Excerpt from: Lean Body Fat Wallet
Discover the Powerful Connection to Help You
Lose Weight, Dump Debt, and Save Money
By Danna Demetre and Ellie Kay
(Thomas Nelson – Dec. 10, 2013)
Chapter 7: Fat Cell and Fat Sales
pg. 111 – 114
Practical Tips for Saving Money
In over twenty years of using coupons, I have saved roughly $160,000 (based on the Cost of Food at Home chart provided by the USDA3). I fed our five school-aged children on about $250 a month. This included toiletries, household cleaners, and medicines. It may sound amazing, but you don’t have to look any further than reality television to see the value of couponing. You’ll find scores of people across the country who are doing the same.
Even after years of being debt-free and having a significantly higher dual-income family than we had when we first got married, I still use coupons. In fact, last year I saved our family of seven over eight thousand dollars by using coupons—and I only spent one and a half hours a week accomplishing this goal. It’s easy, if you are organized.
IMPORTANT COUPONING STRATEGY
Always make sure that you are only using coupons for items you actually need and would want even if the coupon was not available. Whenever possible, purchase those items with the coupon when they’re on sale. Then you’ve paid the least price possible. To simplify these matches of sales with coupons, go to CouponMom.com. This way you’ll pay even less than you would at discount stores or warehouse clubs.
COUPON APPS AND WEBSITES
Coupon Sherpa and Yowza are great apps to help you find great values at your local store. Download these apps and use them regularly to save 30 percent or more. Both use geographic location or zip codes to target deals at stores near you. You may also want to try the Redlaser app, which can be used to scan the bar code of a product and find out if the item is cheaper somewhere else. As far as websites go, consider using BradsDeals.com or Dealnews.com to get current updates on a variety of bargains.
CLIP EVERY COUPON—SHARE THE SAVINGS
If you don’t use a particular product, you can donate that coupon to a “swapbox.” It’s easy to organize a swapbox at your workplace, club, or church. I’ve even seen moms get together for “virtual swapbox” play dates with their iPads and smartphones to swap Groupon deals, coupon websites, and other great savings ideas.
To create a swapbox of paper coupons, keep a shoebox-sized container in a central location. You can donate your coupons in a Ziploc bag with a piece of paper in the front called a name card. Write your name and date at the top of the name card and you’ll know you donated that bag of coupons. When you look through a bag of coupons, pull out the coupons needed and sign your name to the name card so others know you’ve benefited from their donations. Groups often assign a “coupon coordinator” to pull expired coupons out of the bags at the end of each month. These expired coupons can be mailed to military units overseas since they’re good for six months past the expiration date in commissaries outside the United States. Just e-mail email@example.com and put “expired coupons” in the subject line; we will send you a list of bases that could use your donations. Now your friends and family members are also helping military families save money around the world.
PRICE MATCHING—ASK YOUR STORE
If you have a store that will match competitors’ ads, then this helps save time and money. Most Walmart stores offer this benefit to their consumers. This price-matching tip is also good outside of the grocery area because there are dozens of other stores that will honor competitors’ ads, including Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, Target, and more. Since these policies vary from year to year (and even month to month), it’s important to inquire at the customer service desk before you try to use the price-matching benefit.
To implement this tip, just take in all the local sale ads and have the store match the sale price from the circulars. There may be some restrictions, so be sure you ask for the details at the customer service desk. For example, Walmart will not honor a “buy one/get one free,” nor will they honor “percentage off” sales. But they will substitute their brand for other store brands that are on sale and it may even end up being a better quality deal!
SEARCH HIGH AND LOW FOR BARGAINS
In today’s grocery stores, many bargains are located on the top and bottom shelves. The expensive items are at eye level. To those in marketing the reason is obvious—you’ll buy something that’s in front of your nose! Also, avoid the floral, deli, and bakery departments. They’re usually overpriced and can bust your budget.
USE A SHOPPING LIST—DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!
When shopping, you should never leave home without an organized list. It minimizes time spent in the store and helps you stay on target, thus avoiding impulse buying. It can also serve as a reminder of sale prices and coupons you may have. There is an app called Awesome Note, which can be found at Mint.com, that can help you organize a shopping list.
HUNGRY? EAT FIRST OR STAY AT HOME!
Never grocery shop when hungry; you’ll be tempted to buy food you don’t need. Also, leave small children home whenever possible. It seems like they’re always hungry, and they might even try to talk you into buying junk they don’t need—take it from a busy mother of seven!
BUY ITEMS ON SALE AND STOCK UP
When you purchase a product on sale, you’ve usually paid the least price possible for that item. This buying method is different from menu planning. With a specific menu, you’re obligated to buy the groceries on your menu. However, when you buy groceries on sale and stock up, you’ll have a great selection from which to choose your meal. You’ve also paid less. So make up your weekly menu according to what you have in your pantry and save more.
Disclosure: These book excerpts were sent to me to share with my audience by Nelson books. I was not compensated for sharing these other than receiving a copy of the book for review. Posts do contain my affiliate links.