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It is intuitive that if two products are comparable, you should buy the one with the lower price. However, if you are only relying on the items looks to determine what is “comparable,” you might be making the wrong choice.
So, it seems everyone is talking about couponing these days. Maybe it’s that I’m getting older, that I love a good bargain or the fact that I work at Money Management International, but I’ve jumped on the coupon bandwagon….and I’M SOLD.
The first step to successful couponing is to overcome those mental barriers. You may have a few of your own:
-Mom always told me it was a waste of time. Mother is always right, right? Wrong. The key is organization and finding just a few extra minutes to dedicate to saving. Just because it didn’t work for someone else doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.
-Coupons are only for the really expensive items. Sometimes, but the trick is to find name brand items when they are on sale. Using a coupon on a sale item equals savings.
-I have ZERO extra time. I’m hardly an expert, so I probably don’t spend nearly the time clipping as a real master. I’ve found that the key is just starting and starting small. You’ll find your comfort zone once you start saving.
-I don’t quite get how price matching works. I discovered that you can save money even when you don’t have a coupon. Start by collecting store flyers each week. I have found that the best savings are for beef, chicken, and pork. Take the flyers with you and simply ask your store to match the lowest advertised price. Just last week I saved over $6.00 on the price per pound match on a sirloin steak.
Check out these results!When you’ve looked yourself in the mirror and made a dedication to saving, here are a few pointers to get started:
1. Research. There are so many online resources out there for coupon trading, coupon selling, coupon printing, coupon clipping and coupon organizing. A couple of my favorites are CouponMom.com and Couponizer.com.
2. Take it one week at a time. Push yourself to do a little more each week. The first week, just focus on one store flyer. The second week, plan a menu around sale items. Change can be tough and overwhelming, so start small.
3. Plan and organize.Set aside some time to clip coupons, make a list and plan your meals each week. Get an expandable file folder or a binder with business card inserts and create categories to file your coupons.
4. Find a store that matches prices and/or doubles or triples coupons.Price matching is where I’ve saved. Add a coupon on top of the price match and that’s a real savings.
Stay tuned. Good luck and happy saving!
Do you have any tips or tricks? What kind of savings have you seen? Tell us about it!
Until recently, I had no idea that my organization offered free menu planners and grocery lists. I really, really need these tools because (while I am frugal in other areas) I am probably the worst grocery shopper on the planet.
For example, It is not uncommon for me to run to the grocery store at 6pm because I suddenly want a hamburger. During one of these recent trips, I picked up: ground beef, buns, bananas, soup, multi vitamins, dishwasher soap, pretzels, butter, sugar snap peas, and a tall decaf coffee from Starbucks. The bill was something like $32 (That is with my 5 cent discount for bringing my own bags!) Would you believe that I repeat a version of this madness most days of the week? $32 x 7 times per week x 52 weeks = $11,648 per year on unplanned, chaotic grocery shopping trips.
In addition to the 100 hours or so I spend on these grocery trips per year, I am spending way too much gas and money. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American family of four spends $8,513 per year on groceries (could this possibly include stuff like dishwasher soap and vitamins??)
Here’s what the experts at Kiplinger’s have to say about my grocery shopping style:
“Making bigger shopping trips less often will cut down on your impulse buys. In fact, almost half of all shoppers go to the store three or four times per week. Shoppers making a "quick trip" to the store usually purchase 54% more than they planned, according to a study published by the Marketing Science Institute.
If you go to the store three times a week and spend $10 on impulse buys each trip, that adds up to $120 extra per month. But if you go only once a week, you'll spend $40 per month on impulse buys. That saves you $80 per month, or $960 per year.”
I know that this is one area where I can make some immediate, noticeable improvements to our financial situation. In theory, I committed to making a positive change in this area; however, it hasn’t actually happened yet.
Should I keep trying or give up my grocery shopping rights and ask my husband to take over the task?
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