Thursday, December 17, 2009

7 Super Saver Ideas

By Joy Howe

I wanted to call this blog GO COUPONS because these 7 ideas are so basic I consider them to be a General Overview. Also I like the positive energy of the word GO! So for all you experts, please indulge those of us catching up.

1. First and foremost, only buy items you normally eat or use. It's not a bargain if you or your family won't eat it.

2. Keep an open mind. When the store brand name is considerably cheaper, try it to see if you like it before you commit to it. If you are purchasing higher priced items with a coupon because of a long term habit, but not seeing significant savings, you may want to reassess and try the generic brand. (However, don't forget rule #1. If you really prefer the taste or quality, stick with it.)

3. The unit price is an important number. This is when you will be glad you learned math in school. (You never thought you'd use it, right?) Divide the price by the weight if it isn't posted, then look at all the other items and compare. Size is not always a factor. Recently, I compared the large bag of tortilla chips with the $2 bag, thinking bigger was better value. But in this one instance, the smaller bag was actually cheaper. I was surprised!

4. Watch for those coupons that pair up. Especially with items that rarely get couponed. Meaning fruit, dairy and meat. For instance: if you have a free or discount coupon for crackers with the purchase of milk you already planned to buy, you are getting more value with that milk purchase. Better yet if it's for fruit or meat.

5. Ask if you're uncertain about any advertised special. The cashiers can tell you if you must purchase a certain amount or number of items on special. Are two loaves of bread advertised as 2 for $4 going to ring up as $2 each. If you can't use 2, don't buy 2. The same is true for those 10 for $10 items. Do you really want 10 Symphony bars, or do you just want one for $1? Be smart and don't get caught in that trap.

6. Don't use the Sunday ad immediately unless the store is running a special. Often the store will wait to discount their price a week or two later. Wait for the price drop.

7. Plan your meals around the store specials and buy in volume when the prices are good. That way you won't have to pay full price because you ran out. You can afford to wait for the low price.

Well, there are many more tips, but I promised I'd stick to seven. Have fun shopping and saving!

Joy Howe,,

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