Barcelona have said they would 'not even consider' paying £50 million for one player, as Chelsea did for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres last week.
Between them, Chelsea and Liverpool were involved in £135 million worth of deals on transfer deadline day, while the giants of Spain spent just £2.5 million on bringing in Dutch international Ibrahim Afellay.
"I was shocked by the amount spent, especially in the winter time. I felt the amount was very high," Barcelona director of football Raul Sanllehi said at the Annual General Meeting of the European Clubs Association. "I know Barcelona would not do that sort of signing now, we would not even consider it.
"Of course we have a budget, but a budget is like a blanket - if you pull it up to your chin, you need your feet to stay warm," he added. "An additional value of those signings was that Chelsea diminished one of their opponents at the same time as strengthening their own team.
"So Chelsea got stronger and Liverpool got weaker, even though Liverpool won the game against them on Sunday. But in my personal opinion, Torres was over-priced."
Barcelona have spent big in the past, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic moving from Inter Milan for £40 million plus Samuel Eto'o in part-exchange in 2009 and Valencia's David Villa joining for £32 million a year later.
However, Sanllehi claimed the club do not have that kind of money anymore, and that they needed to strike their £125 million shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation to help them balance their books.
"Let's not fool ourselves, we needed the money for the Qatar deal. We wouldn't have done it without a lot of money involved for sure,'' he added. "That's what our president said. I would understand that, the need for funds was a clear driver for the whole thing."