkered down and waited for that big sale to come along. When it did, I sprung into action, redeemed all of my credits, gift certificates, promo codes, and rebates. Before that stand mixer even knew what hit it, I scored it for the grand total out of pocket cost of $35.
The secret to big game bargain hunting is to never buy something simply because it’s on sale. If you didn’t intend to buy it, don’t need it, or can’t afford it, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. The biggest thrill that I get is from saving money on something I need or plan to buy anyway. So, I’ll share a few tips to get you started on your own shopping safari but promise me that you’ll be careful. I don’t want anyone accidentally shooting themselves in the foot by overspending.
If you’re making a considerable investment in an item, a little reconnaissance can’t hurt. Once you decide on the item you want to purchase, make sure you will be getting the best price and brand. I like www.amazon.com to check out user reviews and ratings.
Before you buy anything, check out sites like www.retailmenot.com and www.couponcabin.com. These sites have both free printable coupons for in-store expeditions as well as online promo codes that you can redeem for online shopping. I check them every time I am ordering online and almost always find something that saves me a few dollars. A great local site is www.consumerqueen.com.
Sometimes it’s nice to sit back and let the bargains come to you. Limited time sales are hot right now. You can sign up to have daily offers e-mailed to you. Websites like www.Groupon.com and www.livingsocial.com offer limited time deals in your area and some are just too good to pass up. I recently scored a manicure/pedicure for $25 and gave it to my friend Christy for her birthday. I also bought 10 Zumba classes for $10 and a professional housecleaning for $49, which I plan to use around the holidays.
Other sites offer sales that may last a few days such as www.ideeli.com for adult, kids, home items, and travel deals. Ideeli has many great sales on designer items that you may not be able to afford otherwise. For special kids’ deals, www.totsy.com is a great place to find everything from clothes to toys. All of these sites are free to join.
I don’t want to see any of you on a future episode of “Hoarders” so it’s important to only buy things you need and don’t get carried away with the high that bargain shopping can give you. While it’s fine to be proud of scoring a sweet deal, I have realized that I need to dial back on my tendency to “over share”. Now when someone says, “Cute skirt!” instead of “Thanks, I got it for 75% off at Kohl’s!” I just smile slyly to myself and simply say, “Thank you”. How much (or how little) I paid can be my little secret.
Now get out there, bag some bargains, and save a few bucks!