Featured Guest Article by Sunnie Hedley
Dollars even cents can go a long way, especially when your budget is being stretched due to high energy costs, the threat of a recession and an unstable job market. People love to ask me about a new purchase I’ve made. There’s always a story behind my purchase, some wild journey with a fairy tale ending as myself, the Victor against the high cost of retail mark-up!
A lot of this may sound like common sense to you, but sometimes you need to hear or read to actually apply and do. This monkey see monkey do venture will pay You in the end!
I. CLIP: Clip coupons, anywhere and everywhere. I am a faithful Sunday morning newspaper reader because of the coupons. Clip the coupons that you wouldn’t normally because, well I’ll tell you why in Commandment II.
II. CLEARANCE AISLE: Do not pass up your clearance aisles. Most retailers are getting hip to designating an aisle or a certain section of an aisle for clearance items. You can really clean up, especially if you have a corresponding coupon with a coveted clearance product. You can get up to a 95% savings in some cases. (Those are the ones that I brag about at the dinner table!)
III. CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS: Your receipts can be a little fortune of savings or give aways. Make sure you check the back and the bottom of your receipts for future savings just for returning to that store and/or restaurant in the near future.
IV. LISTEN: Watch your morning news programs. They are a fantastic, up-to-date source for what events, big sales, and where the going out of business/we lost our lease sales are in your city or town. If there’s a coupon or rebate they’ll make sure you know where to get them. I’ve had good luck with local radio stations as well.
V. NETWORK: Do you know a savvy spender and someone like myself that is a bargain saving nut? Talk with them, get to know what makes them tick and make it work for you too.
VI. SURVEY SAYS! Surveys, they’re annoying, who knows if they’re really worth your time. Does the information you supply trickle down to the right people, who knows. Taking the 30 seconds to 15 minutes to complete a survey opportunity you get on your register receipts, etc. has paid off big for my family. We entered a survey for Jack In The Box after a lunch of deep fried goodness! Almost a month later we received a call from Jack In The Box asking us a few qualifying questions and they mailed us a Jack Gift Card worth $100 along with a personalized signed letter from “Jack” himself. That’s a lot of tacos mi amigos!
VII. APPLY FOR ON-LINE E-NEWSLETTERS: Perfect example, Mr. Cheapstuff.com, this site helped me to look on-line for freebies and coupons. I have to admit, I was more old school when it came to saving money. Thanks to Dean, I’ve jumped into 2008. You can find me feverishly surfing the net looking up coupons and deals on line. Beware and sign up for reliable sites like mrcheapstuff.com. Be sure to look at the ads on your personal e-mail or internet service. Yahoo and AOL have been great at advertising give aways and coupons that I’ve submitted to mrcheapstuff.com.
VIII. REBATES: Take the time, pay the stamp to send in the rebates, some can be a little as $1.00 or up to $20.00 or more for items that you and I buy on a regular to semi-regular basis. We completed a rebate for Jose Cuervo ready made Margaritas and received a $15.00 rebate check a couple months later. In terms of dollars and cents we only paid the sales tax for that bottle of good times! Viva la Cuervo!
IX. DUMB LUCK: Sometimes you just stumble into a great deal. My all time claim to fame is shopping at my local Old Navy for a t-shirt for my then 5 year old daughter. The sales associate walked by and announced the wall to her left was being marked down to 50 cents. 50 cents for full sized children’s back packs and matching pencil holders and other items. I bought every single back pack and pencil holder totaling a little over $25.00, this was 50 items. 50 items that I sold separately for $5.00 each to family and friends. My $25 investment netted me an over $200.00 profit.
X. CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE: You’ve heard the saying attitude is everything so change it, saving your own money is not a burden or a chore, it’s a competitive sport! When you reach the finish line or score that goal, the reward is all yours! When I walk into a store armed with my ads, coupons and my shopping cart, retail doesn’t stand a chance!
The bottom line is your money is your money. You work hard for it! A couple of hours a week to research the best deals, gather up the coupons and make an informed decision on your purchases will net you a substantial savings that you can feed your piggy bank with…GUARANTEED!