Sunday, June 22, 2014

Purchase Research

Have you ever paid for something and the moment when money from your hand goes in to the cashier's hand your heart sinks a little? Ok, well I do. This summer is mostly being spent in preparation for the accelerated night class I'm taking for the summer B semester, it starts this Thursday, and most of all Fall where I will be taking a night class and my son will be starting kindergarten. For these events we both have material needs that need to be bought. Let me say it's daunting to see the full price cost of items. A new graphing calculator is 109 dollars at Walmart. A book for my next class with an online code 231 dollars at the college book store. School uniforms for my son, each shirt full price is 12.99, shorts 12.99, pants 14.99. Eesh!!! 

No wonder most Americans are broke!

If I paid full price for everything I'd have no discretionary spending left or even grocery money at the end of the week. Something I've been getting better at is not paying full price. I coupon, I clearance shop, I barter, and I do a lot of work myself. Another way to save is to buy used and save the difference. I do this by looking at alternative retailers and sellers. It takes some research, but you save so much on your purchases. So here are the items I saved on this week and how I bought them. 

My neighbor and I were talking and she suggested I look on Craigslist for a used graphing calculator. Bingo!! 80 dollars, and it's a Silver Edition TI-84, this is like chrome for geeks. 

A used text book with online code at the competing non college operated book store across the street from campus 124.98. The same 'package' was over 200 dollars at my campus bookstore.

Gently loved uniforms on sale at my son's school, 5 dollars a piece!! The tops and bottoms are embroidered with the school name and logo, so they have to be bought at a particular store with a set price list. This store offers no discounts, sales, or coupons. I was able to buy 15 different pieces at the schools resale and didn't have to pay tax! Score!!

Book 231 - 124.98 = 106.02
Calculator 109 - 80 = 29 (plus tax)
Uniforms 194 - 75 = 119.85 (plus tax)
Total Saved = 254.87

Full price = 427.98
My price = 254.87
Percent Saved = 40.5%

Sometimes people see a price and think, this is the cost, I must pay this. But goods and services can be obtained for less than the original asking price. So if you're short of ideas on how to save money on a particular thing talk to a friend. My neighbor helped think of places to look for a used graphing calculator. The enrollment counselor at my son's school mentioned the uniform sale. My girlfriend suggested Amazon when I told her the price of the book. It never hurts to talk to people about things, often times they have great ideas. 

Three steps closer to meeting all the needs we have for August!

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