Saturday, March 20, 2010

Beware the "Good Deal"


It's the "good deal" that contributes to my ever increasing stash of stuff. I love being thrifty and stumbling onto a "treasure" at a thrift store. I love finding cute clothes on a clearance rack for a couple of dollars. I love close-outs. I love hunting the end-cap aisles at Target. I love finding online "free shipping" codes. Library book sales make me giddy. A good Saturday morning yard sale sets me on an emotional high for a few days!

When I start looking around my home, I see so many of my "good deal" acquisitions. So many of these things have truly blessed our lives here. Some items are great, but really not needed (another vintage apron, anyone?) Other things are wonderful, but we have too many of them (i.e. games and books). And other things were awful duds (rollercoaster Knex with millions of pieces!?)

Recently I unsubscribed from any "couponing" blog or website. I had starting looking at these early in February (probably out of sheer winter boredom!). The sense of buying urgency that those sites give you is incredible. My heart would start pounding as a "good deal" would pop up on my screen...and the words "quick" and "offer ends soon" and "hurry" always seemed to be there. And so I bought more stuff. And later regretted it because I knew we didn't really need it, but hey, "it was a good deal!"

Somehow that one little phrase has given me justification to spend, spend, spend. Why does the "good deal" make uncontrolled spending the right thing to do? I ask these questions because I haven't done so before.

I will continue to enjoy a "good deal" but with some warnings:
  • just because it is a good deal doesn't mean that I need it! Ask myself, "Do I really need this? Do my kids really need this?"
  • the good deal distracts me from the good life...it drives me to focus a lot of my time on acquiring more things and not giving my time to people...it's deceptive that way.
  • don't hunt down finding good deals...let the good deals find me...a much better quality of life! For me this means stop looking at store circulars, flyers, websites, etc. Those things make me feel like I have to go get the good deal or I am missing out. If I am in a store and stumble upon a "good deal" on something we need, then great!
  • a good deal means I am bringing another thing home that needs to be organized. Before I buy, ask myself, "where will I put this?"
  • even though an item is a fiscal "good deal", is it an emotional good deal?? Meaning: it's not ultimately a good deal if it drains me emotionally because of the up-keep, storage, and organizing of it. Clutter drains life.
It's Saturday morning and I feel restless. There is an emotional place in me that wants to go drive around to all my thrift shops and buy, buy, buy! The lure of the "good deal" is strong! That restlessness is powerful and it will take some serious self-control this morning to not go hunt down the "good deal". I want to take that restless energy and turn it into energy for my kids and husband or my creative self today. Instead of following that shop-for-deals urge, I can garden. I can sew. I can play kickball with my kids. I can take a nature walk. I can journal, read, draw, decorate, nap! (Well, a nap won't happen, but I can dream, right?!)

The thrill of a good deal is amazing. And it certainly isn't wrong. But in re-ordering my life, I desire for my "thrills" to come primarily through relationships with others and loving service. I want the amazing emotional high that you get when you sacrifice and make another person happy. Giving is a powerful antidote to depression. The insatiable urges of the "gimmes" actually make us more depressed!

May we have the grace to walk the path of the good deal of giving...the thrill of seeing others loved well!


photo by Dreamer7112

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

Aimee,

Such wonderful points! We cancelled the Sunday newspaper a while back and one reason was I was sick of looking for those good deals. I felt the need to rush out for that savings. Even coupon clipping can be draining-it takes me longer to go grocery shopping and then I have to think, "Is this a good deal?" Well, maybe, but now I buy only what goes on my list. I think it balances...maybe I miss a few good deals on things I buy anyway, but I'm sure I save by not buying things that I don't need.

Keep sharing your discoveries. I am decluttering this month as our neighbor's church is having a big garage sale and it's been easy to get the extras out of my house!

Beth said...

You are so right! The "good deal" will suck me in quicker than anything...there's a reason those companies put those coupons out and it's NOT to help me, the consumer. I still coupon, but I am slowly learning restraint. Love your blog...it inspires me!

Andrea said...

It's Saturday morning and I feel restless. There is an emotional place in me that wants to go drive around to all my thrift shops and buy, buy, buy!

Such a good, honest, point. I do the same thing. In fact, there was a tag sale this morning at the local firehouse selling all kinds of children's things....
In my head I was thinking about all the good deals I might get....like I NEED any of that stuff! I just gave a bunch of bags to Goodwill yesterday!!
I have been paying a lot of attention to my emotional high I get when I buy. Instead of giving into it, I remind myself that "God is enough".

Hollie Ann said...

Ah so true! "Good deals" suck me right in! You offer some great advice on this; I really like your new good deal rules.

Courtney said...

Great post, Aimee! I just started the whole couponing thing and can totally see how one could get sucked into a good deal quite easily. I have and I'm not typically one who likes to shop! I love the rules that you discuss. I personally live better with boundaries. I've found that I can be creative with the things I already have by repurposing them. It stretches me in a new way of thinking by being thrifty and not hunting down all those deals!

Jana said...

Well said....I need to unsubscribe from the deal sites too and get back to what really matters....God, Family and Home.
Jana