Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Coupon Clipping

I spent my usual 10 to 15 minutes clipping coupons on Sunday. It is pretty easy to do. The primary grocery shopper (in our house, that's me) sits down and sifts through coupons to determine if product "x" is something the household regularly uses, and if so, when will the household need it again. Clipping can be rewarding. For example, on October 30th, I saved $10 on my grocery bill with coupons. Also, when one knows others who shop at the same store, one can take advantage of the "one coupon per household" warning. My mom and I shop at different branches of the same chain. Last week, they had a special on sugar and chocolate chips. For people who like baking, this is the perfect time to stock up. My mom got two coupons for the chocolate chips, I used my coupon, and between the two of us, we have ten 5 lb. sacks of sugar and 15 bags of chocolate chips. Grandma will get some of the chocolate chips; however, this is still a lot of sugar and chocolate chips. Clipping coupons is a cheap way to save money and sharing shopping information is a great way to maximize on good deals.

Saving consumers money is not the primary goal of the manufacturers and stores, however. A prime example of this is the Mall of America coupon book in Sunday's paper. While manufacturers, such as Proctor and Gamble, have coupons for most of their household products about once a month, the expiration date is many days away. It is their hope that a customer will say, "I feel that Downey is a superior product. And in a couple of weeks I will need dish soap. Perhaps I will use this other coupon for Dawn." It is the hope of the Mall of America that one will see a coupon that they would use; and spend money at other stores. Furthermore, the Mall of America assigned its various coupons to different weeks. So, if a customer has several coupons they want to use, this consumer will have to go to the Mall of American once a week for several weeks. How ingenious! One may have use for the J. Jill coupon, and then they may be tempted to also visit the Banana Republic or J. Crew. And for general information, there is an OK coupon for Famous Dave's that Josh and I will probably use when we do Christmas shopping for my family. Buy two entrees, get a appetizer or dessert for free. Good deal. Josh and I usually each get an entrée, and we may get a dessert to split or an appetizer. It saves a couple of dollars, anyway, on something we would probably get regardless.

My advice in shopping is to go prepared. I really do not like to shop, but I go prepared. For grocery shopping, some easy tips are to have a menu of what you plan on making each night, plus a list of what you normally eat for breakfast and lunch. Write down the needed elements and ingredients for each meal on a list. Add other needed items. Then, divide your lists into sections of the store as you will walk through the store. This takes about three weeks of practice; however, it saves time and reduces the "Oh, I think I'd like this" factor. Also, don't go shopping on an empty stomach. For Christmas or birthday shopping, write a list of people who you will shop for. Write down the specific gift or a general gift idea of what you will buy for each person. Write down the store where you will likely find the gift. Several weeks before you go to your shopping center of choice, obtain an up to date map of the center. Map out your stores, and devise a plan on which stores should be shopped at first. Also, try shopping on a weekday evening. If you are unsure on what you want to buy a person, do not window shop for inspiration. You will waste money that way. It is better to ask other family or friends for gift ideas. Finally, when shopping for yourself, also write a list of things you need, and then things you want. Write down which stores you can find these things, what you expect them to cost, and what your budget is. Repeat the steps for Christmas shopping.

I think I will call this a day in regards to blogging. Tomorrow, I hope to start in on my party platform analysis.

2 Comments:

  • At 10:25 AM , Blogger RR said...

    Hey, I found your blog linked to Spitbull. I like it. I'm newly Republican myself, having voted for a Republican for the very first time in this 2004 election, (for Bush/Cheney - but the hippie in line in front of me when I went to vote ticked me off so much with his left-wing prostelitizing that I checked off every Republican I could on the ticket.) Anyway, I have a blog: the reluctant republican (www.recluctantrepub.blogspot.com) I feel stupid as my URL has a typo, (note: reCluctant..) but I'm sticking with it. I'm new to this, and just not as good as you guys. Do you mind if I link your blog to mine? I don't blame you if you don't link mine to yours, because mine has a few "off color" moments. Thanks!
    RR

     
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