Don’t Be Fooled by Sneaky Labeling!


Blogging about personal finances, I should be on top of my game and living by my mantras. Usually this is the case – but I was duped by clever marketing techniques ending up in a giant facepalm incident. Oh the embarrassment!

Yesterday the fiance and I had a full-day, assembly-line operation preparing the wedding invitations for the upcoming Big Day. If you’ve been through, or are going through, wedding planning then you know costs can add up quickly and unexpectedly.

We opted for doing our own invitations, because frankly, it’s sole purpose is informational. Simply could not justify the cost for something which would most likely be thrown away. Sorry friends, but I practice the 3 R’s of wedding invitations – Read, Retain, Recycle. Read the invite, retain the information until the event, then toss them afterward. I don’t have a memory box preserving all this paper I receive. *Can you tell I’m a practical engineer or what?

Another benefit of private school, I can pass my swooping cursive as handwriting from days of yore. While my dad did the calligraphy for his own wedding invitations and one of the bridesmaids also has the talent, I couldn’t subject either of them to my totalitarian management techniques. ;)

If you’re looking for more ways to reduce costs, Free From Broke had an interview with Anja Winikka from TheKnot on how to have an affordable wedding.

Few guys in tuxes walk into a brewery,
Owner says, “you going to a wedding or a funeral?”
Guy replies, “depends on what side of the aisle you’re on!”
Not a joke, true story from a friend of mine :)

Back to the story, I purchased a nice all in one printer from Staples on Black Friday for 48% of the original cost. As you well-know, I am a huge proponent of never paying full price.

Not needing to replace the ink cartridges up until this point, I headed back to Staples. Looking through the packages, there was a “Value Pack” deal – 3 color cartridges, 1 photo black, and 150 photo sheets. Comparing this to purchasing the color cartridges and black separately, I was saving $4 plus getting the photo paper. What a steal!

Everything’s going swimmingly until we realize the black cartridge doesn’t fit in the printer. After a little sleuthing, we called Staples realizing we had the wrong HP product!

I’ve got to give Staples credit, the representative was unbelievably helpful. He explained they’ve had this problem before, and get this… The “value” package cartridges contain less ink, so while you are “saving” $4 you are getting ½ of the printing capacity – that’s not a good deal at all!

It seems like companies have a way of promoting: “low fat”, “green”, or “value” products while not telling the whole story. Sure, it may be low fat/calories, but the sugar/sodium is through the roof; or it may be green, but maybe only in comparison to their other products.

The moral of the story is don’t get tricked by fancy labeling.

Make sure to read the fine print and, like investing,

fully understand what you are buying.

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