Monday, June 18, 2012

Cheapness part THREE!

Because I am cheap I have found ways to help save and cut costs on items that are expensive or just unjustifiable in my head.
1.       For starters I make sure to not waste any food!
2.       I do not waste any soaps, or other bottled material
3.       Coupon, Coupon, Coupon
4.       Reuse, Reuse, Reuse
5.       Recycle
Couponing….. This is actually a very in-depth conversation. Today, I will only be touching base on it and if demand asks I will go deeper into the conversation.
Couponing can be fun, if you let it. I find it a game to see how much money I am able to save at the end of a shopping trip. If I save over $50 in coupons I want to go celebrate! Did you know that you could buy a bottle of Gillette Body wash for $0.25 when they normally cost $3.98 for a 16-18oz bottle? Or you could get Stay free pads for FREE when they normally cost $3 a pack?! Here is my fast and easy way that I coupon and save money this way.
1.       Clip only what you eat or use
2.       Clip multiples in case of a sale
3.       Check adds
4.       Check websites
5.       Make a price list
6.       Plan your trip
7.       Once on your trip make sure coupons give you cheapest price
Clip only what you eat or use is very important. This enables you to buy products you know you will use and eat. People more often than not will clip coupons in hopes that they will try the product. Most of the time if not watched properly a person can over spend and wastefully spend. However, this rule can be broken. The rule can be broken if and only if you know you will use the item. For me, this is different types of body soap, shampoo’s, hand soaps, pizza’s, creamers, eggs, breads among many others. I make it a point to use or eat the items I bring into our house. If I do not like the item I will not purchase it again.
Clip multiples in case of a sale. Clip multiples of the items you use frequently and will not spoil. Items such: pads, soaps, canned goods or boxed items. Items go on sale frequently and it is always AWESOME to have more than one coupon when they do. For someone like me who does not track sale patterns it is easier to clip more coupons and dispose of the rest.  Remember you never have to use all the coupons you clip!
Check adds. This is very simple, check your local stores that you frequent a lot and see what is on sale. I normally do this on a weekly basis. I check the ads and cercal items that are on sale that we eat or use; this is my lazy man’s shopping list for the week. I then use the add and grab coupons accordingly.
Check Websites. This is my cheat sheet to helping me save the most money! If you do not take anything else from this post today take this little section!  I use two websites religiously Coupon Diva’s and Couponing to Disney.  Coupon Diva’s is my home for deals and coupon match ups for Giant Eagle and Kmart. Couponing to Disney is my home for deals and coupon match-ups for CVS and Rite Aid. I check these websites at least weekly, scan threw their version of the sales add that has item, price, sales price, coupon match-up, and final price. I warn you just because it says free or less than a dollar does not mean you HAVE to buy it. Do not clutter your cabinets with items you will not use!
Make a price list. Yes this sounds corny and a little hard core but it helps. I have a hard time remembering how much an item costs. If you asked me how much a bottle of Tide cost I wouldn’t be able to answer. However, I have noticed that as time goes on certain items I am able to spit out numbers while other items I have no clue. The price list helps you with this.  I use my price list to make sure that I really am getting a sale. If Tide costs $0.17 per ounce at ____store without a sale or coupon and your sale item at ____ explains that it is on sale for $0.17 an ounce…… well you are not getting a good deal.
Plan your trip. For me I have two types of shopping lists, my weekly list and my major monthly shopping trip. My weekly, going to get sale items list is how I explained above just circle items in the add I need. These trips are really easy to plan and take less than five minutes. Once I circle my items I get the coupons I need for my trip. My monthly shopping trips, take a bit longer. I make a list with items we need, I then go through my coupons, once my coupons are picked threw I highlight all items on my list that have a coupon. I sort my coupons in a coupon folder for easy access. (Once I get into the store I keep my list and coupon folder on hand, leaving my coupon book and calculator in my purse just in-case)  Making a list and planning your trip help to stop you from buying impulse items. If you do not veer from your list you will come out being very successful. All this means is you must take time to make your list.
Once on your trip make sure coupons give you cheapest price. This one is the hardest for me. I am still working to make sure I truly am spending the best bang for my buck. A lot of times coupons will get you to buy their item rather than the cheapest available. For instance, (I find this A LOT!) paper towels. Bounty always places a coupon in the P&G ads for $0.25 off, wonderful right…. NOT AT ALL. More often than not you will find Bounty even with the coupon is more expensive than other leading brands such as Sparkle. Just because you have the coupon does not mean it is the cheapest. Because of this I try to remember at least the item that this happened to and pay attention next time, remember your price sheet will also help you with this!
Couponing is tricky and you can get consumed into it. I am definitely not great at it; to be honest I would not even consider myself good at it. I have however learned about resources around me and use them to my benefit. I have combined the “new extreme couponer” methods along with the lazy couponer methods.  As you can tell this topic is truly in-depth, I can however go over it more if demand asks for it!
How do you save money with coupons? How do you organize and prepare?

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