Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer Vacation, Day 10: (Mild) Heat Stroke, Thoughts on (Non-Extream) Couponing

Yesterday, it seems, I over did it with the heat exposure and I have been suffering the consequences since last night.  Yes, dear readers, yours truly suffered what was most likely a mild heat stroke.  After spending most of the day laid up and engaged in minimal activity, I am very nearly back to normal. 

Given my current recuperative state, I haven't been up to much today, so I thought I would offer my readers some of my tips for non-extreme couponing.  For those who know me IRL or who follow my exploits digitally, know that I am a bargain mavin . . . and I am extremely lazy.  So, leave it to me to work up a routine for saving money without having to much.   Here are some of my best tips:

  1. If you check the mail, they will come: Every Tuesday and Wednesday, I seem to get coupons and weekly sale ads in the mail.  Most of the coupons I seem to get are for products that I never use; however, there are at least half a dozen coupons per week that are for items I routinely use (like detergent packs, for instance) and that I will be able to use before the expiration date. 

    I also use the weekly circulars to plan my shopping list.  Generally my shopping lists are vague (e.g., veg, fruit, meat), so I look to see what is on sale and where and I fill my cart accordingly.  Shop the sales, people: if there is an item that you eat routinely (Kraft Mac and Cheese, in my case), buy it in bulk while it is on sale.  Really, there is no point to stock up in a sale unless you are really going to use things you are buying. 

  2. Hit the internet: There are lots of coupon sites online that you can look at before you buy.  If you're going to buy something online, check out Retail Me Not for promotional codes you can redeem for your online purchases.  If you're going to the supermarket, also look at coupon sites like Coupons.com for printable savings you can take with you.  Which brings me to my next point . . .

  3. Sign up for discount cards and savings emails: If the stores you frequent offer a discount card or have discount emails they send their customers, sign up for them!  Again, odds are you will end up deleting a vast majority of the emails that you will be sent, but there may be that discount that you just can't pass up.

  4. Double-up: There are some stores that will allow you to use more than one coupon for a single item (e.g., CVS, Target); if you have them, use them . . . especially if they are already on sale.

  5. Don't toss all of your receipts aside: You'll often get coupons with your receipt at check-out, look them over before you crumple them up at the bottom of your bag.  Sometimes you will be given a coupon for a certain amount off of your next purchase or you will be given a promotional offer that is worth your wile.  Check them out before you chuck them out.  And lastly . . .

  6. Keep them organized: You can't use them if you can't find them; keep your coupons handy.  I keep mine in a small freezer bag in my purse so they are always there for me when I need them.  You can never be sure when an urge to shop may hit!

So, what are your tips for saving big without really trying?  Share in the comments!

Cheers,

j.

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