For my first official blog post I thought I would start with something small to show that a good deal is a good deal no matter the savings. Many people place negotiations way outside of their comfort zone. It’s not easy to break from the norm and realize that you can get things cheaper just by asking, but this type of behavior is not what we’ve been conditioned to. Negotiating is a learned skill that we can nurture and grow like many other things we do in life and to excel at it you must practice without fear of rejection. So how do we break out of this comfort zone and into some serious deal-making territory? Simple. You start small.
The first negotiations you will ever confront will be with yourself. Asking yourself questions like, “Is this worth my time?” “What will I benefit from this?” “Do I really need or want this?” Once you can effectively negotiate with yourself you can move on to bigger things and start negotiating with others.
Something I’ve learned over time is that you can’t always look for a good deal. Sometimes a good deal will find you, but when it does you have to be able to make a conscious choice to make that deal a reality. You have to negotiate with yourself as to whether or not you’re willing to put in the work to get something in return.
That being said, yesterday I went to the store to buy a loaf of bread. I was not set on the type of bread I was going to buy because typically when I go to the store I will look at whatever is on sale and most likely buy from that selection. In this instance I happened to come across some King’s Hawaiian bread with a rebate offer attached to the bag. In big bold letters it said, “TRY ME FREE!”. Now I happen to like Hawaiian bread so this was a no brainer for me, but if there is anything I like more than Hawaiian bread, its FREE Hawaiian bread. I knew this would require filling out a rebate form, but I happen to be an expert at filling out rebate forms so an extra five minutes of work was worth the savings and delicious free bread.
I look at these types of deals as little gifts from the gods of being in the right place at the right time. Sure I may not see that rebate check for a month or two, but negotiating with yourself to figure out if mailing in a form to get a free loaf of bread is worth it is the first step towards becoming a master penny-pincher, and that’s how you do it frugal.
Update – 8/13/13:
I received my rebate check yesterday, making it just over two weeks for free bread. I’ll take it.
$3.49 – $0.46 (stamp) = $3.03