Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Using Store Flyers To Save Money

Another way that I try to save a few dollars when doing my food shopping is by perusing various stores and their flyers. Using the little key chain cards that stores love to give out to their customers can really save you some money and get you some bang for your buck if really know how to shop.

As you can see above, I like to look at a variety of weekly flyers to find the best deals. Even chain pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS can provide amazing deals if you look closely. Here's an example of one such sale I took advantage of.

CVS a few weeks ago had the 12oz bag of Starbucks Breakfast Blend coffee (just like the one to the right) at $6.99 per bag. Now if the flyer noted that if you bought $20 dollars worth of Starbucks products, you would receive a $5 dollar Extrabucks rewards coupon to use on any purchase before February 15, 2015. Not that I needed any more incentive to buy three bags of coffee but utilizing the sales to get coupons to be used at a later date is something I couldn't resist. Especially since what I was buying was something that I would use.

So I turned around and used the coupon on a sale that CVS had a week or two later for three boxes of Crispix cereal. Now Crispix is one of the few cereals my daughter enjoys and as one of the Kellogg's "Healthy" offerings, it is one of the most expensive selections. The sale had the cereal at buy 3 boxes for $7-dollars. Using my coupon, I ended up getting 3 boxes for $2-dollars. I can't even get a regular priced box for under $4-dollars so to get 3 for $2 was an amazing coup. That is the key here. Buying stuff you need with the coupons you earn instead of just buying stuff for the sake of getting a coupon or to use a coupon.

That seems to be the methodology of the extreme couponers you see on TV who fill up four to five shopping carts worth of products that they will just sock away so they can use manufacturers coupons to reduce the price of the products they want. Don't get me wrong, it looks amazing on TV to see the large amount due whittle down to virtually nothing after the coupons are scanned in. But its not something that I can do. I do try to buy things that are on sale in order to stock the back-up pantry and if I have a coupon for items on top of a sale price, I try to use it. But back to the key point from above.

Make a list, stick to it and buy what you need. We've all been guilty of walking into a store without a list and leaving with bags full of stuff that caught our eye as we walked down the aisles. Hell, that even happens when we have a list. The key is to fight the urge to buy something that is not on your list. You need to show some willpower, moderation and frugality. If a sale focuses on a store brand rather than a corporate brand name, take advantage of it. There's nothing wrong with a store brand especially when you are trying to stay within budget like I am.

The day will come when you can splurge, but by then if you re-train your way of doing shopping by taking advantage of sales, you won't feel the need to do so. But that is just me. I can only make the suggestion. You guys have to make the effort.

You have any suggestions on what works for you? I'd love to hear about it. For the next post, I did a little test on how much coffee I can get out of a 12oz bag of coffee in the Thermos I received for Christmas and how it compares in terms of price to a daily cup of coffee bought at a store.

Until Then,