Sunday, May 15, 2011

Deal searching advice

Here are some notes from my workshop last night.

Why I look for deals
·         Donations – Harvest Ministry, Relief efforts
·         By saving money on what I buy, it gives me more money to bless others.
*     It’s fun & rewarding
Things to keep in mind while seeking deals
·         How far do you have to drive, especially with today’s gas prices.  If it costs you $8 to drive to Wooster to save $5, is it worth it?
·         Take into account your time.  If you work full-time, have young kids you have to take along, it might not be worth your time & energy.  It takes time to study the deals, organize your coupons, & make sure you are buying the correct product.  If you’ll be distracted by the kids & either not get the right product or buy extras because you are distracted, it might not be worth it
·         Are you spending money to save money?  It doesn’t make sense to buy something, even if it’s a good deal, if you don’t need it.

·         You can only use one manufacturer’s coupon on each item.
·         You may use a manufacturer’s coupon only once.
·         You cannot photocopy a manufacturer’s coupon, INCLUDING internet printable coupons. 
·         You must abide by the wording on the coupon, not necessarily the picture. “Save $1 on ANY package/variety/size.”
·         You can usually use a manufacturer’s coupon on a sale or clearance item
·         You can use multiple manufacturer’s coupons in one transaction
·         STACKING COUPONS: Using a store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon on one item.  This is where the real deals begin, making brand name items cheaper than store brand items.

Where to get coupons:
In the Sunday paper — manufacturer’s coupon inserts:
  • SmartSource (SS)
  • Red Plum (RP)
  • Proctor & Gamble (P&G)
  • General Mills (GM)
Local papers.  Typically have the same coupons, Akron Beacon Journal will have more sale flyers.  If you figure $2 a week for the paper, they quickly pay for themselves with the coupons.
  • The Daily Record –  week-end rate 12 weeks $20.50 carrier, $21.40 motor route, less if you subscribe longer
  • Akron Beacon Journal – week-end rate 13 weeks $26.00 autopay, 27.30 billed
On the internet — internet printable coupons: take into account ink & paper before you start printing lots of coupons that you don’t end up using.

All You magazine – available at Walmart or through subscription.  Pays for itself most months with the coupons inside.

·         Print the rebate form the first time you encounter it.
·         Keep rebate forms in the same place in your house.
·         Create a “rebate” envelope or slot in your coupon organizing system
·         Complete the rebate form and mail it the moment you get home
·         Make copies of everything you mail in. I scan them & save them in a rebates folder on my computer
·         To be extra safe, don’t use the product until the envelope is in the mail

Hoarding vs Stockpiling – If you have more than you can use or you hear of a need & won’t bless others, then you are probably hoarding

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