06 May 2009

Spending to Save Money

How much added savings do you require to be willing to spend money on a money saving device?  I had always thought it was silly to spend money for devices to save money.  Recently i realized that even though i scoff at the idea i have been doing this for a long time.  I looked at these devices as scams and fake.  Look at your own feelings on the thought of spending money on something to save you money.  Buying “money saving” devices is throwing money out the door.  But maybe not…


Gift Cards

There is a thriving online community in the gift card trade.  You can trade your old gift cards with a full or partial balance for cash or other gift cards.  You can often buy gift cards online at a partial cost of the amount on the card.  Some locations even give free gift card of say $5-10 with the purchase of a $25-50 card.  If you are planning to shop at this store it might be worth buying the gift card to get the free one then getting back in line with your purchases to use these cards.  I recently bought a $100 gift card on ebay for $50.  This can be risky.  I did my homework and bought from someone with over 10,000 positive feedback and 0 negative.  This made my purchase at that store 50% off.  Pair this kind of savings with % off coupons or sales and you’d could have $150 or more in merchandise for pennies.  Buying a gift card for half off is not uncommon.



Ebay also allows for the sale of coupons.  They require you to mail the actual coupon not just email a copy.  My sister recently bid on and won a $75 off $100 purchase at Old Navy coupon.  Coupons can just as risky as gift cards.  With proper checking these might be ok as well.  A problem might arise as most coupons state not valid for transfer or resale.  The Old Navy coupon did.  The coupon my sister bought had an individualized barcode and Old Navy accepted her coupon.  They could have just as easily said it was invalid and left her to battle ebay and the seller for her money back.  Her cost for the $75 savings was just $12.  Coupons can be found for 75% off or better.  You might just get a stack of them for free.


Entertainment Book

Buying a book full of coupons be worth the investment.  It is important to make sure that you will use the coupons and that you not buy something just to use a coupon.  If you were otherwise going to buy the things the coupon book has coupons for you might save money.  I have also seen coupon books sold by school groups.  A similar item to a coupon book are varsity cards.  Sports teams will sell a card that has various deals at local businesses.  These often have buy 1 get 1 offers and often have multiple pizza places on there.  I would always buy these to help whatever group is selling them if i planned to use them or not.  And normally with the varsity cards or coupon books you only need to use them 2-3 times to save your costs.


Club Memberships

My last group is club memberships.  I have been a Costco member for many years.  I did not group this in a similar category to the Entertainment Book until recently.  There are people that will buy membership at these locations just for 1-2 big tickets items.  If Costco has the HDTV you want for $100 less than any competitor it is worth the $50 for membership just for that one item.  You then have access to all the other club perks and prices.  Costco membership might be worth it just to buy Costco gas.  Like with other saving methods you have to make sure you use if for things you would buy even without the membership.  Also warehouse clubs prices are not always cheaper; you still have to shop around.


Spending money to save money can be a great investment if you make sure the “money saving” device will in fact save you money.


  1. I have never bought coupons per say I do buy 2 or 3 copies of the weekly paper, but I have wondered about the risk of buying coupons. If they were valid, if I would get what I ordered.

  2. Any time you are keeping cash in your pocket it's not a bad thing.

    Just make sure to put most of your effort around making money though. It's important to have a money consciousness so that you don't have to spend your entire life cutting corners.

    Thanks for sharing your insight.


  3. New reader here and enjoyed your blog.

    Also, great advice about buying on ebay. As a frequent seller and buyer on Ebay, I place a lot of emphasis on feedback. I too have gotten incredible deals on gift cards and certificates but always with caution. Both Ebay and Paypal have some pretty good buyer protection policies in place but there is always a risk.