If you’re staring down a major shopping holiday like Memorial Day or Black Friday, still unclear on what you want to buy, where you want to buy it and how to know whether you’re getting a good deal, I have four pieces of advice for you:If it exists, there is probably a sale on it.If it isn’t on sale, don’t buy it.“The best deal” you can get is an item you already intended to buy at a price that fits into your budget.Buying something on sale that doesn’t fit into your budget, even though it might cost less now than it will when you’ve saved up the money, is a bad move.
That last piece of advice is especially important right now, as many of us have at least some anxiety about our job security and income prospects. As we move into the fourth (fifth?) month of pandemic/recession uncertainty, sticking to a budget is more important than buying a 5-foot-tall lawn sprinkler shaped like an inflatable corgi—even if Kohl’s is currently discounting the Big Mouth Inc. Corgi Yard Sprinkler from $59.99 to $53.99.Screenshot: Joel Cunningham
(Which, by the way, is only a $6 discount—and it doesn’t even look that much like a corgi.)
Hipstik Legwear Rolls Down Prices Not Waistbands
You should also think twice before buying a bottle of Augustinus Bader The Cream—which The Strategist informed me was a very famous skin cream worn by celebrities—because when I checked the website, the single ounce of fancy cream appears to no longer be on sale. You’ll pay $170 for it, if you really want to—but if you remember Rule #2, you shouldn’t.
Another one of those “best Memorial Day sales” roundups—which this is not, by the way—suggested I purchase a pair of Levi’s Wedgie Fit Women’s Jeans for $49.99 (marked down from $98). Yes, they are designed to lift your butt slightly higher than its usual configuration. No, I will not be buying them.
What will I be buying this Memorial Day weekend? Will I be shopping the tech sales or the furniture sales or the mattress deals? Well...maybe. I’m sort of thinking about getting another set of bedsheets. My current sheets are three years old and I’ve got room in the budget for a fresh pair.
But before I buy anything, I’m going to follow my own good advice: I’ll decide what kind of sheets I want (probably percale), then check to see if they’re on sale, then ask myself whether the sale price fits into my budget. If I can’t find exactly what I want at the price I’m willing to pay, I won’t buy anything.
Because if there’s one thing I know about sales, it’s that there’s always another big holiday sale weekend just around the corner. The Fourth of July will be here before we know it.