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How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:35 am
by inspiresuccess
Hello everyone,

Because I've become very low income, I've taught myself something commonly referred to as "couponing". Because I think the name is misleading, I'm going to refer to it as "THE SYSTEM".

The system does include using coupons but it's much, much more. I learned it from books from the library and a TV show first. Then from using a free website.

I'd like to share it here with anyone who is interested.

I have to warn you; I did not find it easy to learn and it took me lots of time and practice. It's not as easy as just walking into a store and handing over a coupon. But if you're willing to change your attitude, your way of shopping, and the way you think about saving money, you can save a lot. I rarely walk away from a store with any savings less than 50% off. And I frequently get things for free. For instance, since I learned this system 4 years ago I have never bought toothbrushes or toothpaste. I just get them free from the drugstore. Yes! The drugstore! (And it doesn't involve shoplifting!)

First, I read a lot of library books on the subject. Then, I purchased the 3 I found most helpful. The best is The Coupon Mom. I highly recommend this book. I'll share the other two later. Don't want you to get overwhelmed, right off the bat.

The best website (partly because it's free and partly because she has the best system for coupons) is couponmom.com. If you like reading tutorials online, this website has them. (I hate reading things online and prefer reading her book and underlining, writing notes, and putting post-its on important pages).

If you hate the idea of having lots of little coupons and having to keep a coupon book to put them in -- couponmom is also the best. She has a system where you just put a date on the coupon books you get in the paper and then ONLY CLIPPING COUPONS on the day you use them. I tried the whole saving the coupons and putting them in a coupon holder and hated it. So I use her system. Also, she lists which items have printable coupons you can just print from your computer instead of getting coupons someplace.

I think that's about it for now. I'll keep coming back and sharing tidbits. But to get you started, I'd suggest going to the free couponmom website and start reading her tutorials.

I have saved over $1,000 using her system. And considering the fact that I live way below the poverty line, that's A LOT OF MONEY FOR ME!

I hope I can help other people save as much or more. Please feel free to send me questions here and I'll try my best to answer them.

Re: How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:15 am
by inspiresuccess
Here are a list of stores I use "the system" at:

Rite Aid
CVS
Walgreens

Kmart
Sears

Best Buy
Staples
Office Depot/Office Max

Luckys
Safeway

Big Lots

Now that I'm starting to do art work I'm beginning to learn art supply stores.

Aaron Brothers
Michael's Arts and Crafts

I probably use more but that's what I can think of. If any of these stores interest you, let me know, and I'll give you some insider info.

Thanks

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:39 am
by Lynx
Thank you, IS. This will be a terrific thread that I hope to add to once I get the hang of this.

I'm opening a folder in firefox and adding this thread and couponmom to seed it.

Save early, save often,

Lynx

Re: How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:49 pm
by inspiresuccess
I've been thinking about how to get you started in the easiest way. Here's a challenge for you when you have the time. Go through your house/apartment and write down EVERYTHING YOU BUY that isn't food. Shampoo, soap, vitamins, toothpaste, etc. EVERYTHING. It's easy to overlook things so pay attention! An exercise in mindfulness!

Because with "the system" you are going to stop buying this stuff in the grocery store! Drugstores have the best deals on all things that aren't food. And they even have the best buys on certain food items like cereal, baking supplies, nuts, canned goods and more.

So, your first challenge is to make a list of what you buy that isn't food. It takes some time but.............. wouldn't it be cool to get 50% OFF ON ALL THOSE ITEMS? YES!

27

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:30 pm
by Lynx
HI,

IS, this is a good idea. An alternative way is to back load the list AFTER I come home from shopping.

Lynx

Re: 27

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:55 pm
by inspiresuccess
Lynx wrote:HI,

IS, this is a good idea. An alternative way is to back load the list AFTER I come home from shopping.

Lynx


Good idea, Lynx!

Re: How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:40 pm
by inspiresuccess
Part of learning "The System" requires changing your thinking about shopping. Here are some new thoughts to wrap your mind around.

Common ideas that are opposite of "The System".

Buying the largest box/container of anything is always the cheapest. Wrong.
Buying smaller containers will often save you more, when you use the system.

Buying the store brand instead of the national brand is always cheapest. Wrong.
Buying national brands is often cheaper when you use the system.

You should only buy "what you need". Wrong.
You should buy what you "don't need" when you're using the system.

Common ideas that are definitely part of "The System".

Never shop when you are hungry. Right.

You should always have a shopping list with you when you shop. Right.

Use the new concepts above like a mantra; repeat them over and over to change your thinking.

I'll "explain" why the top ideas are " right/wrong" in another post. For now, just memorize them. Learning the system is like learning anything. It takes practice, practice, practice. Trust me. Take my suggestions one at a time and just "do them". I will always explain why later. Explaining at the time just makes things complicated in the beginning.

Re: How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:51 pm
by SquarePeg
Thank you for doing this, IS! I already buy most of what I can at RiteAid, and it is much cheaper than the grocery store.

