Do you chase sales? By that I mean do you peruse flyers, make lists from them, go around to different stores to pick up certain items that happens to be on sale? Do you find it works for you?
Following this method of saving money takes time and gas. I've found it works well in the planning but not so well in the execution so for the most part I have abandoned chasing the sales.
Some of the problems I have encountered may be familiar to you.
-- The stock of the item has run out. I've been dubious when this happens, particularly when it happens regularly in the same store. There was never that much stock in the first place I suspect. Some stores will then tell you that you can have a Rain check and come back another time. Others have the audacity to say that there are no Rain Checks on specials. I suspect I've been made a sucker of in those cases. It was a trick to get me in the store. A few times I have gone back to redeem the Rain check but inevitably it becomes lost in the detritus of my purse.
-- The sale won't commence for three days. I will freely admit this is my fault for not checking the date. The flyer comes with the neighbourhood newspaper. I start a list and head off to the store the next day. I spend a half hour tracking around the store picking up the items. Maybe I realize halfway through that the items are listed at regular price; did someone forget to change them? At some point--hopefully before I've gone through the checkout--it is pointed out to me/I enquire and am told that the sale starts the next day or the day after that. The small print at the bottom of the flyer with the dates of the sale is pointed out to me. I feel foolish and perversely annoyed. Inevitably, I recycle that store's flyer immediately the next time. Call me petty. It's too much to keep track of and I don't want flyers cluttering up my home for days.
-- The produce is just a day before it will be chucked. The blueberries are wrinkled, the cucumber, once you get it home, turns out to be softening.
That's for grocery or drug store shopping. For clothing or household goods usually specific items aren't mentioned just a general 40% off selected items. The selected items are those you wouldn't have selected and neither would most others. That's why they are trying to get rid of them. The clothes that don't look good on most people, the off white sofa for people who only have furniture for display purposes, no pets or small children.
Is there an easy solution? Some people find a few stores that generally have good prices and good quality and they accept that while they may lose out on a few sale prices, overall they will come out ahead. Costco shoppers fall in this category. Some people develop a price book or at least a good working memory of what a good price is and stock up at those times, enough to last until the next time the item is on sale which is usually every two to three months. Still others adjust their menu plans to reflect what is on sale. Then there are those who prefer a little of what you fancy and would rather skip the cheaper goods for a small amount of what makes them feel good. Think of expensive cheese or one well tailored clothing item of quality fabrics. What works for you?