How Far Will You Travel for a Deal?

January 22, 2010 at 4:50 AM 7 comments

In the soap aisle at Target yesterday I noticed a woman looking over my shoulder with a wad of coupons. I picked the liquid soap I planned to buy off the shelf and walked over to the hand soap display. Sure enough the same woman was standing behind me with that same wad of coupons less than one second later.

She said, “you and I must be searching for the same set of bargains.” She struck up a conversation and told me that she’s already been to six other stores that afternoon in search of deals. I think my exact reaction was “six stores!”

The woman told me she was a stay-at-home mom of two school age children. After the children leave for school she scours the Internet in search of deals. She creates a master list of stores she plans to visit and heads out by mid-afternoon with coupons in tow. That day she told me she picked up candles from Kmart, soap from Target and tomatoes from the grocery store.

I’ve certainly hit multiple stores in one day. At least one Sunday morning of the month I hit the grocery store, CVS and Rite-Aid, but in my case all three stores are located within a half mile of one another.

If there is an amazing deal on toys I’ve been known to drive out of my way to shop at Toys-R-Us or for pet supplies I might head up to Petco, but I cannot imagine heading out in search of small bargains multiple times throughout the week.

How about you? How many stores will you search out in one day? How far will you travel for a deal and how big of a deal does it need to be?

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jerry  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    My wife has traveled to different stores to pick up all of our items but they are within a couple of miles of each other. We used to live in a small town and it was fairly convenient. But, traveling around a lot leads to bleeding the wallet of cash. You have to weigh your options especially when gas is not cheap. Living within our budget is certainly insurance for our future but finding deals in a smart fashion will help the most.
    Jerry

    Reply
  • 2. me in millions  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Usually the max I'll go to is 3. However, there are a ton of stores near me, so it's never really out of my way.

    Reply
  • 3. Ruby Leigh  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    I try to do my best to maximize at every store. Certain items at Costco, Certain items at CVS, Certain items at CUB. I also have a good idea of what is a "great deal" and what is just a "good deal". So I usually am not going out of my way.

    Reply
  • 4. halfdozendaily  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    Hmmm… I have to say I wouldn't spend my day searching & shopping for deals all over town… If there is a big ticket item I'll travel for it to save a good amount of $$$, but for the small stuff I'll stick to whoever has a better deal nearby.

    Reply
  • 5. Rebecca  |  January 24, 2010 at 3:42 AM

    Helloooo price matching. =P

    Most grocery stores around here match sale prices, so if K-Mart or whatever is having a super deal I'll just bring the flyer with me for the match. Seriously though, I wouldn't drive all over town for little things. Saving .20 cents on some soap isn't worth the gas or time, imo.

    However, there are stores that I will frequent for specific things (e.g. CVS, our asian market, Petco, etc.).

    Reply
  • 6. One Frugal Girl  |  January 24, 2010 at 4:31 AM

    I completely agree with those of you who think it is a bit nuts to drive all over town to save a few cents. I love Ruby Leigh's notion of separating a good deal from a great deal so that you are not wasting time in search of saving pennies.

    The woman I met seemed to view money saving deals as her hobby. While I think many of us travel to stores one or two days a week this woman implied that she goes out in search of bargains on a daily basis.

    I suppose the real question is one of how you wish to spend your time. Do you want to spend it driving around in search of saving pennies?

    Reply
  • 7. Jennifer  |  January 28, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    I used to be just like that woman before gas prices got so high (and before I started my own home business). And like you said about her, it really was a hobby for me – and I viewed it sort of like a job – if I could save a few hundred dollars a week – that was extra money for my family.

    Now that I am busier I do try to separate the good deals from the great deals – and only focus on the great ones.

    Reply

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