It's on Sale!!!! So we better stock up on this item as much as we can before this "great" deal runs out right!?! While that maybe the initial impulse many of us feel when seeing a sale on something that catches our eye, before we "buy now" we should stop and think now instead. Not everything that is on sale is a bargain. In fact, as one once said (in paraphrase) nothing is a bargain if you don't need it.
When it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables you should be careful not to go overboard with purchases as those tend to go to waste when bought in bulk-even if you freeze them to avoid spoilage-because unless you have a thing for a hint of freezer burn to set your cooking apart and consider some sort of secret ingredient no one will want to eat old frosty things later. Sure you can buy more than usual if you it is something you use a lot. However you should only buy the amount you know you or your household can consume in a reasonable amount of time.
Even foods you may consider nonperishable such as cereal and grains can be wasted if bought in bulk. Flour for example can breed mealy moths, weevils, and all sorts of nasty critters if you don't plan to use it in a reasonable amount of time. Even if you don't have a bug problem to begin with don't stock up on flours and grains if you don't want one later. Only purchase dry foods when you are going to use those specifically for something soon, not in mere wishful thinking for some ambiguous recipe at some undefined point in future. This way you are more likely so you get to it before the bugs do or it becomes stale.
When it comes to clothing you should also beware of the "buy it now" pit, because while it may seem like a great idea to buy things that are on sale but once again it does depend on what your actually needs are. I know from personal experience I have ended up with some items that looked okay and got at a good price that I have never worn out, and some of you may have to. Why does this happen?
Well when you are super broke or on a budget you may feel the pressure to buy things you can afford while you can afford them if the normal price of the item is usually disagreeable with your budget, without thinking too much as to how much you actually like the item and even stock up on it just because it's on sale since you are not sure when you afford it again. But that method of shopping may just prove the truth of the statement "hast makes waste" as evidenced by a closet of nice but unworn clothes because something wasn't quite right.
One way to weed out nice but not great clothing choices which you might not actually wear in the long run from the great ones is to try on clothing before purchase. That gives you time to evaluate the item and let the sale hype wear off. Also you should ask yourself if it was full price would you still be attracted to the item's style and quality even if you wouldn't be able to afford it. If you are buying it more for the cheap price than the item itself once the sale excitement wears off you might not actually wear it often or at all if the sale was your main reason to be attracted to it. So you shouldn't settle for something you wouldn't otherwise wear due to price.
If you buy something for the quality, style, and fit rather than for the sale alone you can be sure you would happily get more use out of it. Your money would be better spent on a few nice items of good quality than on a bunch of decent but not great things you won't actually wear. But if you did grab something off the sheaf just to find that it really didn't fit as well as you would've liked or for some reason didn't find as appealing afterward and you can't return it all is not lost. You can consider reselling it on Ebay or donating it.
Although I have spent most of this article warning about falling into the "buy it now" pit there are some items that are be pretty safe to buy in stock when on sale and those would be the bare basics- high demand household items you may use on a regular if not daily basis such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, and other nonperishable basics that keep your household running smoothly.
I left out bodily care items because if you use all natural products the shelf life might not be as long as their chemical leaden counterparts depending on the brand (yes I have purchased hair products that actually have expiration dates, so it is possible) but you get the idea. If you are going to stock up focus on items that are more of a need than a want in your household in amounts you know won't go to waste and/or are nonperishable.
So before reaching for an item during a "great" sale, as tempting as it maybe to kick your brain to the side take the time to decide if: 1. Do I actually need this item? 2. How often do I use this item? 3. Is it perishable? 4. Is purchasing a certain amount at a low price really going to be cost effective in the long run? Don't stock up on items you or our family will rarely use or don't need.