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Beware of Stores’ Clever Tricks to Get You to Spend

Free Grocery Coupons

Every store has a single goal, and that is to sell you as much as possible.

It is snowing here today… pretty heavily. And as I walked into Walmart to pick up some milk, I overhead the store Manager talking to the Greeter. He said, “Tell everyone who comes in that we are supposed to get 10 inches of snow today. That will make them buy more!”

I was surprised to find that what may seem like innocent friendly greetings and conversation, is sometimes a calculated effort to get you to spend more.

The store is a battleground. You are on one side trying to buy what you need for your family for as little as possible, and the store managers are on the other side trying to get you to buy things you don’t actually need. You come in armed with your coupons and the store managers have the checkout lane stocked with all sorts of cute little things you forgot you wanted.

Be wise.
In addition to your coupons, bring your shopping list… and stick to it!

Coupon Codes

Free Grocery Coupons

Purchasing items online is fast and easy. But before you click on the button to finalize your sale, ask yourself, “Did you enter your coupon code?”

You say “But I don’t have a coupon code”.
Well, you don’t have one YET!

Before making that purchase, do a search for “coupon code for X” where X is the store you are shopping at, and see if you can find a coupon code for the item/s you are purchasing or even a general coupon code for the store. With a little effort, one can sometimes get an additional 10%-15% off of the purchase price by locating a coupon code for the store.

Good Luck!

Searching for Deals with Deal Aggregators

Online shopping allows you to compare prices in a way that was impossible just a few years ago.

Sites like nextag.com and pricegrabber.com enable you to search among a great number of stores in seconds. These searches are up-to-date and often reflect current sales.

Other sites known as Deal Aggregators, such as DealNews, ConsumerSearch, FatWallet and Brad’s Deals are great places to looks for online shopping deals.

12 Things That Will Be Less Expensive in 2012

DealNews has an article on 12 things that will be less expensive in 2012.

Here are the highlights:

1. Apple iPad 2
2. Wine
3. Desktop Replacement Laptops
4. Android Tablets
5. Solid State Drives (SSDs)
6. Car Rentals
.
.
.
12. Home Prices

See the article for more information.

Sales and Deals via Online Shopping

Online shopping is more popular than ever and promises to continue to grow. There are a number of benefits not to mention the convenience of not even having to leave your home. Here are some other benefits (and pitfalls) that are worth considering.

1. Search a large number of stores
One can visit a large number of stores literally in minutes. This saves in gas money and also your valuable time.

2. Shop whenever you like
You can shop whenever you like—not just when the store is open.

3. Compare prices and Deal Aggregators
You can compare prices across a great number of stores. One way to do this is to simply google “price of X” and you will get a variety of responses, many of which give you the price of that product in a given store. Sites like nextag.com and pricegrabber.com enable you to search among a great number of stores in seconds. These searches are up-to-date and often reflect current sales. This is a powerful utility if you are in the market for anything from macaroni and cheese to a big screen HD plasma television. Other sites known as Deal Aggregators, such as DealNews, ConsumerSearch, FatWallet and Brad’s Deals are great places to looks for online shopping deals.

6. Free shipping
Many stores offer free shipping for some items. However, if they don’t be sure to factor in the cost of shipping before you make your purchase. Some sites make money on shipping, so be careful. If you make a lot of purchases from Amazon.com, it may be worth joining there Amazon Prime Free Shipping service. In the last year, I have saved hundreds of dollars in shipping this way since I purchased tools for my new house, Christmas presents for my children, diapers for my baby, etc, etc.

7. In-store Pick Up
Many stores, like Sears or Best Buy, now offer an in-store pick up option to online shopping. You select an item online, and select the store where you would like to pick it up. If its available at that store, you can them purchase it online and go to the store to pick it up. This saves time, saves on shipping costs, and limits the potential for impulse shopping.

8. Buy just about anything
At this point you can buy just about anything online: clothes, food, diapers, etc. Some baby supplies are far cheaper online at places like Amazon.com if you subscribe to Amazon Prime shipping. You can purchase cartons of items you use frequently, such as deodorant or macaroni and cheese.

9. Coupons and Coupon Codes
Its not as easy to use coupons that you have in hand. And not all of the deals you see online are as good as one can get by physically going to your local store. One recommendation I have is to open a second browser window that you use to search for coupon codes whenever making a purchase. For many items, you can save an additional 10%-15% of items online by doing a quick search for coupon codes.

10. Limit Impulse Purchases
It is much harder for an internet store to suck you in to making an impulse purchase. Online you can avoid the racks of magazines, candy, and handy (often useless) items that surround you and your children during checkout. However, some people find it more difficult to keep track of their purchases online.

11. Auction Sites and Special Deals
One can also search auction sites like eBay, which now feature vendors with personal stores. Sometimes you can get really great deals this way. Craigslist (which is basically like the want ad section in the back of the newspaper) is another place to search for some types of items. Just be sure to be careful before you send money to someone you don’t know. Another place to check out from time to time is woot.com which sells one item per day often at a huge discount.

Online shopping can land you some great deals and save you a great amount of time.

Holiday Sales and Deals

There are many great sales and deals this holiday season.

Amazon is currently offering 26% off the LEGO Alien Conquest Mothership


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Coupon Sources

Coupon Sources

There are several sources where one can consistently find coupons:

Valpak often sends people an envelope of coupons in the mail. You can get the same coupons here online.

Redplum is another site that has free coupons ready for the printer.

Coupons.com is another popular site that allows you to print coupons!

Popular Couponing Books

Popular Couponing Books

There are a number of popular couponing books available.
Recommending books is difficult due to personal tastes, interest and focus. So I have compiled this list of books on Amazon.com that have been reviewed as 4+ stars by 50 or more people.

1. Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey: Save Big Money & Make the Grocery Aisle your Catwalk!



Joanie Demer and Heather Wheeler

  Book Description:
What if you could save over 70% on your monthly grocery budget and build a stockpile of food at the same time? Don t be a skeptic! Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey will jumpstart your journey to saving $600 per month! If you re interested in the idea but overwhelmed by the logistics, you ll love our step-by-step approach that transforms even the most timid shopper from coupon-shy to coupon-savvy. Authors Joanie Demer and Heather Wheeler share their expertise along with hundreds of tried and true coupon tips in a fun, user-friendly format that will have you high-fiving the grocery store cashier in no time.

2. How to Shop for Free: Shopping Secrets for Smart Women Who Love to Get Something for Nothing



Kathy Spencer (Author), Samantha Rose (Contributor)

  Book Description:
Kathy Spencer can whittle a $267.22 grocery bill down to one penny. How to Shop for Free is Spencer’s smart, sassy, step-by-step savings guide that teaches you how to do just that—and more. You’ll learn how to find the best savings and combine them with store promotions, rewards programs, and store credit to get almost anything for free—from organic produce to makeup, prescription drugs to clothing. With an eye toward cutting your monthly spending on the basics, Spencer guides you through many popular stores—including CVS, Kohl’s, Safeway, Target, and Walgreens—and explains how to maximize your savings. Follow Spencer’s plan and, by the end of the book, you’ll be shopping for free.

3. The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half: The Strategic Shopping Method Proven to Slash Food and Drugstore Costs



Stephanie Nelson (Author)

  Book Description:
Americans are hungry for bargains these days, but one woman has developed the ultimate strategy for enjoying a feast of savings. Taking the nation by storm, with appearances ranging from The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today and Good Morning America, Stephanie Nelson has shown countless women and men how to save thousands of dollars by becoming savvy coupon clippers-without sacrificing nutrition or quality. Now, in The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half, Nelson demonstrates all of the tricks of the trade-beyond coupons and tailor-made for a variety of shopper lifestyles. Whether you’re a “busy” shopper and have only a small amount of time each week to devote to finding the best deal; a “rookie” shopper who is ready to put more effort into cutting bills; or a seasoned “varsity” shopper who is looking for new ways to get the deepest discounts possible, this book offers techniques that will make it easy to save money at any level and on any timetable.

Extending her Strategic Shopping protocols to mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, natural-food stores, drugstores, and other retailers, Nelson proves that value and variety can go hand in hand. With meal- planning tips, recipes, and cost-comparison guides, as well as inspiring real-life stories from the phenomenal Coupon Mom movement, this is a priceless guide to turning the checkout lane into a road of riches.

4. America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money: Your Guide to Living Better, Spending Less, and Cashing in on Your Dreams



Steve Economides (Author), Annette Economides (Author)

  Book Description:
Do you have too much month at the end of your money? Is your credit card screaming for relief? Are you tired of robbing Peter to pay Paul . . . whoever they are?

Meet Steve and Annette Economides. They’ve been called cheapskates, thriftaholics, and tightwads, but in these tough economic times, Steve and Annette have managed to feed their family of seven on just $350 per month, pay off their first house in nine years and purchase a second, larger home, buy cars with cash, take wonderful vacations, and put money in savings. Without degrees in finance or six-figure salaries, Steve and Annette have created a comfortable, debt-free life for themselves and their children. In America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money, they show you how they did it- and how you can do it too.

Steve and Annette share many down-to-earth principles and the simple spending plan that they have used since 1982. They have taught this economizing lifestyle to thousands of people worldwide through seminars and their newsletter, and they include lots of real-life stories to make you feel as if you’re having your own private coaching session. Not only will you find solutions to your financial dilemmas, you’ll also discover a whole new way of life.

5. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family: Includes So Many Innovative Strategies You Won’t Have to Cut Coupons



Steve Economides (Author), Annette Economides (Author)

  Book Description:
The average American family spends 10 to 15 percent of its take-home pay on groceries. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half gives them a sure-fire opportunity to reduce that number forever. With the proven plan in this book, the average family can save more than $3,000 a year on its grocery bill.

“Can cutting coupons do that?” a consumer might ask. Of course, these money-saving experts teach coupon-clipping strategies, but they don’t stop there. Readers learn how to plan their shopping to save big bucks, effectively store food and save cash, identify products that save time and money, beat the grocer at pricing games, and more!

The Economides learned to deliver healthy, tasty food to their family of seven on $350 a month. In this authoritative manual, the average family can follow their lead and fill its grocery cart without emptying its wallet.

Save Time AND Money Couponing!

“Time is Money” as the saying goes. But its really more than that since money cannot buy time! So time is actually more valuable than money.

Couponing takes time, and extreme couponing takes that to a whole new level, which often involves carefully going through many newspapers and online sites searching for those happy coincidences where coupons can work together to get you real savings. This calls for determination, planning, and organization. Basically, the better your couponing logistics the more you save. But this all takes time, and one must be aware of the time-savings tradeoff. Sure you can save another $2, but if it takes you an hour to figure out how to do it, then you are selling yourself short. An hour of your life is worth more than $2… even in the lowest paying of American jobs.

Select which newspapers you will go through each week. And select which websites you will visit. Some poking around is good as it allows you to discover new resources. But searching for savings over and over again for hours on end is most likely a waste of your time.

One site that is useful is CouponMom. There you can find some easy to use tools that you can check each week:
1. The Grocery Deals by State
2. The Grocery Coupon Database
3. Printable and Paperless coupon sources

Sites like this can go a long way saving you time and money.

eCoupons Trading Service

eCoupons.com has a coupon trading service. They typically have about 100 free coupons available per day. In addition, if you enter your zip code, they can provide you with even more coupons! There has gotta be something there you can use!

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