Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Spoiled by the Deals and handy tips on remembering deals.

Boy, I can hardly remember back to the days when I didn't use coupons.  I can remember thinking that the big-box stores were the way to go, that my local grocery store was overpriced, and raising food costs were just part of life.

Now I find myself thinking that 80 cents a pound for shredded cheese is too expensive, I walk into the big-box stores and get sticker shock looking at the prices, and my local grocery store is like my second home! 

I actually passed up going to the store today because I just couldn't bring myself to 'pay' for the deals!  They weren't free, so I decided that what we have here at the house is good enough until the next deal comes around. 

Some people use price books, others go by memory, others use past receipts...  What is the best way to know when the products you use the most have hit their "rock-bottom-price"?  I think it just depends on you.  Myself, I tend to go with memory.  I had started a price book last year, but it just wasn't working for me.  But I know that I won't buy Quaker Oats unless they're free because my family doesn't really use them very often.  And two dollars a box is a good price for the garbage bags we use.  I used to be able to get our laundry detergent for less than a dollar, but do to rising prices the low-price now is $1.30ish.  These are all after-coupon prices of course. 

Another handy tip is to get a mp3 player with a voice recording feature.  I actually got mine, a Sansa Clip, from  It's small, easily clips onto the inside pocket of my purse, and fits in the palm of my hand.  I think it was 15$ plus 5$ shipping, and holds 2G.  If there's a catalina promo for buying $X.xx worth of products - I'll walk up and down that aisle in the grocery store and read the prices off for each product.  That way when I go home I can either transcribe the products and prices, or just listen to the mp3 of the list, while making my shopping plans.  It's also handy for remember everything on clearance - I often walk up and down the aisles of Rite Aid, making notes on what items on are clearance and making note to look for coupons for those items when I get home.

You can keep a pen and notepad in your purse, coupon binder, or coupon wallet too.  But my handwriting is horrible, so I like the option of recording instead.  Although I wonder how many customers who see me doing it go home to tell their loved ones about the crazy lady talking to herself in aisle three!

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