Thursday, February 19, 2009

Frugal Friday

Last week we talked a lot about budgets. How to start a journal of your items purchased with two column headings of Wanted and Needed. I hope everyone decided to do this and I would love to hear what you all thought about it. Did you find yourself looking at your budget in a new light? Did you notice a pattern anywhere and ways of saving yourself more money? If you did, then good for you and give yourself a pat on the back. You've just started in the steps to frugality and pinching more of those ever loved pennies.

Other ways in which we can save money and be more frugal are using and cutting coupons. Until recently I'll be honest. I'd never done it at all. I figured I didn't' have time, it wouldn't save me much of anything at all. Well if done correctly it will save you lots of money on your purchases. Not only grocery store coupons but pharmacies as well.

To get the most out of using coupons you will need to do ho
mework on this. Just using the ones out of one Sunday paper is not going to save you much. Granted you will save a dollar here and there, but to see a really big difference you need to take other steps. I actually purchase one Sunday paper, then go back to my car, look to see how many coupons I would be using and then go back and purchase another couple of papers. You may have spent about $6 on the paper but in total you have several $'s in savings coupons. Once you do your homework at the stores this could lead to even more $ savings by going and using on double coupon days.

Something I had not paid attention to till recently when doin
g my homework is that I failed to notice many of my receipts had coupons attached to them. This meant even more savings to me. Pay attention to your receipts ladies. Another often overlooked place is on the store shelves. Many grocery store shelves have them displaying and hanging in front of particular products. So pay attention when going up and down the aisles.

There are many available websites for free coupons as well. These sites offer loads of printable coupons. Now you might have to download a coupon printer off there site but it is well worth it for you. You do need to check with your stores to see which do take these printed coupons. Not all stores take them any longer since there were a few bad apples among us who reproduced them. My area Wal-Mart still takes them as does some other stores. So check and see before printing from these sites to save yourself the cost of copy paper and time.

Check out manufacturer websites as well. Proctor and Gamble always has coupons available to the consumer. You may have to sign up for their newsletters but in addition to the coupons you can also sign up for various free (not even having to pay S&H) samples. My advice to anyone here if doing this is to open another email for yourself and use it strictly for your coupons, free samples and websites that are for this type of thing. So as not to have your regular email bombarded with freebies and
coupons sites.

Check with your grocery store to see if they offer a frequent shopper card. Or if they send out direct mailings to their customers if they have some serious specials going on and then you are the first to know. Kroger has their shopping card and I have to say it's worth the time to get it. Plus you can check Kroger out online and make your grocery list right there. Become a member of the site, you can see the paper even if you don't get a mailing (which I do not), mark the items you want to purchase and print it out. This saves you time in advance and you can compare your coupons to the stores weekly sale items. It's always best if possible to use your coupons on sale items. This provides you more savings.

Did you also know you can stack coupons? This means taking a manufacturer coupon and a store coupon and using those together for even more savings on that item. To get even larger savings try using your manufacturer coupon, your store coupon, your rebate and the sale and often you get the item for free. Wow what a huge savings. We all love free things. What's better than that?

The rebates is another thing I had been overlooking myself. Months ago I purchased Trucker a bluetooth for his use on the truck. Saving him from trying to hold the phone and talk. When I purchased the bluetooth I had a coupon, also used my discount for working at ATT at the time, an
d a refund from something I had to return to the store. I also received a rebate form for mailing in the receipt which would have given me an additional $30 back. I just found that $30 rebate form on my desk under pounds of clutter. I lost $30 on that deal. My own fault. No one else's. Basically I threw that money to the winds. The bluetooth ended up costing me only $5.00 when all said and done that day upon leaving the store, but had I used that rebate I would have gotten money back. $25.00 to be exact. So what I am saying is take the time to fill out those rebates and get them in the mail. Don't put them off but do them on the day you receive them. You're saving money that way and not losing it.

Another good way to find coupons is when your traveling. Pick up the papers where you travel. Did you know that different regions in the country have different coupons in their areas? I didn't either till researching and discovering this. So I started having Trucker pick them up for me while he is delivering around the local states.

Combine BOGO sales with BOGO coupons. C
ombine a buy one get one free coupon with a buy one get one free sale, and you'll get both items free. Pretty slick, eh?

Use your coupons in the trial section of the stores. Most coupons specify the size of the product that must be purchased, but when they don't it's an invitation to get creative. Take your "any size" coupons to the trial size section of the store, and match them up to those pint-sized goodies. Then, load your cart with lots of free loot.

I touched upon Pharmacies earlier at the beginning. Now I have never been one to purchase anything at a pharmacy excepts meds. Well I am learning now that some of your grocery shopping can be done at pharmacies. Take Wal-Greens for instance. They offer many grocery items on sale each week with wonderful savings. They also have coupons in their weekly mailers. Match those with whats on sale for bigger savings. The coupons don't have to be used that week necessarily so you might wait till a specific item does go on sale. Get creative in your use of them.

I know this is off the subject of grocery coupons but I thought you all might get a kick out of it. It's another way I am saving the family some money. I think I may have told you about a recent family appliance breaking down. Specifically our dryer. So I am not whining or fussing about it but had Trucker make me a clothesline. Now I have my bloomers you know the grannie panties stretched out in the backyard for the world to see. But I am saving here. Not to mention clothes smell much better after getting off a clothesline. The only bad part about hanging your clothes on the line to dry is that on rainy weeks like this one has been, no one has clean clothes. LOL. Trucker may have to start reversing his underwear. Just kidding, just kidding.

I almost forgot about the lucky two recepients of the giveaway. So let me announce the winners right now. Drum roll please..................................................

Gail of At The Farm was lucky winner number 1.

Reggie Girl of Midlife, Menopause, Mistakes..........lucky winner number 2.

Congratulations to the both of you. Ladies contact me with your mailing addresses for the shipping of your gifts.

I had so many entries I really was surprised by it. Thanks to all who entered. I hope to be having more giveaways in the future as well.

Happy Savings Everyone. Till next week on Frugal Friday......................


Living on the Spit said...

Coupons frustrate me, but I do try sometims...I have the best intentions.

Mental P Mama said...

What wonderful lessons. One of my stores doesn't take coupons. And it's so close, I go there anyway. I need to pay more attention to things on sale. I saw a lady on the news the other day who got $300 of groceries for $20. !!!!

autumn said...

How very cool, I agree clothes do smell better after hanging out, I do this a lot during the summer.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

The #1 rule at our house is....
If it aint on sale it dont come here! We've lived on a budget for years and it's just a way of life for us now. In good times and bad.
We are real thrifty and frugal at the little house for sure!

Grandma J said...

I use coupons too. I don't flip though circulars and ads though.
I keep a running grocery list...adding to it all week. Then when I have a few leisure minutes, I go down my list and search for a coupon on the internet for that item, then print it out. Sometimes I find more than one that I can bundle.

This method works for me because I am a brand name junkie about certain things like my soda, laundry detergent etc.

I do the same search for coupons for car rentals and other services.

littletoesandcheerios said...

Thanks for taking so much time doing this post.

I do some coupons, but I mostly save money on generic foods like Walmart brand. We are trying to be more frugal here so I can stay at home with Pebbles for as long as possible.

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

I won something?? Geez, I never win anything.
I think I sent you my address didn't I?
Is the prize vodka? I'm hoping for vodka :)
Take good care and........

Steady On
Reggie Girl