Category Archives: Deal Seeking 101

{Deal Seeking} Car Insurance

We’ve all seen the commercial, “I saved on my car insurance by switching to….”.

Recently we received our yearly car insurance statements in the mail. Not much changed, so I usually glance over them and then file the papers away for reference.

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This year, as I was looking through the policies, I realized that the policy had my husband down for driving more than 20 miles a day for work. Recently he switched jobs and is much closer to home. Therefore he’s only driving about 10 miles a day, round trip for work.

I always read these other blog posts about how people have saved money by calling their cable company, credit cards, etc and I have always thought, that there is no way that we can get extra money out of our budget.

Today, I made a quick two minute phone call to our very nice insurance man to let him know that my husband wasn’t driving as far for work. In that two minute phone call, he was able to save us almost $35 a year; just because of one small change in our driving habits that we normally wouldn’t have thought anything about. $3 a month savings may not seem like much but in a years time that money adds up and could be used somewhere else in the budget.

The nice insurance man tried to save money on insurance for my car when he thought that there is no way I could drive over 22,000 miles a year. But, even though I’ve made some changes to my employment, I still drive a crazy amount of miles each year.

Not only are we saving money in gas each week by my husband having a job closer to home, we are now saving on car insurance.

“I was able to save on car insurance by just making one simple phone call…”

Are you looking for areas to save money in your budget? Start by calling you car insurance company and make sure you have the best policy for you and your family.

Why It’s Best to Shop Multiple Stores

 

Now that many of my friends and family have realized that I’ve became so {frugal} or {thrifty} or {coupon queen} or whatever you want to call it; they all want suggestions on how to save the most money.

My number one tip to them has always been to shop multiple stores. Don’t limit yourself to just one store, otherwise you’ll end up spending more money. And I have the perfect example that I don’t always save tons of money when I go to the grocery store.

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When I first got into couponing, like actually understanding how to get the best value for your money, I was spending over $100 a week to feed my husband and I.  This did include personal products, cleaning supplies and dog food. But then I realized that I was limited in stores to shop that would allow me to get the most for my money, in our average sized town.

I remember having this conversation with one of my friends many times, how the prices at the Wal Mart in my town were significantly higher than the prices at the Wal Mart in the town I worked in. The difference? Competition! Locally we only have one other major grocery store that they have to compete with, who are crazy expensive if you don’t find something on sale. Whereas the the town I work in has three other stores to compete with, including the expensive store.

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Now, I’ve been price matching at  Wal Mart since before many people even knew you could do that. I remember one Black Friday, I had to work and knew the items I wanted at Target would be out of stock, so I took the ad and stopped on my way home to get it and that was years ago {although I’m not even sure I’ve ever opened that movie I wanted so badly}.

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On a recent trip to Wally World, I used coupons for most of the items I purchased. I even priced matched the Chex Mix, and Milk and had coupons for both items. I used free coupons for hot dogs and found a coupon on one box of dog food I purchased that was unexpected.

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But when I got home I looked at my receipt to see how much I saved in coupons. I used over $20 in coupons and still paid around $76 for everything I purchased, including a bag of dog food. I was very disappoint, because had I shopped at multiple stores, I could have easily paid about $36 for all of this, if the store I shopped at doubled coupons. Thankfully, the expensive store has started doubling coupons up to 99 cents, which is great and allowed me to get ice cream for free yesterday that was on sale. But that’s just it, you save the most when the item is on sale and the store doubles coupons.

Most of the time, I only go to stores out of town, if I know that I have to do other things in that area or there is a super sale that I know I’m going to get the best bang for my buck when they double my coupon, verse price matching at Wal Mart and my time and gas to get to that store.

So my one piece of advice to new couponers, is always to shop multiple stores to ensure that you get the best deal possible and save the most money.

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Deal Seeking 101- Where to Find Coupons

Deal SeekingNow that you know how to organize your coupons, you’re probably wondering where your going to get all of those coupons to fill your organizer.

First off, there is the most popular and the oldest method of finding coupons and that’s in your local Sunday paper. Some coupons in the Sunday papers are regional, meaning that a coupon I get in my local paper here in Ohio may not be the same as what might be found in California. You can find out what coupons are going to be in your Sunday paper by checking out many of the various blogs that offer a coupon preview, usually in the middle of the week. (I will tell you about some of my favorite bloggers in my next post).

