Monday, November 19, 2012

(Not So) Extreme Couponing 101

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Gosling

Happy Thanksgiving week!  I hope that everyone is getting ready for the FEAST of the year.  I am very fortunate because I get to sit back and bee-bop around to different houses on Thanksgiving, but I do plan dinners around that day, to accommodate traveling siblings.  So, here are some quick and easy ways I plan to save money.  

So, I'm not sure if you ladies know, but I {heart} saving money.  This doesn't mean that I am stingy or cheap.  I just figure, with the amount of deals, sales and coupons floating around - why not?  Seriously, it doesn't take that much effort to look up a free shipping code or clip a coupon.  I also feel like lately, I am buying something all the time.  Whether it is baseball pants, shower faucets, plants or groceries ... we are spending beacoup bucks.

Like I said, I am not over the top with couponing BUT a couple tricks of the trade could easily put a few more $$$ in your pocket. 

P Diddy said it best - "it's all about the Benjamins, Baby"


Here is a quick and easy guide to saving money, without even trying:

1 - Get your hands on a Sunday paper.  You probably already have one.  You can find everything from manufacturers' coupons to free admission into museums.  There is a "wealth" in your weekend newspaper.  It also gives you a reason to sit down with a hot cup o' java and relax for a moment



2 - Buy a local entertainment book.  We love them for the food deals, admission discounts, ice cream parlors and GOLF.  Yes, the blessed golf that must be played.  Buyer (wives) beware.  Most of these coupons are only good for 18 holes w/cart.  It's gonna be a long day!  The purchase of an entertainment book usually goes towards excellent youth groups (girl/boy scouts, little league, art/music).  You are giving back to the community and saving money.  Win, Win!




3 - Join a Wholesale Club (BJ's, Costco, Sams).  I know, I know ... not everyone out there has to buy insane amounts of diapers, chicken cutlets and juiceboxes ...  these clubs are so much more.  They usually run about $50/year membership.  With that, you receive monthly/seasonal coupons booklets in the mail with huge savings.  No, not just on vats of olive oil!  Cool things like cameras, laptops, TV's, BEER, Dinosaur BBQ sauce and gas.  You know, the kind that makes your car go vroom vroom.  The gas price around here is upwards of $4/gallon.  This means we are handing over a small fortune at the pump.  The wholesale club gas price is generally a cost saving of 12c/gallon.  They also have great deals on tires, propane fill ups, plants, KLONDIKE BARS (what?) and vitamins. 
PS - you can use 1 wholesale coupon and 1 manufacturer coupon. I usually save about $40 a trip.   

4 - Amazon Prime Member.  Okay, it's a little costly .. but hear me out!  The membership is $79/year BUT that includes free 2 day shipping on everything.  And by everything, I mean EVERYTHING.  There is nothing that I can't find on amazon.  I have ordered everything from bikes to fabric.  Chalkboard paint to Uggs.  Books to small appliances.  I can use my paypal account (privacy secure), it is here in 2 days and I didn't have to leave the house.  You know when you go shopping for something, you come home with 5 things you really didn't need.  I'm sure that those "mini" trips would add up to more that $79/year.  Think about it!

5 -  Coupon websites.  Here are a couple of my favorites:  

  • Coupons.com
  • Target.com (yes, they have their own coupons you can print out) 
  • shopathome.com.  
These sites are designed to allow you to pick and choose what coupon you want, click it, print it and USE it.  You can pair up to 1 manufacturer coupon and 1 store coupon.  The deals usually go hand in hand (IE:  Nutra Grain Granola Bars on sale, 2 for $4, $1 target coupon on 2 and $.75 manufacturer coupon on 2.  End result:  orig. $4, now $2.25 for 16 granola bars).  Always check your local grocery stores coupon policies before buying.  Most big name stores like Wegmans and Tops will have double coupon and sometimes TRIPLE coupon deals. 

6 -  Livingsocial.com, Groupon.com, GILT.com and other sites designed to offer deals at a killer price.  These sites are dedicated to your city or region.  They change everyday and offer weekend excursions, gourmet restaurants and one-of-a-kind events that you might not normally take part in.  The prices are usually slashed by at least 50% and have long expiration dates.  Mrs. W bought her real hubby flying lessons off of livingsocial.com and Mrs. K recently "zazzled" her way into a Christmas card purchase.  I recently bought a pair of NB sneaks for my real hubby, on GILT .. when he got home and saw them, it was like Xmas (in May).  He was so happy and I saved over $55 on them.   

7 - $5 jar.  Every time you get a $5, at the end of the day ... put it in a $5 jar.  I took an old animal cracker jug and put a motivating sign on it.  At the end of the day, my husband and I put our $5 in there.  We have been doing it for about 6 weeks and we already have over $100.  I love this idea because I love a challenge.  I also love a challenge and a finish line.  When the jar is full, we will tally it up and buy something fun .... like maybe an ipad, a new TV, some chicken from Wegmans, whatevs!

Okay, so I don't have my own show on TLC yet (insert sarcasm here), but I do save quite a bit of money practicing these quick and easy tips.  And since I am the self appointed (nobody else wants to do it) CFO of the house, I have an obligation to stretch, bend and spend our money wisely. Savings on household items = being able to justify the pair of killer Steve Madden boots I am about to buy.  Eek!

Clip on,






Mrs. Williams Comment:  Mrs. G., when I grow up I want to be just like you.  I can't even imagine what it would take to have a coupon clipped and ready to use in the same place.  My clipped coupons are always sitting on my kitchen counter.  Maybe I could use a coupon sorter for my purse...hint, hint.


Mrs. Kelly Comment:  My sister also loves the Amazon Prime.  We finally bought a BJ's membership and I think where it mostly saves us money is that it prevents all the in between trips to the grocery store and hence, like you talked about, the impulse buys.  I wish we had a Costco nearby.  I hear Costco is where it's at.  

1 comment:

Moe said...

Ha, Mrs. Kelly, I just got a membership at Costco last week, no joke. On the upside, I think the price they have on blade refills for my husband's razor alone will cover the cost of membership. On the questionable side, I was somehow mesmerized into spending $8 on 2000 multicolored sheets of construction paper. Great deal on construction paper perhaps, but my kids had better start working on a paper chain to span the globe or else I'll still be up to my eyeballs in stacks of construction paper when I reach retirement age. Great tips, Mrs. G.!

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