There are three simple words that send me on a natural high: You saved money. It seems that there is never ending research to be done to get the best discounts. I am consistently hunting like a hound for bogo (buy one get one) offers and that 50% off sign. Recently, I watched some clips of a show called Extreme Couponing and it left me with one thought: Show me how! These people go to the extreme to save a ton of money on food and other misc. products. They have basements full of food and toiletries that they obtained for free with coupons! The best thing I saw was that many families give a majority of the things they are not going to use to charity or troops over seas. Click here to learn about this show. I have yet to figure out how these “extreme couponers” get 100’s of dollars in savings, and I am definitely not going dumpster diving for coupons, but for now I have figured out a few ways to save $10 here and $20 there.
First of all, never be ashamed to walk into a consignment store to buy that cute Anne Taylor dress or those Polo jeans! Probably about 50% of my clothes are second hand and I get compliments on them all the time! Banana Republic is my favorite store and I find their dresses, skirts, shirts and sweaters constantly at consignment shops that I only paid $15 or less for and they are in exceptional condition. I can’t exactly afford to go to their store and pay $120 for that cute dress or $48 for that adorable top. Additionally, fancy purses are always available at consignment stores. The one thing you have to be willing to do is to take the time to go through all the clothing on the racks to find the piece that is meant to go home with you. It takes some patience but is worth it.
Secondly, there are many opportunities out there to save on a variety of items if you’re willing to do the internet research. Sometimes you can just Google a place with the word coupon and deals will pop up immediately. Other times you have to put forth more effort. The other day I Googled Quiznos coupons and immediately found websites with bogo coupons. Sometimes it is worth it to sign up for websites such as Groupon and Living Social that send you alerts on deals in your area for things such as a massage or your favorite restaurant.
Next, buy yourself an Entertainment Book! It is $25 and worth every penny. I understand that some of you feel you should not have to buy coupons but this book will make up for its cost quickly I assure you. The coupons are good for a year and the book contains discounts for everything from travel to restaurants to entertainment. After using only three coupons I made up for the cost of the book. Since I bought the book I have used several more coupons. They don’t expire until November of this year so you better believe I have some unfinished business before that book sees the trash can.
Recently, I found a web site that contained all kinds of opportunities for savings. Frugal Coupon Living has daily deals from a variety of web sites. Additionally, they have a birthday section where you can find the restaurants that will cater to you for free on your birthday. Finally, there are links to other discount web sites. I found Restaurant.com where you can buy gift cards to restaurants in your area at 50% off. Get a $20 gift card to Red Lobster for $10. YUM!
Last but not least don’t forget to consistently research your grocery store’s weekly deals. I go batty over the bogo offers at our local grocery stores. This weekend alone just by carefully analyzing discount opportunities from two different grocery stores and making two different grocery lists we saved over $40 and spent $110. When I read the words, you saved and the amount, on my receipts I get beyond excited. I recently noticed that on Winn Dixie receipts they not only tell you how much you saved with your purchase but also how much you have saved since acquiring one of their discount cards. Check out the picture of this receipt!
In summary, I may not be saving the hundreds of dollars that these extreme couponers are saving but I am happy with the discounts I have found and been able to use so far. Please let me know if you know about any great deals that I am missing out on.
Lesson Learned: It definitely takes organization skills, patience and consistent research to find the best deals.