Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Letting other people do the work for you - blogs and websites

There are people out there who update their blogs several times a day with new deals.  I'm just starting out in all this myself and so as not to confuse myself any more than is necessary, I only subscribed to two.  I am currently subscribed to:

  • Couponing to Disney - This blog is run by a woman named Kristin who funds her yearly trip to Disney with the money she saves from couponing and collecting rebates and what not.  She sets a grocery budget (say $100 weekly) and if she manages to do her weekly groceries with money left over, that money goes into her vacation fund.  Same thing with rebate money she gets back and any other unexpected money she receives (presents, money found in the dryer, etc).  She updates her blog several times daily with deals she comes across herself and passes on information that she receives from others.  As of right now I haven't looked closely at her website, I've only subscribed to her blog and read the daily emails I receive of all the entries she has posted (you get one email a day with all the posts not several daily) but it does look like she has a lot of other good information available as well.
  • Money Saving Maineac - This blog is run by a Mainer named Teresa.  I find that a lot of times there will be duplicate information in these two blogs but that's okay and easy to skip over.  The reason I like this blog is because, unlike Kristin's blog, Teresa will sometimes post local deals that are more pertinent to me.  I do my grocery shopping at Hannaford and when the Sunday paper comes out with the flyers and coupons Teresa will update her blog with the Hannaford sales and will give information on coupons that you can stack on top of them to get an even better deal.
So what exactly do I mean by stacking?  Stacking is the term used when you use several money saving tactics on a single item.  For example, I went shopping today at Target and bought Bertolli sauce.  Target has these jars of sauce on sale for $1.92, there was a coupon in this past Sunday's paper for $1.50 off when you buy two jars, there was also a printable target coupon for $1.00 off when you buy two jars.  Almost all stores will allow you to use both a manufacturers coupon (found in the newspaper coupon booklets, company websites, company facebook pages, etc) and one store coupon per item.  In this example two jars of sauce rang up at $3.84 and after the coupons were applied cost only $1.34 or $0.67 per jar of sauce.

Another online source that I use regularly is the Coupon Mom website.  You'll need to register (free) to have access to a lot of the resources they offer but it's worth it.  What I mainly access on this website are the "Grocery Deals by State" and "Drugstore Deals" tabs.  What's great about these is that they will basically list every item that is in the weekly flyer for that store in a database along with the coupons that you can use with them if applicable, give you the final (sometimes estimated price) after all coupons, and the percentage that will be saved.  This is not my only resource when I make my shopping list because there are things that get missed but what I have been doing is going to this site first thing Sunday morning and making a list for Rite Aid (the one drugstore that I've been shopping at for the time being).  I'll make a list of the best deals I want to buy, put together my pile of coupons, and then go out to buy my Sunday paper at Rite Aid and pick up those things.  I'm already learning that you need to get out as early in the morning as you can because the other shoppers will get there before you and those items will be gone.

Tomorrow I'll talk about why shopping at drug stores can be so great for saving money and will specifically review the rewards program that Rite Aid offers.

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