Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Shop Til You Drop?


1.  Eat before you leave your home.  Shopping hungry is ALWAYS a bad idea.  You will definitely buy more than you planned on, and probably treats that are not good for you.

2.  Compare the per unit price on items.  Dannon had two different "Light and Fit" yogurts.  Both of them had four containers.  On closer examination one of them had 4 SMALLER THAN containers at 5.6 ounces, versus 6 ounces for the other four.  The larger ounce version cost 2 for $4.00.  The smaller container version was advertising at $2.99 and that was on sale from $3.99.  This is a trick that many companies use.  They sell the same product in different packaging.  They do this to earn more money.  After all if 1,000 people choose the higher priced item (even if it's only .99 cents higher) if you multiple 1,000 times .99 cents, brings in $990.00.  Add interest to that amount, and they are making money twice from our non-detail specific shopping.

3.  Watch for change in product size.  I'm disgusted with so many companies that don't change the PRICE of an item but DO change the product SIZE.  So as an example, look at the bottom of your yogurt container.  Have you ever noticed how more and more containers of yogurts, drinks, etc. put a bottom on the product that goes into the bottle a long way?  If they keep the price the same but change the product size (same bottle with more of a divot in the bottom), they will again make more money.  Even if they simply change the product size by 1 ounce that savings to them will add up.

4.  Use coupons.  I watch the show "Extreme Couponing," and I'm in awe of these Shopping Sheroes!  (Hero, shero...heroine sounds just like a drug!)  They do spend time doing this clipping, organizing, watching store sales, etc.  They save a bundle.  So if you have any propensity to this activity, get busy.  Clip those coupons, and watch those sales.  You can save thousands of dollars by this activity.  Or maybe you just use an occasional coupon or two...every bit helps.  You can find coupons in a Sunday paper, or online.  You need a printer or smartphone for that last option.

5.  Don't use coupons for things that you will probably never use.  Many times the after coupon value of one item may still be more expensive than a comparable item of a different brand.  Be observant and do not use a coupon for something that you don't really need.

6.  Check the product Purchase By Date.  Many outlets, and inexpensive stores sell products with expired Purchase By Date.  Some items are safe for long after the Purchase By Date.  For example, laundry detergent.  Another example is yogurt.  Yogurt is SUPPOSED to be spoiled! If you go to a store and they have an amazing deal on produce.  Chances are that the produce is about to spoil.  What that means to you is that you buy a huge amount of strawberries only to have them spoil before you can eat all of them.  If a sale seems TO GOOD TO BE TRUE...it usually is.  So....ok buy the about to spoil fruit and then make jam or jelly or a huge dessert (fruit crisp or cobbler), or fruit leather...there are many ways too utilize fresh produce about to go bad.

7.  Here is a method that guarantees you to save money, but it IS time consuming.  You make your grocery list.  You attach to that list the coupons that you have so wisely collected.  Then you go to grocery store number 1.  In that store all that you do is to write down prices of each item.  Then you go to store #2 and purchase the items that are less than the price of the first store.  If a product is less at the first store you do NOT purchase the item at store #2.  You purchase your less expensive products at store #2 and then go back to store #1 and purchase the items that were less than store #2.  This takes a great deal of time.  Many times you can find stores that will match other stores sales.  Walmart proudly matches price.  Of course, you must remember the item has to be the exact same brand, and quantity as advertised in another store.

8.  Another method that is similar to the above method.  You widen your search, and go online to check prices.  (This is not possible in small outlet stores, and that is where you often can find the best deals)

9.  Make couponing a game for your family.  Give each child (Child friendly scissors only) a pair of scissors and a newspaper and have them race each other to cut out 5 coupons.  Give a small treat for their achievement.     

10.  Benjamin Franklin said that there are two ways to make money.  One method is to earn it, and the other is to NOT SPEND it.  Gauge your priorities.  If ice cream bars are singing your name....STOP....THINK!  What other item that your family needs will be pre-empted by those bars?  How long will the pleasure of eating them last?  Seriously "One moment on the lips, forever on the hips!" 

I hope these thoughts will help somebody in Cyber land that may be struggling with ways to save money.  Let's face it, most of this planet lives from paycheck to paycheck.  Finding creative ways and means to use our assets (strictly legal creative ways of course) is a wise approach to a tight budget.

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