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Hot Tips for Saving Money With Coupons

coupons

Everyone loves saving money. Whether it’s getting a discount at the supermarket or snagging a deal on free clothes online, there are many great ways to enjoy discounts on the things you buy every day. Finding the right coupons, however, can be time consuming. By following a few simple tips, you will be able to maximize your savings while minimizing your planning time.

Use Aggregate Sites

Aggregate sites gather information from around the Web and package them in easy to find databases. These sites allow you to view coupons from multiple websites and select the ones that are right for you. CouponsHQ is one of the top aggregate coupon sites on the Web and you can find deals on everything from clothing to groceries, shoes and more.

Set Aside a Coupon Day

Instead of constantly scanning the Web for coupons every day, simply set aside one day for coupon hunting. You can often find multiple coupons for the same items, saving you even more money. Sites that compile coupons from multiple vendors can save you time by sending them right to your store loyalty cards. Take advantage of this time-saver and enjoy even more savings.

Manage Your Coupons With Specialty Apps

There are many great applications that can help you manage your coupons right at your fingertips. Use an app on your mobile phone to keep track of all of your coupons and see your deals at a glance. Never again will you have to worry about losing money with expired coupons. The app will remind you when the expiration date is approaching. You will also get notifications about deals in your area. There are many coupon tracking apps to choose from, some that allow you to create custom grocery lists based on your savings.

Join Coupon Clubs Online

Joining a coupon interest club online is a great way to learn more about couponing and save even more money. These clubs bring together other money savers to share tips, upcoming specials and deals. Learn how to double coupons and get free stuff online from these veteran coupon experts. Participate in discussion forums and share ideas of your own in these online communities of savers.

Saving money online with coupons is easy if you know where to look. By using coupon aggregate sites, you can find great deals from sites across the Web. Join forums and download mobile apps for even better savings. Find your deals today.

Photo Credit: Stockmonkeys.com

 

Final Numbers for June – Saved $310.40

June-at-a-Glance

We are right in the middle of moving across state lines to be closer to my parents so we’ve been eating from the freezer and stockpile quite a bit this month, but I was still surprised to come in so far below my monthly budget of $300! For the month of June I spent $80.11 to buy $390.51 worth of groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, or a savings of 79%! According to the spreadsheet I’ve spent $802.58 so far this year for $3,220.48 worth of stuff, or 75% off. That equates to an average of $134 per month for our family of six, or 74¢ a day per person! Of course I’ll need to start stocking up the freezers again once the move is finally over, but it feels good to be keeping expenses down right now while we’re having all these additional moving costs.

 

Final Numbers for March – Saved $494.69

glance_0313

We’ve been eating from the freezer and stockpile quite a bit this month, but I was still surprised to come in so far below my monthly budget of $300! For the month of March I spent $182.43 to buy $677.12 worth of groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, or a savings of 73%! According to the spreadsheet I’ve spent $500.50 so far this year for $1,975.52 worth of stuff, or 75% off. That equates to an average of $167 per month for our family of six, or 93¢ a day per person!

 

End of the Year Numbers & 2013 Goals

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Here is my year at a glance for 2012 – I’m very proud of these numbers and excited to share, but honestly I’m looking forward to beating them in 2013! I’d like to thank Angela at The Coupon Project again for putting the spreadsheet together that I’m using. I’d highly recommend that you download Angela’s new updated version of the savings tracker spreadsheet for my favorite price – free!

This year I bought $10,582.20 worth of products for only $2,584.30, or 76% off. Take a look at the ‘coupons’ and ‘discounts’ columns and you’ll see that less than half of the $6,763.02 that I saved was from coupons and the majority was from sales. That shows that you can save 30-50% without clipping a single coupon if you simply buy things when they’re on sale, and buy enough to keep you until the next sale. So how much you want to save and how much time you want to spend are completely up to you, but you CAN do this!

For 2012 I set a budget of $300 per month for our family of seven, plus two cats and a dog. That’s $69/week ($3,600/52 weeks) or $10 per person, which I felt was reasonable and still allowed for some room in the budget to expand the stockpile. I’m thrilled and more than a little surprised that I actually spent an average of $50/week for all of 2012! Even though that’s just a little over $7 per week per person, I’m still going to keep the budget at $3,600 for the new year, $300 per month or around $70 a week. The kids are growing fast and seem to be eating more every day so I hesitate to lower the goal at this point. Considering that I used to spend around $325-350 a WEEK, I’m very excited to know that we can easily live with a grocery budget of just $300 a month!

 

Final Numbers for November – Saved $694.57

We had a few extra expenses around Thanksgiving so I was really pretty surprised that we were able to stay $75 under our current monthly budget of $300! For the month of November we spent $225.48 to buy $920.05 worth of groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, or a savings of 76%! According to the spreadsheet we’ve spent $2,388.92 so far this year for $9,947.56 worth of stuff, or 76% off. That equates to an average of $217 per month for our family of seven, or $1.03 a day per person!

