My latest hobby is searching out deals. I scour the Sunday ads and the weekly circulars looking for ways to save. I usually don't travel from store to store just to buy a few items here and there that are on sale. I tend to stick to the deals offered by my local Wesselman's and Dollar General. It helps that they're right next door to each other. But this week, I found good deals on items we use every day that were spread out at several stores, so I decided to brave the rain today and make the trip around town. I went to 5 stores and spent about $25 at each store. But, I saved at least $25 in markdowns and coupons.
I've learned that I can cheat on my coupons a bit. It depends on the cashier, but sometimes you can slip some by that really shouldn't be used. I try to get in line where I see a young kid, preferably a boy, because something tells me he doesn't care if I have a coupon for High Fiber Progresso Soup when I only got the regular kind. By the way, I got 6 cans of Progresso Soup for $7 and some change today. Or when I have coupons for $1 off the purchase of two 12-packs of Diet Coke, but I use 1 coupon per pack instead. That day I got four 12-packs for $7.
I also enjoy buy 1 get one free sales, if I can use the items. Today, I decided against a buy 1 get 1 free today on cranberry juice, because it was a huge container that was $5.49 and I didn't think I could drink 2 of them. I try not to buy things I don't need just because they're on sale. But I've learned the art of watching for things to go on sale, THEN using my coupons. Which is tricky. You have to pay careful attention to the ads, mark things, and make a list. Otherwise, you'll forget what was on sale and what you wanted to get when you walk in the storer. Also, do lots of coupon clipping and be aware of what you have. Long expiration dates on those coupons are important so you can hold onto them and use them when the time is right. And of course, you have to have the patience and will to not need the item right away, and to wait it out. Then you can truly reap the benefits of sales and coupons.