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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Help me be cheap!

So - first of all, the moved went well.  Got everything over with the exception of a few odds and ends that, honestly, I don't need.  I'm starting to feel a little ... scattered.  I need routine, especially in the mornings.  So far I'm feeling out of sorts.  I know it'll get better, but... it's how I feel right now.
Everything else is coming along nicely though, so we've just gotta keep truckin'.  Last night we didn't get shit done because we went to the Wild game - I bought Steve tickets for Christmas to last nights game... little did I know we'd be freshly moved.

Anyhow - the point of this post?
In March of 2009 I posted a TFT (Thoughts for Thursday) about buying generic - read it here - but actually read it because there are things listed there that will aide in your reading of this blog.
Basically I was posting trying to make a list of things that are okay and still decent quality/taste to buy generic - to save some money.  Now more than ever do I need to apply this to my life.  I have some new readers since then and I'm curious what YOU buy generic.  What is okay to go cheap on and what is not okay to go cheap on...

Also, any tips for a beginner on coupons?  I don't need to go bat shit crazy on clipping them but I'd like to think about starting to use them more and try and save a few bucks.

So - 2 things
1. Advise for a beginner in the art of coupon clipping and using them to my advantage.
2. List the things that you DO buy generic and DO NOT buy generic



Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

I buy pretty much all food, medicine and cleaning supplies generic. I think my only food exceptions are peanut butter (I'm sorry, I need good peanut butter, Skippy is love) and coffee (but thankfully I have a Dunn Bros. hookup so I get that for free). Oh and cereal, I have to have good cereal. Otherwise, I will find the cheapest item and buy that.

However, it's also good to actually look at prices. Generic isn't always the cheapest. Sometimes some brand is on sale. So keep an eye out.

I'm a horrible coupon clipper so I am not help there lol.

gringationcancun said...

Would: medicine, all groceries, clothing, shoes, cell phone, cleaning supplies, soap, hair products

Would not: purses (I rarely buy them, but when I do they have to be nice), sheets, mattress, bras and underwear (must be VS), alcohol, toilet paper, makeup

Everything on my list I have bought on the cheap before... sometimes it makes no difference in quality, other times it's disastrous! Lesson learned haha

Smart Ass Sara said...

Pretty much any household thing I buy the Target brand. Food.. I don't know. Some stuff I'm ok with (cheese, bread, juice) but some stuff no. Like generic mac & cheese? Tastes like fucking cardboard. No bueno.

Couponing is total trial & error. Target is the BEST place to coupon because they will take double coupons and they usually have kick ass coupons themselves. If you go to the target website, WAY down at the bottom in super small print, you'll find a link to coupons. You can print them off at home and go to town. Then if you get the Sunday paper just look at the coupon inserts. The P&G Saver insert is AWESOME because most of those coupons can be combined with ones off the Target website. If your grocery store lets you use website coupons.. you hit the jackpot. There are a TON of websites that have print out coupons and links to get more so you can free stuff. :)

angelaklesk said...

There is a great page on Facebook......Creative Couponing. I look at this site several times a day. I have saved TONS of money using this page. Check it out :-)

Busy Mother of 3 said...

I don't know if you were ever aware of how Coupon obsessed I became for a year or two, but it was bad. Or good.. but mostly drove my family nuts! I had 3inch binders with trading card sleeves in them, divided into sections of the grocery store by dividers of course. I had a stock of well over 1000 coupons at ALL TIMES, all current coupons, all in order, in multiples, in sleeves, in catagories and sorted by exp. date beyond that. I scoured every grocery add weekly, mapped a plan and hit all 4 stores in my area with my coupon book. Then did the same with Walgreens, and other drug stores. I wound up saving TONS of DOUGH!! But, did have to buy extra shelving and spent at minimum 20 hours a week just clipping, sorting and planning. I was insane! I say all this to tell ya... you really dont have to take it that far. Start by keeping track of products you buy weekly or have to keep on hand at all times, no matter how often you buy. Then search for those coupons. Newspapers, Magazines, Mailer Inserts, Ebay (yes it sometimes pays to buy coupons), etc are great sources. I also joined a "coupon train" of women around the country and received envelopes of coupons 3xs a week to pull from and restock with my extras. (probably not what you want to do, I know) You can also print them online from multiple sources, however, more and more stores are finding ways to reject those... I find them very tricky at times to use. My fave coupon source is the company themselves. I still do this, and get a bit giddy when it works, and it most often does! Back to your list you have created of your most used/purchased products, go to those companies websites. Send them a brief email stating your love for their products and that you are searching out coupons for them. Most will prompt you to add address, but if not be sure to include it! You would be AMAZED at how many companies will simply drop you an envelope in the mail with a handful of GREAT (usually at least one FREE product) coupons!
All that said, the trick to attaining coupon diva status is timing. Know your stores rotations, know the coupon cycles, know your product usage, and plan to take full advantage.
Try to shop where they will Double Coupons! Who doesn't love an automatic double savings!?!
And, try to only use coupons when the item is also ON SALE! Also, watch for store card deals. You most usually cannot use more than one coupon for a single item; but you can take advantage of an item being on sale already and them doubling your coupon. This alone is the biggest trick to shrinking a grocery bill for $100 to $30.
Also, most stores will limit you to 4 of a like item and 4 of like item coupons; take advantage of that when that sale is on! You already know you will use that item (you have tracked it, remember?) so... buy 4 and use 4 coupons! Now you are stocked up! and got it for next to nothing! If you do this for 4 or 5 months straight you will be amazed at the way your pantry builds and the money you will save.
There is so much I could tell you about couponing, websites to check on regularly, tips, etc.. but I kinda feel like I already wrote a book for a comment so I will leave it at that for now. :)
Do feel free to email with any questions you have, I was an AVID Coupon Queen- I knew exactly how to work it and saved thousands upon thousands of dollars.
I now use them in a much more limited manner, but I do still use them.
Good luck!

Busy Mother of 3 said...

Also! ( you knew I wouldn't be able to keep my trap shut, lol ) With a small amount of time you can get tons of stuff just sent to you for FREE! In sample sizes that is! Most websites have links for a free trial, and there are many sites devoted to listing these sites so you don't even have to hunt them down. Besides that, I also demo products before they come on the market. Yeppers, they send me stuff in full size and usually in quantity and WITH coupons to "pass around" for when the product becomes available. Most often all you have to do is right a review, spread the word, etc. Just another way to take advantage of FREE stuff! Which I LOVE!


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