Posted by Gail | Filed under Smart Shopper
One phenomenon I found most interesting as I’ve worked with people and their money is the extent to which they will go to “save.” I put “save” in quotes, because often these people use the “savings” they derive from their couponing or sale shopping to justify the mad shopping they love to do.
I like using coupons. I’m not coupon crazy, but if someone wants to give me a buck or two off a product I’m going to buy anyway, hey, I’ll take it. I particularly like those shelf coupons that you can redeem immediately, and I often take an extra or six so that I can use it again if the product goes on sale… feels like a double win to me. I saved $40 on bread last year (two 50¢ coupons a week for almost a year).
You can improve your odds of saving if you visit sites like GroceryAlerts.ca, SimplyFrugal.ca, WebSaver.ca and Save.ca. And if you get in the groove of the 12-Week Cycle you can really pile up the savings. What most folks don’t realize is that stores don’t drive sales, manufacturers do, and items typically go on sale in 12-week cycles. So the hungriest deal hounds use a price book or a spread sheet to keep track of prices on the items they buy most often. When there’s a great sale – I’m not talking about a wussy 25¢ off here – they stock up with enough to last until the next great sale.
Completing consumer surveys is another way you can get a stash of coupons. Or write to the manufacturer directly and you might be rewarded with some high-value coupons. And if you’re shopping online, make sure you search for “promo codes” for that retailer so you can fill in that enticing little box at check-out and save.
If an item is out of stock when you hit the store and you’re looking at a limited time offer coupon, make sure you get a rain-check so you can receive the same discount the next time the product is available. And take advantage of price-matching to save having to drive all over hell’s half acre to get the best deal. The gas line on your budget will thank you.
Of course, you actually have to SAVE the money. That means taking it out of cash flow and putting it somewhere to work for you. If you save 50¢ using a coupon and then you turn around and spend it somewhere else, you actually haven’t saved a thing. To SAVE you have to take the money out of your wallet and put it somewhere you can’t spend it.
Make yourself a Coupon Savings container that you can slip your savings into when you get home. Each time you return from shopping, go over your receipt and look at what you saved by being such a smart shopper. Now take that money and drop it into your savings container…plunk! NOW you’re saving. Once you have a bit built up – say $25 to open a high interest savings account, or $100 for a term deposit, you can put that money to work to earn even more money.