Also known as How to Make Your Own Sale. :)
So if you missed my last past, let me catch you up to speed. I live in a semi-large town that has a military base. The stores in my area do not like to compete with the commissary, so we don't get all the good deals that so many other bloggers seem to get. I feel so robbed!
Buying every single thing on sale here is not an option, neither is using every single coupon that I find.
I've had to work around my challenges. Using the resources that are available--and there definitely are a LOT of resources--has helped me keep my spending in check. I can still get some great deals without putting a big dent in my budget.
Here are some of the resources that I use to try to find the best deals:
- Bloggers such as Melissa's Bargain Blog, Money Saving Mom, Moms By Heart, and Attention Target Shoppers may not have the same sales ads that are in my area, but they certainly are an inspiration and a great place to start. Melissa posts scenarios to help you get started with your "extreme couponing," Crystal and Lori both post links to all the best coupons and free samples, plus Lori has a great weekly post on $0.50 or Less Shopping (love it!). And Ginger provides some of the most comprehensive Target deals you can find.
- Coupon generatorating sites, like Organic Grocery Deals and Hot Coupon World let me know some of the Target web coupons that are available, and I can print innumerable copies of as many Target coupons that I think I might need.
- The forums at Startsampling are also really great for letting me know about all the free samples and Internet coupons, taking out a lot of guesswork and hunting around. I love knowing that I can get something for free if I can't actually buy it for cheap (every little bit helps, right?). And, I just have to repeat this, no guesswork! They've done all the hard work for me and posted everything right there in the forums.
- All You magazine has been another excellent resource. I took the plunge last Summer and paid $16 for a two-year subscription. Not only are the articles and recipes great and full of frugal living tips, each edition is also loaded with coupons, even Free purchase coupons. You can click here to receive a free two-month trial for All You and check for yourself just how many coupons there are.
- Friends and family. My mother-in-law and husband's grandmother will occasionally give me a stack of coupons that they doesn't plan on using. And likewise, I'll share coupons with them or other friends who might be able to use them.
- And don't forget the store sales ad! Most stores post their sales online, which saves me from having to get an ad to the local paper, or driving across town picking up a sales ad from each store. This is another area where my mother-in-law is a life saver. My in-laws have a paper subscription, so they usually send the flyers home with my husband or one of the kids each week, which gives me a hard copy to work with as I plan my shopping.
Where do you go to find the best deals? Do you have a no-fail-go-to site that you visit? Share your tips with a comment below. :)
Coming up next, Part 3, or Putting It All Together!Note: These are suggestions that I find works for me and my family's situation. The important thing is to find what works best for you, and sticking with it, or finding a way to improve upon it. :)