How We Saved $146.90 By Reading The Paper

Sears Kenmore Water Softener

It’s not everyday reading the paper gets me excited but I sure did this past week. In fact my wife is proud of me and I’m pretty proud of myself for scoring this great deal. For some people money and debt go hand in hand so every time we can save a buck we jump at the chance.

I know you are thinking, big deal it’s only $146.90, what are you so excited about? That’s alot of money, that’s why, at least to us it is. Our grocery budget is $235 a month and that chunk of money although small could feed us well for a few weeks.

I’m not sure I’d be the only one giving $146.90 up if the offer was on the table. I’m also betting there will be those people who think I’m a cheapskate for doing what I did in order to get this money.

Do I care what people think of my money-saving ways? Not really, it’s our money for starters and the store puts the policy in place so consumers “do” take advantage of it.

This is one way retailers keep their prices competitive and keep their customers happy. I’d consider myself frugal rather than cheap as sometimes quality is more important than quantity or price to me.

Whoever is willing to give up $146.90 cash probably doesn’t even need the money or simply don’t give a toss.

I’ll admit I’m the last person who ever thought he could save money on every day items he’s bought if the item goes on sale with-in a specified time frame. It’s just not something I had ever heard of when I lived in the UK so it was new to me.

Then again, I’ve lived in Canada for almost 6 years now so retailers in the UK may have adopted this type of pricing policy since I’ve left. I’m not even sure if they have this type of policy set up in the USA, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

By now you either know how we saved the money by reading the paper or you are still scratching your head thinking I’m off my trolley. Let me explain.

In Canada, this is what they call a price adjustment or product price adjustment.

The Water Softener Saga

If you remember back in March our water softener had its last days living in the Canadian Budget Binder home and failed on us. It was crucial that we found a new one right away with the amount of hard water we have. We were on the hunt for a decent priced water softener that wouldn’t break the budget.

Ya, like that was going to happen. I searched high and low and did my research on the best water softeners available in our area. We ended up going with Sears Canada and paying $899.99 plus tax which cost us $1016.98 to fit a new water softener in our home.

Reading The Paper

The water has been great since and the machine is working like a charm. No more white spots and build up around our taps. There is no price adjustment strategy when it comes to getting some money back, all you need to do is take note of the prices.

I promised myself that I would keep tabs on this big-ticket expense just in case the price dropped as I only had 3 months of opportunity and praying that the price would drop.

The cashier did get us a bit excited saying that the system showed the lowest ticketed price at $699.99 which meant that it could drop that low at some point in time. She did tell us that some big sale events were due to be coming up and to keep an eye out.

I did watch for a few weeks checking the website every week just in case unadvertised sales popped up on-line or when the flyer came I would scan through it. As each week passed by I was getting discouraged thinking the water softener is never going to go on sale.

Sears told us we had 3 months from the date of purchase to bring in our receipt if we noticed the price had dropped at any Sears store. Sears calls this convenience the “price protection plus” which is essentially a price adjustment.

The great thing about Sears is you can either go in for the adjustment or call their support team and do it over the phone. Since you used your Sears credit card, once you verify the info and provide the URL website of the price you want an adjustment on they can refund your credit card over the phone.

So, you don’t even have to leave your home although we found that out too late but that’s Ok, now we know better for next time.

If you like to price match Sears will also price match an identical product up to 30 days of purchasing the item. These are major pluses when it comes to shopping for us and why we return to these stores.

What is Price Protection Plus?

With any purchase of Appliances, Sewing Machines, Vacuum Cleaners, Home Furnishings, Mattresses and Electronics* that is made with your Sears Financial Credit Card, we will match a Canadian retailer’s advertised price for 90 days. Purchases made with any other tender are covered for 30 days.

Not every shop has this policy or they may have a limited price adjustment time frame where they only allow you so long to reap the rewards of cash back. Sometimes what you have to watch out for are the 1 day sales or in this case the 3 day sale which only ran on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

While reading the local weekend free newspaper last week which I don’t always do there was an article on the front cover that caught my eye. When I opened the newspaper I noticed the Sears flyer inside so I pulled it out and sat it on the coffee table while I finished reading the story that jumped out at me.

