How do you save money when you find things to buy?
By meggiedoodle from Thornton, CO
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I started out using coupons, but after losing 2 days per month, I started using store brands almost exclusively. There are a few things that taste different, or perform different, such as cleaning products. I can easily tell the difference in a $1 bottle of dish liquid, versus $4 Dawn for hands! But, it does help out alot. I shop more at the 'everythings a dollar' type stores for many things as well, such as cleaning supplies, paper/plastic supplies, personal care items, even some gifts, and always for birthday cards.
I subscribe to my local Sunday paper because they always have national brand product coupons and oodles of local store flyers for in-store sales of the week. My local paper gives a discount for subscribing so I save 25 cents off the weekly newspaper stand price. Plus, the money I save from using the coupons and paying attention to the local store sales ends up paying for the subscription and I still save lots more money found there on the items I buy at the store. Plus, I basically get a free newspaper where I can sit for an hour or two with a cup of coffee, put my feet up and read the news, funny pages, Parade magazine and get the TV guide for the week ;-)
Personally, I always check the Walgreens, Rite-Aid and Safeway flyers because those stores are all within five blocks from where I live so I save on gas.
I especially love Walgreen instore coupons. Can't even begin to tell you how much money I've saved on their sales for TP, dishsoap, vitamins, food items, etc. The trick with those is to stock up because the price is so low and you can often purchase up to four for that item. For an example: A couple months ago they had a coupon for 89 cents for a 16 oz bottle of Ajax dish soap, limit four. That's enough dish soap to last me (because it's a concentrated soap) about five months and only ended up costing (including tax) about $4.00!
Another thing I do is look for the 10 for $10.00 weekly grocery store sales (and many times they are mix and match items) and the buy three get one free to stock up for future use. I could go on forever about ways to save but I'll leave it for other fellow TF Family members to jump in ;-)
Of course, only buy what products you know you will use and what you have room to store whether it be in your cabinets, closets ot freezer ;-)
I agree with fatboyslimsmom about using store brands and buying cleaning supplies, etc at dollar stores. Also when I make a shopping list, I only buy meats that are on sale. If you shop at Wal-mart, they have meats that they need to sell soon, so they put a large yellow sticker on them with a discounted price. Of course you have to use these meats or freeze them the day you buy them. Try to cut down on the amount of meat you serve. Most people eat way too much meat. For instance, one serving of meat should be about the size of a deck of cards. At our house, I eat one serving of meat and my husband eats two.
Another big expense is cereal. Many stores sell cereal in large bags that taste the same as the expensive brand names, but cost a lot less. Wal-mart has a very large section of these bagged cereals. If you have a "bulk food" store close by, you might find that their prices for items like sugar, flour, spices, etc are a lot cheaper than the grocery stores. We don't have an Aldi's near us, but my daughter does, and she says their prices can't be beat. Another relative of ours loves shopping at the "bent and dent" store near her home.
I only buy my clothes at thrift stores, except for shoes and underwear, and if we need something for the house, I try to buy it either on sale or at a thrift store or a garage sale. Some times we buy things not because we need them, but because we want them. These things can wait until we have the extra money to buy them or until we find them at a very good price.
For instance, I have always cooked on a gas stove until we moved into our present home which has an electric stove, and I do not like cooking on it. So I put a gas stove on my list of things I'm going to buy when I have the extra money, or when I find one at a very good price. Last week, I found the gas stove I wanted at a reconditioned appliance store. The price was awesome and the owner of the store guarantees all of the appliances he sells.
One book I would recommend for you to read is "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" by Amy Dacyczyn. You can buy it at www.amazon.com in the "new and used" section for $9.27. Good luck!
I am sorry, but I have to disagree with fatboyslimsmom. Buying store brands is not a way of saving money. I have learned the "fine art" of couponing! I now do not pay for things like toilet bowl cleaner, shampoo, toothpaste, hand soap. And I get most things I buy everyday for less than, and the list can go on. And I get most things I buy everyday for less than 1.00 or Free! And, Yes these things are name brand items.
I have found that combining sale items and/ or price matching at places that triple or even double coupons that this is possible. I have found a wonderful website that is free and has let me in on all the secrets available to couponing. Yes, it does take time... but I save or make more money couponing that I do working a 40hr a week job! If you want more info email me: twilight_ girl1980 at yahoo dot com I love to share these coupon secrets with everyone I meet!
Couponing works for some yes, if you live in an area that makes it easy. I live in a rural area, and our stores limit coupon doubling, do not offer it regularly, and are generally priced higher in the first place. It would make sense yes, to coupon regularly--provided you don't have to waste much gas and time to do it!
I agree with the post fromthadiusmom and I too am constantly looking at stores sales flyers and then looking at the product on sale on there web site then print there coupon or just join there newsletters which are free and you'll receive coupons.
This is an example of saving and getting an item free.
cvs has a card you get free called the extra bucs card and you swipe it each time you get an item which will give you that extra buc on your receipt good for 30 days to use in there store again. there sales paper had a name brand shampoo on sale at 77cent normally 99 cent I went to that products web site print off a $1 off coupon and you get it free use your bucs rewards and come back again the next day before the sale has lasps and get the conditioner in that brand free as well. just always ask first before you ring up do they take printable online coupons and watch the items on sale in the weekly flyers.
Coupons are not a drag to look for or get if you get your items free. example also dollar tree has wet ones for $1 print a $1 coupon from the wet ones web site and receive free. not sure which web site that thadiusmom is referring too but I too am a member of the free sites for coupons simply by joining there free online newsletter and she is right they are a great way to save. Just google free coupons and you will get lots to pick from. a great one is cereal.com even contact web sites and ask for coupons they will send them too you. I love daisy sour cream and contacted there site and requested them and got 4 non expired ones for 45 cent off any size. walmart.com has free samples just put in free samples you will see the link to them.
I save quite a few dollars every week by purchasing storebrand products. Most food staples are of comparable quality, a few toiletry items are not but initial trials will quickly prove what's worth buying regularly. Living in Australia we do not have coupons available for groceries. I would estimate that 60 - 70% of my groceries are storebrand. I purchase many toiletry and cleaning products and petfood in bulk outside of the grocery store. Although you're paying more in one hit, you save quite a bit on buying individual packs or smaller packs at the supermarket. For clothing, bedding, etc I buy items on sale. Also many retailers here offer a 'price match' where they will beat a competitors price on the same item.
Living in different places will mean different things work for different people, you just have to work with anything you can find :)
I receive Consumer World weekly email updates every Monday. This is one of the articles featured today and it's full of 'ask for a discount' advice:
FYI Walmart will honor most competitors sale ads if you bring them to the register! Saves on gas running to several stores!
I would warn against overuse of coupons. Most of the food you buy with them are crap and you'll pay more in medical bills due to malnutrition. Develop skills in the kitchen, which is time consuming but so is couponing. The food will be better and will nourish your family. Don't buy anything online unless you search for a coupon code first. Comparison shop for everything. For groceries, keep a price book so you see what stores sell the groceries you buy cheapest. Also, sign up for rewards programs everywhere.
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