Let's talk about money

By: Jill Maxwell
By: Jill Maxwell

Let's talk about money. No, I'm not going to talk about investing, 401ks, the stock market... I want to talk about day-to-day ways to save money, trim the fat, pinch a few pennies.

Let's talk about money.  No, I'm not going to talk about investing, 401ks, the stock market... I want to talk about day-to-day ways to save money, trim the fat, pinch a few pennies.  Things that we can actually do something about as working wives and moms, husbands and fathers, and even singles on their own for the first time!  I mean groceries, clothes shopping, eating, entertainment and yes, even holiday shopping.  After all, it's almost Halloween so the stores are already decked out for the "holiday season" and put up their trees!

This started as a kind of challenge from my husband who kept hearing about these women who were buying $300 worth of groceries for $30.  Since I work and have other things I'd much rather be doing, I don't save that much - but I have started saving at least 20% on my grocery bill by watching coupons and store sales.  I don't spend hours pouring over web sites and sales circulars.  I don't use half the gas in my tank driving from store to store finding the best bargain.  And I will NOT sacrifice taste to save a couple pennies buying a brand I don’t like.  I will, however, spend a little time looking at some coupon sites and comparing them to current sales.

First, don't hesitate to subscribe to your Sunday paper.  The cost is somewhere around $1.00 and it pays for itself in coupons.  Just this Sunday, I pulled 3 coupons for Dove - 2 for hair products and 1 for body wash.  They totalled $5.00.  We use Dove, but even if we didn't we would be!  I used the coupons at Food Lion where I also got back a coupon for $3.00 off my next grocery order from the Catalina printer at the register (I'll explain the Catalina printer later).  So, I spent about $14.00, paid $9.00 plus I got the $3.00 coupon.  I basically got the shampoo and conditioner for free by buying a large body wash! 

How many of you just throw away those extra coupons you get at the checkout?  Did you ever really look at them?  I've been looking for sites that tell you what you can get out of them, but only Food Lion has their's on their web site at http://www.foodlion.com/ShoppingTools/CashBack.asp.  I've got a call in to the marketing company to see if I can find out more.  These coupons range from advertisements to actual "dollars" off your next visit to the store.  It’s important to know the requirements as to the size of the item, specific branding, etc

Usually, you have to buy more than one of an item.  This week, there is the Dove promotion, along with buy 3 Green Giant boxed veggies and get $1.00 (buy 4 and get $2.00, buy 5 and get $3.00) off your next grocery order, or buy as many as 5 Nature Valley Granola Bars (which I buy for my "kids" in the newsroom) and get $3.50 off your next grocery order.  If you combine these with coupons, it can be a good deal.  Remember, if you're buying 5 - you can use coupons for 5 items.  As soon as I know more from the marketing company, I'll update you on other sites.  I don't like the guessing game of what's coming out of that printer. 

It’s time to get to work - but check back often.  My goal is to update this daily - especially since I have so much information to pass on at the beginning to get you up to speed on where I'm at in saving!  Feel free to send questions and tips to me.  If I can help, I will.  If I can use the tip, I will! 

So - have a good day and see you soon!
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