HomeFinancial ExperiencesDon't be "that guy".

Don’t be “that guy”.

We all have “that friend”, the one who will drive 30 miles across town to save $0.02 per gallon on their gasoline. I get a kick out of how far people will go to get a good deal. Call me crazy, but I’ll almost always take an okay deal with minimal effort, over a lot of effort for a good deal. That’s not to say that I don’t get a little intense from time to time.

Let’s run through a little test and see if you are normal bargain shopper, or if you fall in to the “obsessed with getting a good deal” category. Answer the following questions….

1) Do you wake up at 2am on Black Friday to get the best deals?

2) Do you send in rebates valued under $5?

3) Have you changed your savings account more than twice in the last year because of better interest rates offered elsewhere?

4) Have you bought more than you actually need of something just because it was on sale?

5) Do you try and barter with salespersons that work at stores that typically don’t negotiate? (Best Buy, Costco, etc)

If you answered yes, to any of those questions, you are probably a pretty intense deal seeker. I have to admit I am guilty of question 5. I was at Costco once looking to purchase a monitor for my computer. The specific monitor I wanted was sold out, except for the display model. I tried for about 30mins to barter with the Costco manager, hoping he would give me a discount for purchasing the display model. He wouldn’t drop the price, so I had to punch him in the face say goodbye and leave the store monitorless.

We are probably all guilty of obsessive deal hunting, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. Anyone else feeling brave and willing to share an embarrassing “deal hunting” story? Are you guilty of doing the across town gas station fill up?




  1. The only one of these I occasionally do is mail in a less than $5 rebate. But only if it is not too involved with extra work. If I buy a pen at office depot and they give me the form and I have the receipt, sure. $4 back with no effort is great! The rest, no.

  2. I refuse to fill gas in my home state of KS, when gas is 7 to 13 cents cheaper in MO. I also go to a store, find something like a pair of north face hiking/climbing shoes and buy the same pair online for $30 less. Feels good.

  3. Well I love all my deal a day sites and will buy them for good deals at food places….I check them everyday along with the lightening deals on Amazon….

    One thing that you did not mention is you will not get gas at Arco because you will not pay the .45 cent fee which is kinda the same thing…

  4. I guess I’m obsessive. I don’t drive across town to get the best price on gas (I would waste too much gas getting there), but I do wait until I’m in that part of town to fill up. And if I’m near it and still have a half tank, I’ll fill up just so I can make it to next time! Yes, I send in rebates for pretty much any amount. Free money is free money 😉 As for buying more than I “need,” well, I am the queen of stockpiling! If I can’t use the food, I find someone who can, or I will donate it. Shopping with coupons has really enabled me to donate so much more to our church and local shelter than I could afford to before.

    MomNinja – I didn’t know Arco charged fees now! When I lived in San Diego they were by far the cheapest gas, because they didn’t take credit cards. I wonder what changed.

  5. haha, I have done all five in the past. Now, I don’t do some much of #1 anymore. Unless it’s insane prices I can’t find any other time, I might consider it if I really need what ever it is. As for #2, every dime adds up. #3 No. #4, yes since detergent and toilet paper doesn’t expire. #5, I will try if it’s a big ticket item.
    I will seek out the cheapest gas along my daily or weekly route. Why would any one spend a gallon of gas to save $.02 per gallon?

  6. I remember when I was a kid there was a gas station out in Sacramento (I think it was Royal or Regal-big purple crown) that had one day a year with 25 cents a gallon gas, people would line for miles and the news cameras were there too. Considering it took about $8 to fill up a car back then, it seemed pretty silly, but if you can manufacture the urgency…

  7. 1) No Black Friday in Canada, and even if there was, no, I wouldn’t line up for the sales… I do watch the mayhem on our morning news, though LOL!
    2) For a $5 rebate, I might consider it; my annual contact lense prescription gives me a $40 rebate, so heck yeah, I fill that one out and get it in the mail ASAP!
    3) I haven’t changed my savings acct in eons… I should look into that.
    4) I’ll buy extra paper products or my favourite shampoo and conditioner because I know they’ll get used, but that’s about it… I don’t like clutter, so if I don’t have a place to store the extras, I wouldn’t buy it in the first place.
    5) We once tried to get a discount for buying a floor model of something (can’t remember what) and was turned down… we left the store empty-handed… couldn’t have been that big a deal if I don’t remember what we wanted to purchase.

    Across town gas fill up… no way to that… with gas being about $1.28/lt ($5.12/gal) in my neck of the woods, it wouldn’t save me any extra, as I’d waste more than the $1.20 I would save just to get the to station. My boss once got all excited about a notice stating a local gas bar was giving $0.05 off per lt; when I did the math for her and told her she’s save about $3.50 on her regular $70 fill, she said “that’s it??”… yep, and she’d better hope there was no line up or she’s waste more just sitting there.

  8. The only one I maybe fit into is the buying extra because it’s on sale. Not to an excessive, Extreme Couponing level, but yeah, if a product that I really like and use often goes on a deep sale, I’ll probably grab two or three.

  9. 1) Nope, never have and never will.

    2) I don’t think so. But then I don’t think I’ve bought anything with a five dollar rebate before…

    3) Nope.

    4) Yes, when I was younger and didn’t know any better…

    5) Not in the US, while traveling I have.

  10. Of the above, I have sent in rebates for less than $5 but only if it were for an extremely high percentage of the purchase price (like it made it free or something). I know…$5 is still $5, but somehow it makes a difference in my head.

    I also have stocked up on items, but only small items that I could store. For instance…getting 6 tubes of toothpaste. I wouldn’t have to buy it again for 6 months. Then in 6 months, there is usually another good deal and I do it again. I can’t afford to store bulk items like toilet paper though. A deal is not worth it to me if I have to climb over toilet paper to pick out some pants in the morning. Sometimes I do “buy” things for free (free or almost free with coupon) to donate to our church’s pantry though. Even though my household won’t use it, someone’s will and it costs me little to nothing to do it. I think that’s smart rather than wasteful. But no…I will not buy 65 boxes of noodles just because they are on sale and I need something to store in my garage.

  11. I’m guilty of #2 and #5. I have had some success with #5 and this is probably why I will still try it occasionally.

  12. I think #1 through #4 are over the top, and I don’t do those things. I might have done #4, but I’m conscious of it now so I don’t believe I do that. With #5, the one you partook in….well, I guess that depends on the situation. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to ask, right? Though it’s often inappropriate depending on the circumstance. I don’t really do this, but should probably try it more, actually! When appropriate, that is:)

    In terms of going too far for a deal, my favorite is a friend I’ve had from way back in my undergrad days. When going to a gas station back in the day, he would always do the following:

    1) Pay in cash
    2) Fill up to 1 or 2 pennies over an exact dollar amount (i.e. – $10.02, $20.01, etc)
    3) Try to pay with exact bills to the nearest dollar amount
    4) Pick up coins from the “take a penny” jar, to get 1 or 2 cents of “free gas”.

    The idea was that if he did this throughout the course of the year, all told he’d get X amount of free miles just by paying with that strategy. Pretty extreme, but I admit I get a kick out of people’s schemes lilke that 🙂

  13. I had to fight an old lady at Walmart on Black Friday for a flat screen TV (Just kidding–I think she might have been my age but looked older cause she was wrinkly from smoking). Do I sound like Ninja now? Anyway, after going out that one year, I am sleeping in from now on.

    I might consider a rebate for $5 since my address is short, but if I lived in Mooselookmeguntic, Maine no way!

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