I have a confession to make: my husband and I recently made a big purchase and we did not get any kind of extra savings. We did not pass go and we certainly didn’t collect $200. While the purchase hasn’t put us in debt or created any financial burden, I feel pretty dirty about not exploring the savings opportunities that are now cluttering my brain.
Photo by hobvias sudoneigh via Flickr
My husband is an excellent cook and uses his grill pretty regularly. Rain or shine, blizzard or windstorm, he’s out there grilling up pork chops, chicken breasts and the occasional New York strip. The grill he’s had for the past 10 years was purchased at Walmart and put together lovingly in the living room of the condo we were living in at the time. It wasn’t a fancy brand but it did have a push-button starter and a side burner. It also had a wide upper rack which my husband used regularly to grill meat on less heat. This feature actually kept him from upgrading the grill since newer models all sported a much narrower upper rack.
THE BREAKING POINT
After a decade of use and absolutely no protection from the elements, the grill has seen better days. That push-button starter was chewed off by our dogs during their puppy days, and the plastic side shelf is melted in the middle due to a poorly placed briquette. The last two meals prepared on the grill were undercooked, and it was at this point that I insisted my husband make a purchase. He’s been eyeballing a Weber grill for months. Every time he went to the store to purchase it, he left empty-handed feeling it was just too much to spend on a grill. I reminded him how often he uses the grill and how flaky his current one had been.
A couple weekends ago, I suggested we visit Lowe’s and finally commit to the purchase. He agreed and within minutes of walking through the door, we were leaving with 175 lbs of new grill. It took us about an hour-and-a-half to put together — a pretty fun project, really — and by the end of the evening we had a shiny new toy.
Since the purchase, my husband repaired the 10-year-old grill and gave it to one of our good friends. He feels better about the upgrade now that his beloved appliance has a new home. Meanwhile, I’m thinking of all the ways we could have saved money and kicking myself for it. My husband has gift cards to Home Depot but our local store didn’t have the propane version of the model we wanted. This should not have been a big deal, as we could easily have ordered the right model and had it shipped to the store. BOOM, gift card savings right there. I’ve always touted the benefits of using discount gift cards to save money but I failed to take my own advice here. I can find gift cards to Lowe’s and Home Depot for 10 to 12 percent off, saving us even more money on the grill. Basically, we could have saved a chunk of change on this purchase but because I was impatient and impulsive, we paid full price instead.
I’ve written a lot about time, and how it can be the biggest money-saver when making a purchase. I’ve also discussed how waiting is the hardest part when you’ve identified something you want. During each of these discussions I’ve highlighted how important it is to stick to your guns and not let impulsive desires overtake your common sense. I also know that regardless of what you’re buying, there’s usually a way to save some money on it with a little effort. I utterly failed in these simple goals during the purchase of this grill and now I’m paying the price (so to speak). What’s worse is my husband had the wherewithal to hold off on the purchase and I strong-armed him into it. I literally put down my plastic while he was in the bathroom at the store.
So there it is. I should feel better having acknowledged my failure, but to be honest I feel a little worse now that I see it all in black and white! Eventually I’ll appreciate it for what it is — a learning experience.
Now it’s your turn — any purchase decisions you regret?