Penny Deals

Alas, it is that time of year again when we start looking ahead to buying presents for friends and family. Money is spent, nails are chewed on, and you know your bank account will stare at you with slitted eyes at the end of the season for taking so much cash away.

But sometimes there are deals to be had. The ever-elusive Black Friday ultimate sale that used to be great deals but now seems like previous pricing before everything got raised.

And then there used to be the penny deals. You read that right. There were certain stores that would mark down poorly selling items until they reached a penny. This was to signal employees to pull the item from the shelf and return to the vendor. But, if you happened to be in the store and paid for such an item, you would be the proud owner of said item for a penny plus tax.

My husband bought eight house water heaters this way. He went to eight separate stores and bought them individually. They were too big to carry to the front so he took the tags, paid with those, and then had an associate load them into the back of his truck. At some locations the manager caught wind of the sale and tried to buy the water heater back. My husband said sure, saying he would sell back for the retail price or store credit for that same price. The manager always said no, and off my husband went with the water heater to sell to other people for retail price.

But he didn’t stop there. At the time there was a website that advertised when penny deals were happening to what items, and my husband, always the sucker for a good deal, would go down to the store and buy whatever the item was. This was before I met him and he was tiling the floors in the front of his house. So when tile hit the penny discount he bought out four stores of the same pattern and stored all of it in his garage. He used it all except two boxes.

He also bought ceiling fans with multi-colored blades, and fertilizer. In fact, he bought so much fertilizer, one day there was a knock on his door from the FBI. Apparently anyone that buys fertilizer over a certain quantity gets flagged and investigated. So of course my husband told the agents about the penny deals and explained he planned to re-fertilize the gardens around his house (which if you’ve read other posts about my husband, you know he is crazy about his plants – see here and here). At first they didn’t believe him, so he brought out the receipt and showed them the website that tracked penny deals. The agents took down the website url and bid him good day.

True to my husband’s word he fertilized like crazy, and his rosebush grew thick and luscious to the point it was taller than his house. By the time I met him it looked like a tree.

You’ll never know where you’ll find your deals this season, or where they’ll take you. However you tackle your frugalness, may agents not come to your front door wanting to confiscate your packages.

Happy buying!

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