Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shop right, Save Money Part 1


Extreme couponing eludes me! I have yet, to figure out how to save as much money on my shopping trips as some do. Can you really purchase hundreds of dollars worth of product for pennies on the dollar? I'm sure you can and I know that I'd love to learn and admire those who do.

While I am unable to divulge how to perform extreme couponing, what I can share is how I personally try to stretch our dollars further. This will be one of several upcoming posts about saving money, where to find coupons, sales, etc. If you are serious about saving money, I'd love to hear from you! I'm looking for guest bloggers who'd like to write and share a blog post on how they save money. Guest bloggers are not compensated, sorry. However, guest blog posts remain on my blog indefinitely if published.

Shopping can be overwhelming! We are a lower income family of 4, stretching our finances is imperative and I'd like to keep from running into any embarrassment while checking out! There is nothing like the shear humiliation when pulling out your pocketbook and realizing that you don't have enough funds to cover your purchase. A moment that would leave me searching for a rock to crawl under and hide the flushing cheeks on my face. Yes...I've been there as I'm sure many of you have!

We reside in a rural area where coupons are few and far between. The Sunday paper is delivered to various stores from Memphis, TN. and either you miss buying the paper on time or they want an arm and leg for a newspaper you don't even read! If you're lucky, you can sometimes ask the cashier for coupons from the leftover papers the next day. Some will share, others say no and expect you to pay full price. It never hurts to ask!

How do I acquire my coupons? The task is not easy as you'd be able to see by looking at my coupon organizer that screams "FEED ME" when opening the mouth of each slot. At times, we receive 3 or 4 coupons in the flyer's sent in the mail. My favorite coupons from those inserts are for dish detergent. When the coupons for .50 Ajax arrives in my mailbox, I do what I can to collect more of those coupons. Some are given to me, some requested online, etc.

Kroger doubles coupons (I just discovered this!) up to .60. If you take your .50 off Ajax dish detergent coupon to Kroger and grab the .99 bottle, your coupon will double and basically? The soap is FREE!! I use approximately one .99 bottle of Ajax dish soap per week, so far have collected and used 7 coupons which makes my dish washing FREE for 7 weeks. Yes, I'm still trying to acquire more .50 off Ajax coupons!

Nine times out of ten you'll find me in the clearance aisles or intensely seeking the discount stickers in every store I go into. You wouldn't believe the deals you can leave the store with for your pantry! Nothing is wrong with the products for the most part, many are just closeouts they are no longer going to sell at the moment. Meat goes on mark down specials as well, they normally have to be sold by that day or the following so they mark it down for quick sale. Nothing wrong with it, buy the meat and toss it into your freezer for future dinners.

Don't forget to check the Bent & Dent/Salvage stores for great prices on damaged packages. While you do need to read the dates a majority of the product is still usable for several months or even years to come. I have encountered some product that made me want to swear off the store but, the good outweighed the bad.

While visiting various companies online, you can generally find printable coupons to use on your next shopping trip. Some grocers offer rewards cards and allow you to download coupons directly onto your card such as Kroger
which means less paper/organization and no need for using printer ink!

There are various coupon forums in which you can trade, purchase, find and chat about the coupons available. I will create a blog post with various coupon forums soon.

Don't forget to email companies and let them know what you think about the products you use. Are you a loyal consumer? Happy with your purchase? Unhappy? They want to hear from you. Don't come right out and request coupons as the generally won't send any to you if you ask. Sometimes, they will send you a coupon or two by mail when you leave a comment for them about their products.

Several people tell me that coupons are a waste of time, a hassle or embarrassing. My husband doesn't even use coupons! Hence, why I do the grocery shopping in our household, lol. People are missing out by not using coupons or discounts. They don't seem to realize what you could be putting the savings towards or the extra products you could be adding to your pantry.

I'm not embarrassed by using coupons and discounts, are you? You shouldn't be, think of the savings awaiting your pocketbook!

Thank you for stopping by my blog, please check back soon for more posts on savings.

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