How you saved a bunch of money and still got what you wanted

One day, several months back, I was shopping for a new mattress. I discovered that I could buy an optional feature that would elevate the head of my mattress to various levels, elevate the foot of my mattress to different levels, and provide a massage of sorts. I desperately wanted this package, until I discovered that this feature would cost an additional thousand dollars.

So I sat and mused to myself, wondering how badly I really wanted it. I decided that the reason I wanted it so badly was because of the foot elevating capabilities. Then I thought to myself, “Why not just stick a pillow under your feet?” I got two free pillows with my mattress, so I use one under my head and one under my feet.

And that, my friends, is how I essentially got a thousand dollar bonus feature for free.

Any similar stories from the peanut gallery?

Instead of buying food myself, I wait for friends and family to buy food and then go over and eat it. So far so good.

I have very few examples. However if I want to buy electronics I wait until the end of November/early December. They all go on sale then. I got a Wii with sports resort for about $140 doing that, my brother had to pay $260 for the same setup.

I replaced the battery in a TomTom GPS.

Most frightening electronic repair I have ever done. (they GLUE a cheapo limited life battery deep, deep inside the dumb things, and having them replaced is pricey)

I did it successfully, but would never do it again, and I would not recommend anyone else try it.

I found an interesting house on the online listings, then kept on watching it for about six months as the price was dropped a couple of times. Every time I looked at the house, I couldn’t see why this house wasn’t selling, so we finally decided to go look at the house. We bought it for even less than the already-reduced asking price because it didn’t show well - holes in the walls, bare bulbs, that sort of thing, but the house was essentially solid (just needed a facelift).

We also bought my 2005 car used in 2005 - saved a bunch of money by not being the first owners, but the car only had a handful of kilometers on it and all the warranty.

ETA: I forgot the part where we sold the house for about $100,000 profit. :slight_smile:

I’ve been wanting a DVD player and a cold mist humidifier for a few months now, and not wanting to spend the money. (Yes, I know. But it’s really, really tight around here right now.)

Two people, separately, and without knowing I was wanting either thing, approached me, and said, “Hey, I’ve got a DVD player/humidifier I’m getting rid of. Could you use it?” That was pretty awesome.

I’ve taken to thinking longingly about a Mercedes. (Kidding! I couldn’t insure one if I had it.)

I’m getting married soon, which provides plenty of opportunities for spending a lot of money or for doing a little research, making a little extra effort, and spending a lot less. I recently talked to a florist, for instance. I’m not trying to go all-out with flowers, but since I’m having a spring wedding, having spring flowers (particularly irises, my favorite) is important to me. The florist could provide me some of what I want, with a lot of compromises, for $600. If I buy the flowers myself and have my bridesmaids help me arrange them, they probably won’t look as good, but I can get more flowers and make fewer compromises, and it will only cost me about $250.

Similar thing with cakes: a big wedding cake costs at least $300. But the important thing, to me, was to have plenty of cake for everyone, because it bugs me when I go to a wedding and only get a tiny slice. One small “centerpiece” wedding cake and a selection of three or four regular cakes will cost us no more than $150, and we don’t have to place the order until 48 hours prior to the wedding.

Oh, and dresses, of course! I could have bought a really cheap, kinda crappy-looking wedding dress for $500. I was not willing to spend more than that on a dress I’ll probably wear once. The ones I liked run closer to $2,000, though. When I did some research, I found that the style I like (corset top, big puffy skirt) is very common in quinceanera dresses, most of which are available in white, for around $400.

I pre-bought the winter’s worth of heating fuel this fall. When I filled out the pre-buy application, I accidentally entered the wrong value for the contracted price - about 70 cents per gallon less than it should have been. The company didn’t notice, and went ahead and cashed my check. The company has honored the lower price (as, technically, they are obligated to do) without any quibbling.

I’m making out like a bandit, because current prices are quite a bit above even the correct contract price!

I save great big honking bundles of money by NOT being one of the first buyers. Usually, the first version of something will be high priced, and quite possibly full of bugs. If I wait for something like a video game, sometimes it will come out in a gold edition, with the bugs fixed (and new ones added) and sometimes with added content, as well. Of course I run the risk of whatever it is being completely sold out and then never reissued, and then I have to pay a premium price for it. But overall, if I wait for the second version of the console or game or whatever, the price will drop and the quality will be better.

