Before I start this post I would like to share a bit of my heart on the topic of savings , coupons , discounts , and God's provision . As I write that it feels a little ridiculous , but for me every time I save some money , get something for free , or am able to share what I have with someone else , I am reminded of God's good grace and constant provision . I have been taught and believe with my entire being that what I have is not mine . It is God's . And I am grateful He see's fit every day to share some of what He has with me . I have never been more sure of His care for our every need and even for some of our wants than I have been in the last three years . He loves His children . His want for us is not to just survive, but thrive in what He has given us . So , when I "brag" on a savings or amazing coupons , what I am really saying is PRAISE THE LORD !!! HE HAS PROVIDED ONCE AGAIN !!!! In believing that everything I have is His I am compelled to be a steward of every ounce , penny, morsel and moment He allows me . I believe that in couponing , searching deals , etc . I am being a good steward of what He has provided for me and shared with me . I have also seen in looking at my finances , couponing , etc. that when I am diligent in this way He allows me to have enough to give away . Isn't that what it is all about ? It isn't mine anyway , I have , HAVE to be willing to give it away if it will serve Him and His higher purpose . On more than one occasion my couponing has provided me with something that I could pass on to someone else . I think that is kind of amazing . But , maybe that is just me . Now , onto Discount Diva-ing 101.....
Everyone knows that I love a bargain , but last weekend when I scored 5 out of 11 items for free with coupons & store promotions I was giddy as a school girl . I shared my excitement with Facebook and got several pm's (private messages) asking how it's done . Well , I would love to gather us all and share what has been shared with me , but geography and conflicting schedules just won't allow for it . So , instead I thought I would post my first two tips here as well as highlight a few past posts that I think are applicable . This may become a series of sorts and if you have any couponing or discounting tips or questions please feel free to let me know . I love to share a guest post !!! (Hint Hint Cindy Cook @ sothecooksaid.blogspot.com ) ;-)
Before we get too far into "Discount Diva-ing 101" I think it might be good to know these things first and foremost . 1. Before you can save any money by couponing , working a promotional , shop hopping , etc. you need a LIST . You can't save properly without knowing what it is that your household needs and uses on a regular/seasonal basis . So, if you are going out post Christmas to score some clearance wrapping paper it is best to do a little inventory first . Catch my drift ?! 2. Budget . Yes, the goal is to save money . Obviously . But , if you don't start with an acceptable amount to spend and an expected amount to save then you are sorda starting the game like a kid set loose in a candy store . I. E. Willy Wonka's Veruca Salt , "I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW" mentality . 3. Know a stores coupon policy prior to shopping . Most stores have them posted online, they are easy to understand and it only takes a minute . Do not trust a cashier to know the policy . I have on more than one occasion known more than the person behind the counter about the stores policies . 4 . Become a "member" of their club . If they have a free rewards program , join . This ALWAYS saves me money and as of late most stores have them in one form or another . Even Wal-Mart has jumped on the rewards band wagon . I don't mind anything that is FREE y'all ! 5. It never hurts to scan a stores sales paper or online ad . On occasion there will be store specific coupons that can be added to your manufacturer coupons and the stores promotions . I mean , it is just a glance and could end up saving you some green backs . Last, but not least in your pre 101 home work LOL, I would also suggest you read this past post on Stockpiling . I think if you can grasp the concept of the long run savings that can be had from stockpiling then these first two tips will make a lot more sense .
Now, to get us started on this edition of Discount Diva-ing 101 here are Tips #1 & #2 . Both related to seasonal items , i.e. post holiday clearance .
Post ANY holiday there will be massive amounts of clearance items . Items get slowly marked down as days past . Currently most Easter items are 50% off . In a few days it will be 75% and eventually 90% off . Yes , 90% !! Post Christmas... I found super cute and fun finger "tattoo" puppets at just 10 CENTS a pack . They weren't Christmas themed and made for great Valentines to a few of my "nieces & nephews". The thing to keep in mind as you cruise the clearance is 1. Does it expire ? 2. Can I use it next (insert holiday here) ? 3. Is it "technically" holiday, but could be used year round ? 4. Will this item make it to the final discount ? Some items get snatched up immediately and never make it to the 90% off bin . You gotta decided if you are willing to risk it or pay the extra quarter or whatever . Even w the extra quarter it would still be less than originally priced . Today I scored adorable cupcake wrappers for half off . Making them less than the cost of "normal" cupcake wrappers and twice as cute!!!! Nothing about these wrappers say "Easter Only". A lot of seasonal items are some what generic and worth keeping an eye out for, especially at discount time . I use cupcake wrappers for just about anything that is cooked in a cupcake pan . Makes clean up a lot
|"Easter" cupcake wrappers I purchased for 1/2 off|
at Wal-Mart in the clearance section .
|A little pumpkin spice never hurt nobody.|
Because sometimes , hoarding is good . Those tips I gave on discounted holiday items applies to the grocery section as well . While it will not be discounted to a 90% off , it is seasonal and so it only comes 'round once a year . There are usually seasonal coupons in the Sunday paper to go along w these temporary items. Most grocery items do not expire until several months after the season they are designated for, but ALWAYS check before you buy. Also as packaging or branding for a product changes they will often clearance out the old appearance . The product is usually still well within its expiration date the containers/packaging appearance has simply changed . I hope this little tip helps you as you grocery shop next time. And yes, I hoarded some pumpkin spice creamer for a rainy day. #worthit No, i did not put butter in it. Those are ingredients for bfast. Lol ! Just so we are all clear.
I hope that this is a good start for you . I have listed several past posts below to possibly answer a few of the questions that may be whirling around in your mind right now . If they do not answer those questions or even if they do , feel free to post questions, comments , tips in the comment section of the blog . You never know who is thinking what you are thinking , but is too afraid to ask . I'll do my best to answer and if I don't know I'll reach out to other resources .
Happy Saving Y'all !!!!