What also jumped out at me was the price of the water softener that was clearly on sale for LESS than what we bought it for. We literally had that weekend to get to Sears so they can take the price we paid minus the adjustment price and refund us the difference of $146.90.

How a product price adjustment works

Typically, If you find that a product your purchased goes on sale and you are in the time limit of the price adjustment policy of the store (check online or call and ask) bring in your receipt and ask for an adjustment with the new sale price. Over time we have learned the policies of the stores we go to but don’t be shy to ask. We’re always learning something new.

Here is how our water softener adjustment was calculated.

  • Product Price $899.99 * 1.13
  • Product Total with Tax $1016.98 (What we paid)
  • Sale Price $769.99 * 1.13 
  • Sale Price with Tax $870.09
  • Price Adjustment $1016.99-$870.09=$146.90 back in our pocket! 

The problem with a product price adjustment for most people is that once they buy something they forget about it. The last thing that comes to mind when reading the paper is whether they purchased an item in previous weeks or months to get a rebate. They enter the expense in their budget spreadsheet and move on.

That got me thinking about all the missed opportunities we may be throwing out the window because we aren’t tracking these big-ticket expenses.  Product price adjustments are probably one of the easiest ways of making money and some of us are letting the money pass us by.

For dollars and cents sake even the small expenses all add up if you can get reimbursed some cash for your purchase. It might not be the most practical way of saving money but it’s money back in your bank account and to us, that’s a win-win situation.

product price adjustment tracking sheet 013

Product Price Adjustment Tracking List

I’m a lists guy if you haven’t figured that out by now and every time I create a list it ends up in my Free Money Saving Tools that you can download and use at home. I decided to create a list that we can mark in any big-ticket expenses or items that we had to pay full-price for along with the store name and the date.

Since we track our receipts in our budget we keep our receipts especially if it’s an item with a warranty. Lately we’ve hung on to our receipts for up to one year.

So next time you are out spending your hard-earned money on big-ticket items or even the small stuff take note at the store and ask if there is a price adjustment policy and read it.

When you get home mark it down on your tracking sheet and voilà, each week you read the flyers or shop online you will have all the info you need at your fingertips.

Reading the paper and weekly flyers might not be as popular as it once was but for us it saved us $146.90 in cash that we could have missed out on.

Would you have went back to Sears to get the adjustment or do you think we wasted our time?

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Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB was born and raised in the United Kingdom who then moved to Canada where he is a permanent resident. He recently became a father to a very busy toddler who allows him to be a kid at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 after University and his second at the age of 24. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are Debt and Mortgage Free and they did it all in under 5 years using a Budget. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where he shares their financial experiences with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. Welcome to CBB!
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Alan@escapingmydebt says:

    This was a nice catch. I would never turn down free money even if it is $10. Especially doing something as easy as reading the paper.

  2. Hi Mr. CBB,
    Great reminder of something we all should think about, especially since big ticket items aren’t bought often. I’m in Quebec, so I don’t know if it applies across the country, but you don’t have to match Sears to Sears – you can match the price with any store selling the same product.

    Which brings me to my next point! It’s important to know the part (model) number of your purchase, so it would help to have that information on your chart for easy reference. And the time allowance could note the expiration date. Anything to make saving money easier!

    After we bought a new fridge and stove in November we went crazy checking the sales for three months, hoping to find a lower price somewhere. And we did, not as much as you found, but we were proud of ourselves!

    Thanks for the reminder!

    Marnie

    • Hi Marnie,
      Yes for Price Matching you can PM any store as long as it is the identical product. We did that with our television at Sears PM’s an online website for the best price. I also put the part number down just next to the product on the tracking list. The sheet can easily be modified as soon as it is downloaded. Smart going, you sound like you are on the same page as us with saving money!! thanks for dropping in Marnie!

