Wishing Is Frugal!

by Emily · 5 comments

in Thoughts On Frugality

I’m a classic case of the American stereotype.  Mindless consumerism.  Want it, not now but yesterday.  I have a hard time reigning in my wants and desires.

Lately my eye’s been caught by the Euro-Pro Ninja.  I want this in a bad, bad way.

Enter Amazon, the internet’s largest retailer.

There are many great reasons to check Amazon. We’ve used and enjoyed Subscribe & Save, the mp3 store is awesome, and customer feedback has often helped me not buy something I’d regret later.  All have been very useful, but right now my heart belongs to My Wish List.

Here’s why.  Instead of hitting that “add to cart” button on the object of my desire, it goes into my wish list file.  And it sits there for a few days (or weeks, depending on the pricetag).  I get to distance myself in hopes of  losing the impulse and gaining some perspective.  We get an opportunity to really think about if the item is worth it, how it will fit in to our lives, and explore if there’s another, cheaper option.

Funny, after a few days, the object of my desire usually doesn’t seem so desirable, and it gets removed from the Wish List.  In regards to the Ninja, my inner monologue is: I have a perfectly good food processor for the heavy work, and a rather cheap but adequate blender for smoothies.  The pricetag isn’t terrible, but there’s other places that money can be put to better use.  My kitchen is too small for another appliance.  There you go, a peek inside my head.  You’re welcome.

However, if the flames are still burning after a few weeks,  it’s marked for my next order.  Because shipping is free when you order $25 or more – and free is awesome.  Also, to make less of an environmental impact you should group your purchases together as much as possible.  Less shipping, less petroleum the UPS guy burns bringing things to your door.

And here’s a bonus: if you can let it hang out in your Wish List a little longer, Amazon will usually send you an email that your particular item is on SALE!  Woo-hoo!  Electronics, media, foods, and household items are more likely candidates for discounts than books.   If that sweetens the deal enough for you, go for it!  But first, make sure you click through our Amazon link so Almost Frugal can get a little love, too.

Do you have any tips to make internet shopping work to your advantage?


1 Abigail May 11, 2010

Well, if you’re not using rewards programs like Swagbucks — which means free Amazon gift cards hooray! — then you should at least use cash-back sites. It helps take the edge of the cost.

We got another cat and realized we were completely out of Frontline. So I went online to Mr. Rebates where there was a $20 off coupon. So a 12-pack (retail: $184) was $114 before tax. Plus the $20 cash back.

That said, cash-back programs, combined with the ease of the Internet, can make shopping vaguely addictive. So be careful!

2 Jersey Mom May 11, 2010

Emily, I do that as well. I love shopping on Amazon ’cause many things are less expensive there. I do try to control myself and have added some things to my Wish List then forgot about it; guess I really didn’t need/want it after all.
.-= Jersey Mom´s last blog ..Money Schemes of a Kindergartener =-.

3 Paula Freeman May 11, 2010

I just bought this item but I went to bed bath and beyond. It was listed at 49.00 but was on sale 20% off and then I used a 20% off coupon and ended up paying only 31.00. We have made snow cones everynight since I got it.

4 Gilliauna May 11, 2010

I love it when sites have a wish list option. I also use it in the way that you’ve described above, but in addition to that, it has another terrific use. I have family members who are always asking me what I want for my birthday or for Christmas, etc. Wish lists make this easy because, when I’m put on the spot with that question, I can’t think of a single thing. But with wish lists, I can send them a link to my wish lists on a site or two and it gives them ideas I wouldn’t have thought of right at that moment.
.-= Gilliauna´s last blog ..Retro Chic Style for the Kitchen Goddess =-.

5 Donna Freedman May 11, 2010

A reader of the Smart Spending message board posted this idea (wish I could claim authorship, but I can’t): When creating a password to these online sites, make it relevant to a long-term goal.
For example:
Want to retire in 10 years? Make your password “2020&OUTtaHeRE.
Hoping to start a family? How about “U&Me&BABYmks3” as your sign-in?
Owe $10,000 in credit card debt? Log in by typing “PayOFF10k&FrEe.”
(Those all look weird, but a mix of upper/lower case and symbols make the password stronger.)
This also works for ATM cards if the password is short enough.
The reader wrote that this helps her think twice before, say, buying shoes online — typing her daughter’s college plans in makes her think, “Uh-oh, that’s just thrree years from now. Do I really *need* these shoes?”
It won’t work for everyone but I bet it’d work for some.
.-= Donna Freedman´s last blog ..I have given birth to nerd-dom. =-.

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