Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Coupon Crazy

Who doesn't love a good coupon? I for one positively adore coupons! My obsession started way back in the day with $25 off a $50 purchase from delia*s and quickly progressed to grocery coupons, and even now, "activity" coupons. I'm certainly not a professional, but I have learned a thing or two from some pretty coupon savvy ladies.

For instance, don't ever go to the grocery without a list. That is the number one way to overspend. The number two way? Bring someone else with you. In fact, one time when I was a wee one I overheard my mom telling a friend that she can't afford to take us (the Wardlets) to the grocery store with her because we're so expensive. In my little brain I thought that meant they were charging for kids to enter the store! Only later when I began doing my own grocery shopping did I realize truly how much moola an add-on can tack on to your total.

Anywho. Another way to save mad money is to attack with a plan. take a look at the specials before you get to the store. By doing this you can figure out how much you're saving with each item and if it's even worth buying it. On the topic of specials, look around! You can find the specials listed for an invidual grocery store online, and you can even have most sent to your inbox. While it does get terdious pretty quickly, you are at least able to compare items at different stores and see where your best deal exists.

That leads to the suggestion of shopping at different stores. I must admit I am not so good about this. Honestly, I just don't have the time. I try to scope out the sales at each store and find the best deal, but if it's just a few cents saved it's not worth it to me. Heck, I'll probably spend just as much on gas as I would save!

Another idea is to sign up for tbe special alerts online. For example, each week I get special deals emailed to me from Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods. These deals are often unadvertised, and ridiculously wonderful. One time I got an 18-pack of K-cups for $1.50 thanks to coupons and "evic" deals. Regular price of 18-pack? $12 at Walmart.

Another type of email alerts are the "activity" coupons. These are your things like Groupon, Living Social, Half Off Depot, etc. These are incredible! I cannot tell you how many date nights have been made possible thanks to these little gems. A few personal favorites? $50 to Gap for $20. $20 to Amazon.com for $10. Two Fandango movie tickets for $9. We even have a voucher for two nights at a resort in the mountains (including breakfast both mornings, $50 credit to the spa, and a champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries dessert) for $150. Score!

I saw one woman on TV saying that she spent 60 hours a week couponing. I'm hear to tell ya, it doesn't have to be that intense! Pace yourself and do what you can, when you can. Above all, get out there and look! It's amazing the deals that are there when you open your eyes.

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