  3. Yes! Good for you Mr CBB! Is this saving going into the Rendezvous account?? It is rather like found money and will help make the summer vacation for yourself and your Mrs. just a little more flush. 😀

    • Ha, no it’s going back into our home maintenance account because we have so much to do around here. It will be best spent in that part of the budget. The rendezvous account will grow, heck with almost $70 in it we’re well on our way. Cheers Mary!

  4. My Husband is really good at noticing if things go on sale after we have bought it. And has saved us quite a bit of money that way (he bought brand new snow board gloves at full price in early March, which went on sale for 30% off a few days later. a saving of $47). We are always on the look out for ways to save money and would definitely make the trip.

    • hey Lise, money is money and if you can get it back why not. The problem is not enough people know that some stores offer this to them. How do you keep track of what you buy so you can watch the prices?

      • I can definitely see us using your sheet from now on. Before it was more a mental note, which worked if it was 2-3 weeks down the road. but we would forget about it if it was any longer than that. Thanks

  5. Colleen K says:

    ….If saving money makes you off your trolley well move over and I’ll join you !!!

  6. nickydon40 says:

    We did this at xmas time and saved alot of money as we shopped end Oct/Nov then went back in and got our money refunded when everything went on sale. I even got money back on items that went into the Black Fri/Cyber Mon sales too

  7. Wendy LeDrew says:

    Good for you:) I would of done the same, although I had no idea about sears doing price adjustments, or any stores really! I will have to look a bit more into this, and will definitely keep my eyes open from now on. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Christine Weadick says:

    Nice work there……. Definitely worth the work going in!!!!! I did close to that a number of years ago when I got my stove from Sears. The sales lady told me that floor models were coming up on sale in a few days, so I looked over what they had. They did have a nice gas stove on the floor. It was a self cleaning unit, I wasn’t overly concerned about that part but what ever. There were a couple of chips on the stove top, but again, what ever. I saved enough to pay for delivery, installation(it’s gas so I had to bring in someone to do that for me), and a 3 year extended warenty for it. The only reason we went for the extended was the stove it was replacing had issues with the igniter crapping out and it was expensive to replace. There was still some change left from the original price so that really made our day!!!! I would definitely go that route again……

  9. Great catch Mr. CBB! I totally would’ve gone back for that as $147 is not chump change by any stretch of the imagination. I think many would just forget about looking for it to be advertised as being cheaper or simply would not go in to get the refund.

  10. That’s great that you saved that much money! 🙂

  11. For some reason, I do this religiously with diaper costs (I try to only buy them when they are actually on sale, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way) but I never thought to do this with anything else. Great tips! I’ll have to start paying more attention!

    • Yes, for sure! It’s not only the small things which we also work for but those big items that can save you hundreds if not thousands! How do you track your expenses so you know to go back and do an adjustment?

  12. Good save, Mr CBB! It is also good to know that it was not just $146.90, it was $146.90 after taxes!!! You need to remember how many hours that you had to work to make that money. If you saw a $100 bill laying on the sidewalk, would you pick it up? Of course!

    • That’s true Carol, it wasn’t JUST it WAS… and it would have been lost money so well worth it in my eyes. I always think about how long it would take me to make the money to buy something. Have you ever used a price adjustment before?

  13. If someone offered me $146 you bet your blog I’d take it in a heartbeat! Love how you saved almost effortlessly. My wife and I coupon so a lot of our friends & family get on us about it but we save hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year.

  14. Good save! I’m 100% with you on this, if you can save or get money back, I can’t think of a good reason not too!

  15. Debt RoundUp says:

    Now that is what I call a win. If you are watching for the price drop, then you are leaving almost $150 on the table. That would be crazy. Nice find and good save Mr. CBB!

  16. That’s awesome!

  17. That’s free money Mr. CBB and it was rightfully yours so I’m glad you got to take advantage of it. We’re planning on buying a second house in the near future, so it would only make sense to take your advice and keep a price sheet for big ticket items (we’re obviously going to have to buy a bunch of stuff). They do price adjustments in America as well, and a lot of time the big credit card companies will automatically apply the lower amount to your card for big ticket purchases. You don’t need to do an appeal or anything, it’s just automatic. Amazing!

