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My Frugal Life: Coupons and Swaps

I use a few sources to cut the cost on my lifestyle. I am a single mom, to a 7 year old daughter, that works retail part time. My money doesn't go far, so I need it to stretch as far as possible. Coupons, and swaps have proven beneficial to me.

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Every Sunday, I pick up my Sunday paper, and I make a day out of cutting my coupons and putting the ones I use into a binder that I have with baseball card protector sheets, divided into subjects such as Dairy, Soups, Household, and so on. Then I hop online and go to www.couponmom.com, which recently I discovered and am getting used to. Just this month, I was able to score 2 free items and use a 6 cent overage on the rest of my purchases due to this website. Now I check every week to see if there is anything I am overlooking and need to be aware of. I also spend some time shopping online at my grocery stores to compare prices and sales to find out where I am going to get my best bet with the coupons I need to use to make up my weekly meal plan.

Besides just using my coupons, I take the ones I have no need for and go to www.thriftyfun.com where I post what I have and what I need and set up some one on one swaps to exchange out these. I also am on a site called www.swap-bot.com where I have joined some swaps that send 30 grocery coupons to your partner, and in return you get 30 from your partner. Sure helps to mix it up and get rid of the ones that are doing you no good. While I do this for my family, I also send all my soon to expire coupons to my niece to use on her family, and I mail out coupons that one of my good friends in Oklahoma uses with her family. In return they send me coupons I use. I will even take coupons that might be useful to them in a swap if I do not find anything I need, and knowing I can help them out makes me feel good.

Outside of the coupon aspect on my life, I have found a place where you can pick up free books which have been very helpful. I even go to www.bookmooch.com to swap out my own books that I am no longer interested in for things I am currently reading which has cut my shopping bill quite drastically, being that I am an avid reader.

I am going to start sewing classes in February, and I got my sewing machine discounted because I work at the place. Then my future mother-in-law was getting rid of her sewing table, so I was able to pick that up free of charge. I even managed to swap some things I had around the house online for fabric that others had left over from projects they had done. Once I learn how to sew, I will be able to make some of my daughter's clothing and other things we need around the house.

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These are a few ways I have found to make my money go further. I do hope by sharing this I have been able to help someone else, or give others ideas about where they can go and look to adapt a frugal lifestyle.

By AmberLeigh from Parkville, MD

Do you have a frugal story to share with the ThriftyFun community? Submit your essay here: http://www.thriftyfun.com/post_myfrugallife.ldml

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February 6, 20120 found this helpful

You are doing so many wonderful things! I am going to check out some of the places you mentioned. I love all your ideas!

Blessings, Robyn

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