These Money-Saving Tactics Really Just Drain Your Wallet

So, you think you’re so frugal, with your buy-one-get-one free fast-food entrées and your massive tubs of cream cheese? Not so fast there, Ms./Mr. Aspiring Cheapskate! These are just a few of the tactics that companies use to make you believe you’re getting a deal when you really aren’t.

Over at Money Under 30, a familiar-looking blogger reflects on deals that aren’t deals and free stuff that comes with an actual price. A few examples:

Bulk food that can go bad.
A giant carton of nacho cheese or a 2-pack of monster bread loaves isn’t a very good deal if you don’t actually use that much on a regular basis. Paying a little more to get twice as much is no deal when your family cannot, in fact, finish two pounds of spinach before it goes bad.

Cheap oil changes.
These serve as loss leaders. It’s okay to remember that going in, then take the list of “necessary” repairs that the shop offering cheap oil changes or state inspections gives you to your regular mechanic. Just don’t let them convince you that these problems you didn’t know about must be fixed right now.

Free-to-play games
Yes, the game is free. But the Smurfberries or special jewels or magic candies that make the game fun and help you progress cost money. Real world money.

Fast food BOGO
Yeah, they’re giving you a second cheap burrito bowl, but only with a mandatory drink and chips. Do you know what the markup is on fountain soda? This is only a good deal if you were going to buy two burritos/sandwiches/burgers along with the accompaniments in the first place.

Funny Money: Spotting Wastes of Money Disguised as Good Deals [Money Under 30]