  18. Score! $150 back in your pocket is HUGE! I definitely would have went back and happily put the extra money back in my pocket. It’s easy to forgot about price matches and rebates, but they can add up to significant savings.

  19. Nice – I know we have that on our Discover card.
    https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/help-center/faqs/price-protection.html

  20. Heck, I wouldn’t be ashamed. We’ve done price adjustments for less than $50, so I think the savings that you experienced are great. Perhaps even worth a fist pump.
    Thanks for sharing your price adjustment sheet. I may have to create a more detailed binder like yours to help us stay on track with our household budget.

  21. For almost $150, you bet I would go back. I wonder what I’ve missed over the years by not paying attention to flyers? We haven’t bought any big ticket items since the stove for our rental house last fall, but I will be sure to make a point of looking from now on. However, I did glance at a flyer we got in the mail from a car insurance company that is now doing homeowner’s insurance. I thought I’d check them out, and it looks like it will save about $300 this year if we switch. I have to check out the company tomorrow to make sure it’s got a good rating, but if it does, we’re there. Money in pocket! I love it. It’s funny how I used to think shopping made me happy, but now it’s finding ways to save money.

  22. This is fantastic! I have done similar things! A few years ago I needed a new vacuum. One of those items that kinda can’t wait. So I picked one up at Canadian tire. Within a couple of weeks Canadian tire had nearly 50% off the same item in their flyer. I was all too excited to be there when the doors opened!

  23. Heck yes, I would go back! I think we fall into the category of those that forget about their purchases after they are made. However, if I saw the adjustment, I would definitely go back…especially for $150!

  24. Good for you guys, Mr. CBB! I’m right there with you: that’s a lot of money, and it all adds up! I love the spreadsheet BTW. What a great idea!

  25. mycanuckbuck says:

    146 is plenty of money – I’d sure get excited about it! 🙂

  26. For almost $150, I would definately go back! That’s an entire day’s gross pay for my current project! Now if the savings was small, like two or three dollars, I probably wouldn’t bother unless I was already going back to the store and could easily find the receipt.

    • I wasn’t sure how many people would go back but an overwhelming amount of people would and that’s good to hear. We only go back if we find an error the next time we shop. We won’t make a special trip. We do call the store and let them know. Money is money for us, so we save it when we can.

  27. Joanna Cheevers says:

    Way to go! Although it’s been a while since I’ve done it, I have gone back to a store with the price guarantee before and gotten much less money then that back. I think the last time was for about $40 but that to me is still a great savings.

  28. studentdebtsurvivor says:

    Oh wow. I’ve done price adjustments in the past, but never one that big. Well done!

  29. Very well written, I guessed you were a fellow Brit early on as giving a toss, and trolley gives it away, lol. Just stumbled across your blog. Will be sharing this, and I am sure many others of your thoughts, tips and blogs with my https://www.facebook.com/ABCouponers Facebook Fan page. We all have our strengths and areas that we focus upon., With my librarian background, I love finding ways to share and help others discover great tips.

    • Hi Marie,
      Yes I am from the UK. Been in Canada for just about 6 years coming up later this year. I’ll check out your page. Where are you from?

      • ahh, well Canadian now after 32 years here in Calgary. Born in Edinburgh, French parents from Mauritius, grew up in Durban, South Africa…have a bit of everything in me from all over. Have been an information gather and sharer for years..before computers existed.

  30. my experience with sears has also been excellent . as a matter of fact when i was contemplating a new washer – the salesman at sears convinced me to buy because the item i was buying was going on sale the next week and he volunteered to do the price match for me automatically the following week. Which he did with no problems. I saved a few hundred dollars as well. And that particular salesman has sold us a fridge, stove, and washer. I search him out to make my purchases.

    • That’s great you had a good experience with them. We both love Sears and would be hearbroken if they ever closed as there aren’t many department stores left these days. There is something about the environment we love in a department store and the service we get. Maybe we are old school but we would take that service any day over the big box stores. Cheers!

  31. We do this all the time – especially at Christmas. We call it reshopping. Every year I save about $200 on Christmas gifts.

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