Re: How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:30 pm
by inspiresuccess
Hi Square Peg,

Thanks for joining in! I bet I can help you save EVEN MORE at Rite Aid! It is a great place to shop.

Re: How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:05 pm
by Tituba
Methinks this would be a good title for the book you can write and get published on this topic.

Re: How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:41 pm
by inspiresuccess
Tituba wrote:Methinks this would be a good title for the book you can write and get published on this topic.


Hi Tituba,

I wish... but it's already been done! That's how I learned all this -- from the 3 books I purchased plus the others I read from the library.

Each book approaches it differently. I'm trying to share the way that it worked best for me. But thanks for the suggestion!

And it's good to hear from you again. I hope the weather is getting nice in your area!

Re: How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:47 pm
by Tituba
EVERYTHING has been done before. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it as well with your own spin. I could see this as an article in a magazine. Exactly the kind of thing "Womans World" "Good Housekeeping" etc. purchase. Now don't make me bring Barbara Sher into this thread to kick your butt on this :)

Re: How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:42 am
by inspiresuccess
Tituba wrote: Now don't make me bring Barbara Sher into this thread to kick your butt on this :)


That made me laugh out loud! Literally! :lol: Well, maybe I could handle a magazine article....................!!!

Re: How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:49 am
by Elaine Glimme
I tried saving coupons once, but it had never been worth it. I'm curious to see what advice you have.
I usually leave my coupons at the store hopefully next to the product they're good for so that someone else can use them.

Re: How to save 50% off everything you buy!

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 11:19 am
by inspiresuccess
DRUG STORE SHOPPING

I've finally figured out the best way to get you guys started. Are you willing to make one trip a week to your local drugstore? I hope so. It's the best place to learn “The System”.

FYI – Most of your work will be done AT HOME. You will spend VERY LITTLE TIME IN THE STORE. You want to zip through the store AS FAS AS YOU CAN and get the heck out of there. (more later on how to do that).

Before you start, get two business sized envelopes and label one “THE SYSTEM” and then the store name (ie., THE STYSTEM – RITE AID) and label the other one, “REGULAR SHOPPING” and the store name. You're going to use these for your receipts for each store.

This next written part, highlight and copy to a section of your computer labeled “THE SYSTEM” or do what I do, have a 3 ring binder that you print things out and hole punch.

THIS IS GOING TO SOUND COMPLICATED. IT'S NOT! Just follow it step by step, each week, and it will become second nature to you. Here we go................

1. Sign up online for the store. Give them ALL THE INFO THEY ASK FOR. And I mean all of it (more later on why this is important).

2. You should get a confirmation email. If you don't, go back to the website and make sure you sign up for email alerts.

3. When you get your first alert then “you're in” their system. If the email asks you to do your “preferences”, do that immediately. (more later on why this is important). (You only need to do this part once. Everything else you'll be doing weekly).

4. Go back to the website and click on “weekly ad”. Go through the ad as FAST AS YOU CAN and CLICK ON ANYTHING THAT HAS THE WORD “FREE”. DO NOT PAY ANY ATTENTION TO WHAT THE ITEM IS OR WHETHER YOU USE IT OR NOT. Think of this as a game. If you have kids, let them do it. They'll probably think it's fun! (It can be fun for adults, too, if you let it!)
Then create a shopping list on their website. Each site is a little different on how this works, but you'll figure it out quickly.

5. Now go through your shopping list and DELETE anything that doesn't say BUY ONE. For instance, if it says BUY 2 GET ONE FREE – DELETE. Now your list will only contain BOGO'S. A BOGO means Buy One Get One FREE. A BOGO IS 50% off. Yes, you will have to buy 2 in order to get the BOGO. But you're going to want to buy 2 (more later about something called a stockpile).

6. Now..........IS THERE ANYTHING ON YOUR LIST THAT IS AN ITEM YOU NORMALLY USE? Hopefully, there will be at least 2. If not, just wait until next week and do this over again. When you get 2 items that are BOGOs, whoohoo! Then it will be time to actually shop.

7. Go to the store and zip through AS FAST AS YOU CAN AND GRAB THE ITEMS ON YOUR LIST. Ask the person who works there, where to find your things. Don't wander or linger or look for things you need.

8. Go to checkout. BE SURE TO USE YOUR STORE CARD OR GIVE YOUR PHONE NUMBER. (More later on why this is important).

9. Leave store and in your car, go over your receipt carefully. Sometimes the computer will miss a sale item. Make sure you got 50% off on every item. Most stores will print on the bottom “50% saved” or “you saved $9”, etc.

10. NOW........... you can go back in the store, use your shopping list, wander around, look at stuff, etc. When you're in the car, be sure to put your receipt in the REGULAR SHOPPING – STORE NAME envelope.

YOU'RE DONE! CONGRATULATIONS!

Do this once a week and at the end of the year you will have two things – an envelope full of receipts that are 50% off, and a stockpile. What's a stockpile? Read the next post.