"A moderate addiction to money may not always be hurtful; but when taken in excess it is nearly always bad for the health." - Clarence Day

Thank You For Saving Me Money

By , June 26th, 2013 | 12 Comments »

Thank you sign

I stopped by Chick-Fil-A this week for dinner, only to discover that they’ve discontinued my favorite side dish, carrot and raisin salad. I was disappointed because I don’t eat fries and it was always nice to have one place that served something else. Ah, well. This is just the latest in a long string of discontinued items, businesses that have gone out of business, companies that have raised prices to prohibitive levels, and brands that have changed formulas resulting in less desirable products.

I used to get really upset when I’d walk into a store only to find that my favorite products were no longer being carried, or that they had undergone changes that made them worse. I would be bummed for weeks. But then one day I realized something: These changes are actually saving me money. How does that work, you ask? Here’s what happens when items get discontinued or overpriced, at least in my house.

I learn to make the item myself

When a restaurant quits carrying a dish I loved or a food maker quits producing a favorite, I learn to make it myself. In the end, I make it cheaper and often better/healthier than the restaurant version. It takes some experimentation, but I usually get there. Without the prodding that comes from a discontinued item I’m usually content to keep buying it, but when it’s gone I’m willing to make my own.

I quit buying it altogether

When the satellite company raised prices to ridiculous levels, I cancelled the service. When restaurants quit serving favorite dishes, I often quit eating there. (This is especially true if the favorite was a signature dish that I could only get there. Why pay to eat dishes that I can get anywhere or make myself? When the pizza delivery place quit delivering to my neighborhood, I quit paying for pizza because I wasn’t willing to drive to go pick it up. When a retailer quits carrying a favorite brand of something, I don’t rush to replace it unless it’s a necessary item. Often product changes and discontinuations lead to “boycotts” on my part, or simply the realization that whatever it was wasn’t worth the price, anyway.

I find a replacement item that is sometimes better and cheaper than the original

If I’m forced to find a replacement, I look long and hard for something that’s better yet less expensive than the original. Very often I can find it. Even if I end up having to pay a little more, I actively look for better quality. It doesn’t take long before I’m asking myself why I put up with the less desirable product for so long. The discontinuation prods me to look closely at cost vs. quality and I often find that better options are out there.

The more cuts and changes stores and restaurants make, the more I save. So, I’d like to take a moment to thank all those restaurants who quit serving my favorite dishes. Thank you to the companies that raised my rates for optional services so high that it was no longer worth paying. Thank you to the food manufacturers who changed the recipes of my favorite foods for the worse. Thank you to the delivery restaurants who either tacked on such ridiculous delivery fees or quit delivering to my neighborhood altogether. Thank you to the stores who stopped carrying my favorite bands. To all of you, I extend my heartiest thanks for saving me money. I salute you.

(Photo courtesy of The Shopping Sherpa)

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  • Sharon says:

    sometimes we save money because we don’t want to support a company (Chick-Fil-A) racial practices 🙂

  • Jenny says:

    I’ve never had chick-fil-a, so I don’t know about their carrot salad, but here is a really easy-to-make one that I find pretty tasty. You only need carrots and raisins (of course) plus mayo and a can of crushed pineapple. Grate the carrots, then drain the pineapple and keep the juice. Mix some or all (depending on how large of a salad) of the juice with mayo to make a dressing then stir the dressing, pineapple, and the raisins into the carrots. Then leave to sit for a couple hours before eating. Yummy.

  • Christina says:

    Relevant to saving money by preparing fast food items at home:
    Anyone want the recipe for McDonald’s special sauce for Canada Day or July Fourth cookouts? Here it is.
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 minute
    Total Time: 11 minutes


    1/4 cup salad dressing (like Miracle Whip®)
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
    3 tbsp French salad dressing
    1/2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
    1 1/2 tbsp dill pickle relish
    1 tsp sugar
    1 tsp dried, minced onion
    1 tsp white vinegar
    1 tsp ketchup
    1/8 tsp salt


    Mix all ingredients, and stir well in a small container.
    Microwave on high for 25 seconds, and stir well again.
    Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

  • jim says:

    You sound like a moron.

    Chick-fil-a is one of the most decent NON-discriminatory businesses out there. WTH is this racial discrimination allegation? Kind of like the gay guy baiting the order taker. Only embarassed himself.

  • Christina says:

    So my make-it-at-home recipe for a restaurant’s secret sauce doesn’t fit in with the make-it-at-home carrot and raisin salad content of the post, but a post telling the first poster she sounds like a moron gets approved?

    • jeffrey says:

      I never saw that comment and since you have commented before, it would have gone through without being moderated. What I think happened is that we had our server go down a couple of days ago and lost about 6 hours worth of data — you must have posted during that time. Greatest apologies on that.

      Edit: Oops, it was there. It simply didn’t get approved right away because i was in my car all morning and just sat down to the computer.

  • getforfree says:

    Why wait until you are forced to find replacement? Whenever I like a certain product, like cleaner or salad, or cake, I always wonder how is it made and if I can make it myself. And if I can make it cheaper, why wait until they discontinue it?

  • Minny says:

    Here is a great cook book!

    The Takeaway Secret: How to Cook Your Favourite Fast-food at Home
    by Kenny McGovern.

    It has great reviews on Amazon.

  • Gailete says:

    My mom used to always make carrot salad and I loved it especially if she put chopped walnuts in it. By the way, last time I was at Old Country Buffett they had carrot salad.

    It is frustrating to not be able to find something you really like. After living in this part of the country for almost 40 years, my mom, sister and I kept wondering why we couldn’t find canned plums for sale ANYWHERE! Then one day I found them at Amazon.com no less. I have to buy 8 cans at a crack and they aren’t cheap, but they are good for you and taste good. I guess I’m not saving money, but it is fun to find those old favorites again.


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