 

Final Numbers for October – Saved $570.15

This was a pretty good month since we were able to stay $97 under our current monthly budget of $300! For the month of October we spent $202.51 to buy $772.66 worth of groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, or a savings of 74%! According to the spreadsheet we’ve spent $2,163.44 so far this year for $9,027.51 worth of stuff, or 76% off. That equates to an average of $216 per month for our family of seven, or $1.03 a day per person!

 

Final Numbers for September – Saved $477.27

We’ve had a few unexpected expenses lately like new tires, brakes and rotors for the car so we really cut back everywhere else that we could this month. I’m grateful that we had a stockpile, pantry and freezer full of food so we basically just bought the essentials and the best bargain deals this month and we were able to get by without really feeling the pinch. Of course we’re going to need to make another big meat purchase soon, but we’ll be fine until the next great bulk meat deal comes along. This is actually the cheapest month we’ve had so far this year and we were able to stay $161 under our current monthly budget of $300! For the month of September we spent $138.52 to buy $615.79 worth of groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, or a savings of 78%! According to the spreadsheet we’ve spent $1,960.93 so far this year for $8,254.85 worth of stuff, or 77% off. That equates to an average of $218 per month for our family of seven, or $1.04 a day per person!

 

7 Tips to Finding Great Deals at Yard Sales

7 Tips to Finding Great Deals at Yard SalesOne man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s easy to get decent deals at yard sales—but getting great deals at yard sales can take a little extra work. Here are some tips for finding your own treasures:

1) Know where to look.

It may seem like a pretentious tip, but opt to check out the sales in more affluent neighborhoods. Sellers are likely holding yard sales to get rid of items that they no longer use such as toys and clothes. Goods at these yard sales are often of high quality and are also in very good condition.

2) Prioritize moving out sales.

If you’re choosing between a moving out sale and a regular yard sale, definitely visit the former first. Sellers who are moving out of their homes are more likely to be getting rid of goods that are fairly new or are too big (or small) for their next home.

3) Keep a list (and measuring tape) handy.

Keep a list handy of things you need or want that you’d like to get at a good price, such as kitchen tools and gardening equipment. For bigger items such as couches or tables, take note of how much space is available in your home for these pieces. It helps to carry around a measuring tape in your car or bag in case you need to assess an item’s size at a moment’s notice.

4) Test your items.

If you’re on the lookout for electronic devices, it’s best to carry an assortment of batteries with you in case you want to test a gadget to make sure that it works. The same goes for other items. Always check for chips or cracks that may not be visible at first glance.

5) Ask.

Sometimes, sellers aren’t able to set out everything that they’d like to sell. Ask the seller if they’d consider selling a particular item you are looking for, such as table, bicycle or gaming console. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

6) Ask for a bulk discount.

If you’re purchasing a lot of items, ask the seller if you can have a bulk discount. Sellers are likely to give you a better deal on items like kitchenware and books if you are clearing out all their items at once.

7) Time your shopping.

Always take into consideration the time of day you decide to visit a yard sale. If you’re looking for big-ticket items such as furniture and television sets, the best time to go is early morning, as soon as the sale starts. Keep in mind that the seller may not settle for a very low price, as other buyers will likely make a better offer later on.

If, however, you aren’t looking for anything specific, show up between lunchtime and closing time to browse through the clothes, CDs and knickknacks that are likely being sold at a more reduced price. Sellers are tired and more apt to bargain, as they’d rather get rid of their items than pack them up and put them away.

Photo Credit: qwrrty

 

Final Numbers for August – Saved $630.44

August turned out to be a pretty crazy month with all the back to school activities and purchases, and with our evacuation last week due to Hurricane Isaac. I have to admit that when I did my usual shopping trips a couple of days before the hurricane hit it felt great to have a stockpile already so I could just be doing a normal trip instead of buying a bunch of last minute hurricane supplies like everyone else. Since we were able to stretch out our back to school purchases over the past year, starting with last year’s clearance sales, we were able to stay nearly $79 under our current monthly budget of $300! For the month of August we spent $221.03 to buy $851.47 worth of groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, or a savings of 75%! According to the spreadsheet we’ve spent $1,822.41 so far this year for $7,639.06 worth of stuff, or 77% off. That equates to an average of $228 per month for our family of seven, or $1.08 a day per person!

 

Final Numbers for July – Saved $506.29

Although we didn’t go over our current monthly budget of $300, we did come pretty close this month! I made a bunch of back to school purchases including backpacks for all five kids so I think it’s terrific that we came in under budget at all. We do have a few more things to get before school start in a couple weeks, but there isn’t much left on that list so I’m hoping that we come in way under budget in August so I can go over budget during the fall holiday months without worry. For the month of July we spent $290.26 to buy $796.55 worth of groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, or a savings of 64%! According to the spreadsheet we’ve spent $1,601.38 so far this year for $6,787.59 worth of stuff, or 77% off. That equates to an average of $229 per month for our family of seven, or $1.09 a day per person!