Is More a Better Deal?

The question to get your morning rolling today is, Is more a better deal?

This is one of the questions that I truly struggle with on a daily basis. I will give a classic example. I was at a fast food restaurant the other day and made my #3 set order which included a regular sized drink, a burger and fries. The lady at the counter asked me if I would like to “super-size” it – get a large drink and bigger fries for only 50 cents more. Was it a better deal?

One side of me looked at the increase in size and knew that I would be getting more for my money with the larger order. I could certainly eat the larger size without a problem and it would probably mean I wouldn’t get hungry quite as quickly as if I went with the regular sized meal. I wouldn’t need to spend extra money on the food that I would snack on before going to bed. On the other hand, I could certainly get by without adding the extra food onto the order and if I did get hungry later on, I would likely eat something that was a lot more healthy than what I was going to eat. I find that on any given week, my answer to this question would change as to whether more is better..

I’m not sure there is a black and white answer for many of these situations. Is a bigger house a better deal? Is buying in bulk a better deal? It depends on a lot of factors which I often ignore if I don’t take the time to really think about it. I try to make the judgement on an individual basis, but I do know that I have to remind myself much more often that bigger isn’t necessarily better much more often than the other way around.

Please share your own experiences on this topic as a wide variety of views and thoughts are helpful to everyone. If there is one thing that I have learned about personal finances from all of you is that there are always exceptions to the rule and differing circumstances can mean completely different solutions. If you have a blog and you have written about this topic in the past, feel free to link to your writing (although a short summary would be helpful). If you have recently read a good article on this topic, please links and share in the comments.

Image courtesy of amanky

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7 Responses to Is More a Better Deal?

  1. bill says:

    Our society puts forth the impression that bigger is better, but anyone who now owns a SUV can see that is not always true.

  2. derrick says:

    More is often better, but as you said you need to be careful. I save a lot of money buying in bulk and stockpiling.

  3. pam says:

    I think that we all overconsume. We buy too much. Much more than we need. Just look at all the junk in your house, closet, basement and attic. We buy too big. Look at the house and the car. It’s ridiculous.

  4. Jay Gatsby says:

    Invariably the comments will split into two camps, those who say buying more is wasteful, and those who say buying more saves money in the long run. At the end of the day, it really does come down to the individual and the item(s) purchased. For the most part, buying a little more than you need is okay, but buying far more than you need is often wasteful in one way or another.

    I’m of the school that you buy what you need, and very little more than that. It keeps me from engaging in excessive spending on things that, while they may seem important at the time, ultimately aren’t important at all. Postponing a purchase gives one a perspective that just simply isn’t available at the point of sale.

  5. SaveForHouse says:

    I think this question truly depends on the context. Since I’m saving up for my first house (and actually in the process of trying to buy one), I’d like to look at it from that angle. I think at a certain point more is NOT better when buying a house, townhouse, or condo.

    I like to think of home ownership as financial freedom, especially once you’ve paid the mortgage off. My own goal is to buy a house a little bigger than I need now, but definitely not too much bigger. I would rather compromise on size a bit for price. Why? The ultimate lifestyle is being financially free.

    What do I mean here? I want to pay off my house as soon as possible so I don’t waste money on years and years of mortgage interest and also so I can work less. Working less = more rest, more time for my hobbies/personal business, and a much better life.

    Moreover, I see inflation as a huge concern. There’s a perfect storm right now. House prices are down but at the same time inflation is up. Buying a house now hedges against inflation and locks me into a flat mortgage payment (30 yr fixed). If I wanted to get a bigger house, I might miss this opportunity and have to save up a bigger down payment, take more time to pay off the house, and be further from financial freedom. True happiness, in my opinion, means NOT answering to the man anymore and controlling my own destiny. That will be so much easier once I own and have paid off my own house, reducing my monthly expenses by 60-75%!

  6. TopWaysToSave says:

    I think your supersize experience can be a good way to save. Instead of getting two medium diet cokes or two medium fries sometimes my wife and I will just supersize our meal and share the fries and soda. Then just by one more sandwhich instead of two whole meals.

  7. Gail says:

    As most places now let you fill your drink cup as often as you want, when we do go to a fast food place, we get one meal and a sandwich. We don’t supersize anything. We share fries and the drink. We haven’t over eaten, we haven’tspent extra and we had a nice time.

    I try to stockpile when things that I normally use are on a good sale. Over time it saves me money, but I do have to be careful that I’m not stocking up on things with no value.

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