Couple Shopping
Photo by Halfpoint | Adobe Stock

Deal breaker


Wife comes home from the shopping mall with a pile of shopping bags hanging off her arms. She greets her husband with “Honey, look how much money I saved us. It was all on sale!”

I remember reading this joke and thinking it was vaguely sexist, but then again I thought of all the women I know who’ve mastered this creative accounting (myself included). The more we spend the more we save…if it’s on sale.

Creative accounting

When its a deal, we should buy more because then the bargain’s even better, right? This explains why I’ve got enough chick peas in my kitchen to make Dal Makahani for half the population of India. Canned and dried (the chickpeas that is) –they were on sale!

Sale sign in clothes shop

Photo by Zhu Difeng | Adobe Stock

A $285 blur

Don’t even get me started on that trip to Costco. I battled Sunday crowds because you can’t get a better deal on chevre cheese anywhere else in the city. I stocked up on my beloved chevre, a few multi-packs of sports socks, and enough toothpaste to last ’til my 90th birthday (I hope I  still have teeth then.) What else ended up in my giant shopping cart and how did it get there? It’s a blur …a $285 blur.

Vancity Visa shopping at Dandelion Kids

I swear there’s some kind of special air pumped into those big box stores that blur our perception of “enough.”

OK, let’s get real; it’s not the air, its marketing 101: bulk pricing. If one costs $3, but 6 cost $15, well heck, I better buy two dozen!

Then there’s good ol’ limited time price promotions –It’s on sale; stock up NOW and save big!

Somehow, I lost sight of the concept of “enough.” Do I really need that many chick peas, sports socks and tubes of toothpaste? Many of us underestimate how much we spend on groceries and other necessities, and one-third of the food we buy goes to waste. So, maybe if I took stock of what I need –made a list and stuck to it, I’d buy just enough. I’d have my chevre cheese and a few bucks to spare instead of dusty cans of chick peas.

If I just bought “enough” maybe I could save up for a new bike to go with all my sports socks.

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