With the uncertain times we are all facing now it is even more important to save where we can. It is hard sometimes to tell myself to hold off on purchasing something I really want and distinguishing a want from a need; this is what I have come up with. I divide my list in two sections, my wants and my needs. If I have saved some money that I feel I can spend on wants, I put it in an envelope in my dresser.
When I go shopping, I put that envelope in my purse in case one of my wants is on a really good sale. This way I don't feel guilty purchasing something special once in a while.
I also carry my coupons in my purse and before I go shopping I go through my coupons, if I have one to match something on my list I make a C by that item to remind myself I have that coupon. When I put that item in my cart I get out that coupon, and put it with my money so I don't forget to use it. I also cross off items I have found, it saves me time looking over my whole list to see what I still need to purchase.
Competing stores often try to out do each other and that means money in our pockets; don't forget to ask if the store will honor a competitor's coupon. Wal-Mart honors all other stores coupons, which has saved me many dollars several times.
If I have several stops to make I plan out my route to save time and gas. The first thing I do is check the papers for the sales and coupons. Will it pay to drive to another store to save a few pennies? Not unless they have some of the other items I need or coupons that will pay off at another stop. Most times it doesn't pay to make too many stops.
The important thing for me is to keep the wants separate from the needs.
By Ann Winberg from Loup City, NE
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