Since I started couponing and blogging, I discovered many internet sites to score coupons and sometimes even higher value coupons than the newspaper inserts. There are various sites such as, Coupons.com, Redplum.com and Smartsource.com that offer various coupons for almost anything and everything you can think of. These are the sites that I use to get great coupons for products that I use frequently.

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Coupons can also be found on store websites such as Rite Aid where you can watch videos on different products and earn store coupons. Once you reach a certain number of credits you can sometimes get bonus coupons for $4 or $5 off a $20 or $25 purchase. I use these types of coupons to get some of the low transactions at Rite Aid. Target also offers store coupons.

Cellfire.com allows you to add coupons to your store card. I am not familiar with this, as none of the stores in my area offer this option.

Sometimes you can also find coupons on the products themselves. Recently, I have found these great high dollar coupons inside the Prilosec boxes. My hubby eats Banquet meals for lunch (don’t judge) and the last ones we bought were marked that they had coupons inside. I’ve even got dog treats for next to nothing because of the peel off coupons on the outside of the boxes.  Some stores also have coupons next to the products, just be on the look out for them.

Various companies are taking advantage of social networking sites to offer coupons and freebies to their fans/followers. This is a great way to get coupons for free products, which are usually mailed within a few days. Manufactures also offer coupons on their websites, so be sure to check the site of your favorite product if you can’t find a coupon your looking for.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for the store advantage cards. Many stores only offer the sale price if you have one of these cards, otherwise you could end up paying full price for an item because you didn’t have the store card.

I’m sure there are many other ways to find coupons, these are the main ways that I score coupons and am just passing my knowledge on to those who are new to deal seeking and want to save money on their grocery bill. If you have any tips or other places that I may have forgotten about, please leave a comment sharing those sources.

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Deal Seeking 101-Coupon Organization

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We’ve had an Ice Storm for the last two days. Yesterday, it took me 45 minutes to find my new Dodge Journey that I hadn’t even drove yet under all the ice. Then I attempted to go to work, but only made it about 4 miles before I turned around and came back home the road was so bad. It took me 20 minutes to get that far and back to town. Today we have a snow, or rather, Ice day. We haven’t got much of the snow that other parts of the country have got, but we sure do have ice.

What’s the best thing to do on a Snow/Ice Day? Sit down with a cup of Hot Chocolate (my new favorite thing is to top it off with Cool Whip) and catch up on organizing coupons.

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I’ve recently had some people ask how I get such great deals at Rite Aid, so I decided to do a series on coupon basics. If you’re willing to put in a little effort, the reward is amazing. I’ve been couponing for years. Even as a teenager I was clipping coupons. But I never knew how much money they could save you, if you played the game. Now it’s a thrill to see what bargains I can get each week.

Deal Seeking 101- Organizing Coupons

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First off, you need a system that works for you to keep all the coupons you’re collecting. I use this according style binder that is for organizing bills and such. You can find these in the office supply section. I’ve even found them in the dollar section at Target.

Then you need to figure out what categories you’re going to have. I keep the first pocket empty (I’ll explain later why). Then I sort by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Drinks, Dressings/Condiments, Baking/Desserts, Cleaning, Personal, Dogs, Baby, Office and use the back space for coupon books and restaurant coupons.

These are the categories that work for me and doesn’t necessarily mean that they will work for you. This system may not even work for you, but this is what I have found to be easiest for me and yet portable enough to take with me to the store.

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Next you need to sort all those coupons you’ve been clipping. I put mine in to piles according to the category in which they belong. Also as I am sorting, if I come across a coupon that I think I will use that week, I set it aside. While sorting the most recently clipped coupons, I go through each category in my organizer and get rid of the expired coupons (I know, there are many organizations out there, such as military bases that you can send expired coupons too that are still able to use them past the expiration date).

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Once everything is sorted and up to date, I put them back into the organizer.

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Then I take the coupons that I set aside that I am going to use this week and put into an envelop for “This Week”.  I also keep envelops for various store coupons. I do this for Rite Aid and Target. If you have more stores around you that offer store coupons, you could do other envelops too. These are the only ones I do because outside of Rite Aid and CVS we don’t have any other stores in town that offer store coupons and I never go to CVS since it’s out of my way.  The closest Target is 20 miles away, but I still keep their store coupons just in case I’m in the area. Then I place these envelops in that front pocket that I left open earlier, so that these coupons are easily accessible when out shopping.

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Once all of your coupons are organized you’ll have an easy way to take them with you on your next shopping trip.

Coming Next: Where to find coupons other than newspaper inserts.

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