I also go to thrift stores on Mondays and Thursdays. Mondays because people tend to do major house declutterings over the weekends and then haul everything to the store, and Thursdays because sometimes they’re just too tired to haul stuff to the store til then. I usually pay a dime on the dollar for the bigger stuff. I got a dining table and five chairs for $225, for instance, and when I looked it up, it was going for $2000 to $3000 (it was discontinued, but still being sold). I was planning on having to pay up to $300 for a computer desk, and found one for $35. The thing is, I don’t insist on being able to buy something NOW. If it takes me a month or two to find something at a thrift shop, but I only pay a tenth of the price, then I consider that to be a fair exchange.

I didn’t play any videogames for the last seven years, so I have a substantial backcatalog of excellent games I’m playing through for practically free. Just started Half Life 2 a week ago, and it’s awesome!

I also watch, a “deal of the day” website that manages to hit a lot of things I’m interested in. I picked up a $250 toaster oven for $140 a couple of weeks ago.

I eyed my 6 month car insurance bill a couple of months ago (before renewal) and goggled at the 80 dollar hike to $800. The agent’s office, however, sent me a letter strongly hinting that they might be willing to renegotiate if I came in in person. I did just that, the agent on duty promptly voided the extant policy and renewed me-for $460. Thank you Allstate (and, by the way and just for the hell of it, F*** you Geico).

When we were planning our wedding, I was aghast at the idea of paying for a real bridal gown. He was getting a new suit instead of renting a tux, why shouldn’t I have something reasonably priced and multi-use?

But…he hated the idea. He found a dress he loved for me, that was actual quite reasonable as these things go, but once the coordinating veil and crinoline and such were purchased, we were still looking at a thousand bucks.

I was cruising Craigslist and ebay thinking that maybe I could find something cheaper, when I came across the exact dress he wanted. In my size. With veil and crinoline, even. New with tags, wedding canceled and the bride was moving out of state and just wanted rid of the thing. $200 and she threw in a bunch of coordinating stuff like unity candles and holders, toasting flutes, garters, etc.

I got the stuff he really wanted and at the price I really wanted. :slight_smile:

I decided in November that I wanted a Philips DVP3560/F7 DVD Player, but since I’d spent so much money on Christmas gifts, I planned to wait until after Christmas…and everyone was sold out :frowning: After a couple of weeks Amazon got it in again, but the new price was much higher (almost 2x) than it was at Walmart before then - before Christmas Amazon’s price had been $20 cheaper too.

…so I decided to play a waiting game. After another two weeks it paid off, and Walmart briefly had it in stock again, so I paid almost $30 less than Amazon is still asking for the same product.

Hmm. The OP example is kind of lacking. You didn’t actually get the $1k package for free, you got the same service for free, which is as different as wanting an iPad but getting a $200 laptop instead.

My examples:

  1. I waited 2 months until Best Buy had one of their crazy sales (roughly 2 per sales cycle) and bought a 42" plasma tv for $400. It’s been about 4 months, and there’s no 42" TV’s close to this price yet.
  2. I was looking for a t-mobile phone that could do everything an iPhone could do for as cheaply as possible. Then, the iPhone 3GS went on sale for $50, and my wife’s job had an employee benefit for 24% off ATT service plans. We now pay an additional $10 a month for iphones instead of generic cell phones.
  3. I bought a toyota camry in 2007. Usually, the camry, honda accord, and nissan altima are all comparable in features and price. However, for whatever reason, the camry’s starting price for the 2007 model was cheaper than previous years’. Compared to the accord, I saved $5k on the base price, and $2k on the altima.

I got a free hand warmer for my left hand when I bought my laptop. It’s got this little air vent on the left side that blows warm air on my cold left (mouse) hand, and I love it. I pity right handed people as they don’t make a model with the hand warmer on the right side. (yea for left handedness)

I’m a righty who mouses left-handed - I would get all your benefits without any of the downside. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve just thought of a way of becoming rich. Selling clip-on ducts to take the warm air from the left hand side of a laptop to the right. Works for right handers in Winter and left handers in Summer. Win-win!