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 homework 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 doing 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, and 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. Combine 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..................................................
Welcome to "Stepp Into My World". I'm so happy that you stopped by for a visit and a glimpse into my World.
Over the years my world has changed many many times. Now I've reached that point in my life where I have found out who "I" really am. I invite you to come along for the ride with me. I love comments and hope you will take the time to leave me some. I will do my best to respond personally to each and everyone of them.