I live out in the boonies. At least, sometimes it feels that way. The town I now live in here in Eastern North Carolina is much larger than the college town in Central Texas that hubs and I lived in when we were first married. In Texas, we had two grocery stores to choose from, HEB and Walmart. Here, we have Food Lion, Piggly Wiggly, IGA, Save-A-Lot, Super Target (which, by the way, does not carry produce or fresh meat) and Walmart, plus Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid. Food Lion also has several convenient locations to shop at, so there's always one nearby no matter what part of town I'm at (no wonder they're so expensive--gotta pay the mortgage!! lol).
So with so many options, it would stand to reason that the stores here should be really competitive, right?
We have a military installation located in the heart of the big city, smack-dab in the middle of town. And the stores here just will not compete with the commissary on base.
So while I follow a couple blogs that match sales ads with coupons, like Melissa's, I rarely get to utilize their extreme couponing methods because the stores here, including Target and the 3 pharmacies, don't always have the same sale. Or, the stores have the sale, but the coupons aren't available in this area.
That means that I have to resort to extreme measures, like creating my own sale!
When I first started serious couponing a year ago, I felt as though I had to use every single coupon that I got my hands on, and felt like I had to buy everything that was on sale, whether I needed it or used it or not.
That meant, if an item was "on sale" in the posts according to other bloggers, but not on sale here in my area, I still bought the item. OR, if I couldn't get a coupon, I still bought the item.
*GASP!* What was I thinking??
Let's just say that train of thought didn't last very long!
It's taken some self-discipline, but I've come to learn that I don't need every single thing that is on sale. And I don't need every single coupon either.
If I miss a sale item because it's simply not on sale in my area, that's okay! That means that something else is on sale here. We're not brand specific either, so I'm perfectly ok with buying store brand or generic. And if I do manage to clip "the perfect coupon," then I'm happy to buy a name brand item.
Coming up next, Part 2! Also known as, How to Make Your Own Sale!
What shopping challenges do you have? Are you in the big city, college town, small town, or military town, and do you have to get creative with your shopping? Please post a comment below and share your tips! :)