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Buying Things You Don’t Need to SAVE Money!!

In honor of Frugal Tuesday, I’m blogging about saving money by buying things you DON’T need! Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes, you can actually SAVE money by buying things you DO NOT NEED and WILL NOT USE! 🙂

One of the most common arguments I hear against using coupons is that there just aren’t coupons for the things “I buy.” And while there is often truth in that statement, it’s worth it to me to hang on to all of my coupons anyway – in case there is a sale where it makes sense to buy something I won’t use because it saves me money on something I WILL use.

This is part of my “To Donate” box. I keep it under my washing machine, put things in there that I won’t use, and then take it to the local food pantry when I need to.

The picture of my “To Donate” box shows two purchases I made in May only because it actually saved me money to buy those things.

The first purchase was for the Similac formula. If you’ve been reading my blog, you probably know that one of the ways I keep my grocery budget low is to breastfeed my babies. Formula is something I never buy and honestly, when I put it in my cart at Walmart a few weeks ago, I hoped I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew because I would have been embarrassed! 😉 But here’s why I bought it:

The formula cost $3.74 a bottle. I had 6 – $5 off coupons and Walmart allows coupon OVERAGE. That means if a coupon exceeds Walmart’s price, the difference can be applied the other products in your cart! Six bottles of formula cost $22.44, but I had coupons for $30! Essentially, I saved $7.56 on the supplies for my birthday banner by buying that formula! That made me happy. 🙂 (And yes, I did consider tax, but Iowa does not tax food, so it really didn’t cost me anything to buy it.)

The second purchase was for the KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce. I don’t like it because it’s full of high fructose corn syrup, so I put it in my donate box as well. I bought it because it was on sale for $1.28 and I had $1 off coupons. Wait, you may say! It still cost .28 cents a bottle! Well, yes, technically… BUT… I also had coupons for Save $2 on Pork Ribs when you buy KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce. So essentially, I paid .28 to save $2 on my ribs – the net of that transaction – $1.72 off my pork ribs. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but I had 2 of each coupon so I ended up saving $3.44. Not bad!

$1 here, $1 there…it all adds up! Buying things I don’t need and won’t use saved me $11 in May! I’ll take it. Plus, I get to take something to the food pantry that someone else might need. I like doing that.

What do you think? Do you buy things to save money? Or, does it just sound wrong?

For more money saving tips, read Learning the Frugal Life’s Frugal Tuesday Tips here.


  1. Way to go! I had no idea the $5 formula checks would work on the liquid. I get those sent to me all the time. I exclusively breast feed my baby as well but if I can make money on buying formula and donate it I would be all for that! I will have to check into this. Great tip!! Thanks for linking up, I enjoy reading your tips.
  2. Sara - actually, the coupons I used were not the checks sent from the companies. I think you're right and they are only for the powder. This was a coupon in a recent insert (4/17 SS maybe?) for ANY similac formula product. Look through your inserts. They expire TODAY!
  3. It seems I can rarely get overage on the coupons I use, which is frustrating because I know the stores are getting reimbursed the full amount. If you can get overage though it can really help your grocery bill though.
  4. Jennifer - you can't get overage at Walmart or other stores? Walmart is the only store I know of that explicitly states overage is allowed. If your Walmart is giving your fits - print out the policy here and take it with you.

  5. and you could take a deduction for the donation, schedule a. thanks for linking to the Frugal Tuesday Tip. http://juliecache.com/2011/05/30/frugal-tuesday-tip-19/.html
  6. You are such a smartie! I will have to consider this strategy. Usually I clip the formula coupons and just leave the shelf where the formula is located so someone that needs the product can use them.
    • I should probably update this post, Larae, as this is no longer how I shop, but it was very helpful six years ago when every little bit made a big difference in my grocery dollars. :-)
  7. I take into account a lot more than just $$ with my shopping ethics, so this is not something that would work for us. But, I have known people who have saved a ton of money by shopping this way, so it definitely works well if it fits into your ethical paradigm.

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