Saturday, June 16, 2012

Morning Shops and Hints: Do's and Do Not's

Some money saving tips that I thought I'd share from our morning. 

ACE Hardware
Got a free quart of paint-they had this promo in May too.  Not sure what projects exactly we'll use it on, but we got a couple of complimentary colors. 
DO: Get in on free promos-plan ahead. 
DO: Be there early, supplies are limited!

I printed off 2 coupons for $2 off of 2 Kotex Natural products.  These were .94 each so the .06 leftover went toward the pregnancy tests.  The pregnancy tests were .88 each.
DO: Get to know Walmart's coupon policy-they allow overage (the .06 being applied to the pregnancy tests.  Other stores like Target round the coupon down). 
DO: Get to know your prices and where you should purchase which items.  These pregnancy tests go for $1.00 at the $ Store, but why pay that when they're only .88 at WallyWorld?
DON'T: Assume that something is a good price just because it's on the Clearance rack or marked with a red tag.  The more I coupon, the more I realize how sly they are with that.  We always check the clearance racks and it was disappointing to see a Hamburger Helper priced at $1.68-that's not even a decent sales price!  We did not buy anything from that section today.
TIP: It's summer, it's warm.  I actually learned from a friend that she uses these pantiliners to avoid the embarrassing underarm sweat that your anti-perspirant doesn't always protect you from.  Cut one in half and place them inside your shirt in your armpit area.  This helps most if you have a tighter undershirt that's close to your skin so it doesn't move around. 

We got $10 in rewards at Staples from recycling ink last month.  You get $2 each.  Between how much ink I go through with printing coupons and then empty cartridges from family-we recycled 5.  I figured we'd stock up on ink since we had this reward coupon.  Additionally, we get rewards back for each item we purchase there.  Ink may be cheaper else where, maybe a dollar cheaper at Walmart, but I feel it really pays off to go with a store that has a rewards program.  Earning rewards back with each purchase, paying me to give them back the empty ink, and offering items free after rebate are all incentives that entice me to never go back to buying office supplies at Walmart again.  Yes, some of their prices are low...but still not always worth it! 
DO: Pick 1 store to join their rewards program.  Unless, you really need a lot of office supplies, juggling between the promos of 2 or 3 different office supply stores doesn't make sense. 
DON'T: Don't just spend money to spend money.  Remember to think ahead.  They offer rewards programs to keep you coming back.  I get an item 100% free after rewards, meaning a coupon for the value of the item I purchased-that means they plan on me coming back to spend the rewards that I already invested in.  Unless I have an immediate need, I only purchase enough to use my rewards.  If I don't have an immediate need, I will purchase something I know I will actually need later, like ink :)

Eating Out (Jack in the Box)
Silly me, I was so excited to go get our free paint when ACE Hardware opened that we didn't eat breakfast and got hungry :( 
DO: Keep fast food coupons in the car-just in case.
DON'T: Eat somewhere just because you have a coupon.  We made sure we narrowed it down to what was on our route and sounded good. 
DO: Keep snacks in the car.  I need to be better at this-keeping granola bars in the car!
DON'T: Throw out the extra condiments/napkins they give you.  Fast food joints are notorious for tossing in way too many napkins, ketchup, etc.  These are great for camping, picnicking, etc!

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