Knowing when and where to buy items is the secret to save money & time !!
Everyday I have people asking me how I save money on the limited time schedule I have with working full time and running the sites. Hopefully this post will give you the insight to get on track to doing the same for your household!! Of course I cannot cover every item in this post, but I can give you an overview to simplify your life and help you save money and time by just explaining what I do.
I basically shop 3 ways for every purchase I make: 1) ONLINE 2) WITH COUPONS 3) LOCAL & WAREHOUSE
I only have so much time to get to stores so I utilize online shopping and pick up at store options whenever the prices are comparable. I also keep a list in my planner of household items I need to buy. Not the same as my grocery list but items such as linens, gifts, clothing, shoes, pots & pans, tools, decorative items, hardware items, and really any item I think of that I need or want. This stops me from running to the store and impulse buying, it also allows me to price compare AND it saves gas and time physically going there. Here is my list for January. I wont necessarily buy all of them right away, but I do review it weekly.
We offer Personal Shopper services here that can help you buy items on your “to buy” list so make sure to sign up here!
1) Shop Online:
I am an avid online shopper at Shop Your Way and Amazon. . Both options give me low pricing and 2 day free shipping when subscribed. Items I can buy with a coupon I do not usually buy here. Items I buy here are items on my TO BUY list. I always check Shop Your Way first as I get free points for everything I buy, being part of their birthday and moving groups, by playing sweeps and tons of other ways plus they issue SURPRISE POINTS which are like free cash! I do price check the item before buying and see if it would be less expensive on Amazon. In my opinion it is best to have BOTH services to save the most money and time!
Shop Your Way Max
– 2 day free shipping from Sears & Kmart and free standard shipping from any Marketplace partners for $39 per year for Shop Your Way Members. Become a SYW member and choose me as your personal shopper here and you will receive a free trial (if you have not chosen a personal shopper in past). The personal shopper services are always free with no credit card info or obligation and I have yet to have to buy the Shop Your Way Max service for $39. Shop Your Way has been extending my membership for free. This is not a guarantee but is a great service for $39 let alone possibly FREE!!! Shop Your Way Max members also earn points back on there purchases plus get exclusive discount offers! Just a few items I bought this year were a Gas Grill for $69, Rachel Ray Dish set $25, Fit Bit Flex $58, numerous clothes, linens free after points and only a few of them were pick up at store only deals. Oh and by the way, they even have delivery service right ti your car with the Shop Your Way App if picking up at store!
Shop Your Way is also affiliated with many other brands and stores, so you can buy through Shop Your Way and still earn points with your purchases at Target, Walmart, Best Buy and tons more!
We publish Sears, Kmart and Shop Your Way Deals everyday here. To make sure you don't miss one, make sure to join our Facebook group of Bloggers that are posting deals, savings and points offers everyday here– Sears & Kmart Steals and Deals
– 2 day free shipping, online movies, borrow Kindle books, free photo storage and music streaming for $99 per year. You can try the Amazon service for free also however, unlike Shop Your Way, you will get billed once your free trial is over. I buy all of my Coffee K Cups there, along with many miscellaneous items such as I rent my son's college books from there, jewelry and clothing deals, I even bought our mini refrigerator there last year as it was $229 compared to $449 at a local Lowes store. I also bought my vanity mirror, nightstand and vanity stool from there at half the cost of other places and I didn't pay a cent for shipping and it was here in 2 days. There is also a special program for Amazon Students to get a 6 month free trial and then Amazon Prime for 50% off ($49) — you can sign up for the Student service here.
Other Online purchases
Sometimes I am forced to buy other brands or stores not available through Shop Your Way and Amazon, and when I have to do that, I buy through TopCashback.com and earn cash back on those store purchases and use online coupon codes from Savings.com or Dealspotr.com
2) Use Coupons:
This is what everyone sees me post about the most, but it is actually what I do the least lately! Matching sales with coupons and only buying those items will save you a ton at the grocery store! We have a great stockpile of the things we use everyday so I have not had to do major shopping hauls to fill my pantry or linen closets. I also do not plan my meals and then go get what I need for them. I do the opposite, I plan my meals from my freezer or pantry. A BIG DIFFERENCE!! My husband and I have some controversy here sometimes as he wants a certain thing for dinner and we may not have the items. When you have to go buy those items you will almost always pay full price.
As for health and beauty items, only sometimes do I run out of things like Bandaids etc. Very rarely do I run out of toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper etc. I try to keep an inventory list of items I have on hand. Here is an inventory list you can use for a 6 week cycle so you can judge when you think it will go back on sale and how much your family uses to know how much to buy when on sale.
So what you really need to know about coupon shopping is still WHAT-WHEN-WHERE to save the most money
WHAT– You have to know what you have and what you need. You can download the CouponsForYourFamily Pantry/Freezer Spreadsheet to your computer here. Click file and then download
WHEN– Its best to know what time of the year its best to buy certain products. The fall is known for the lowest baking product prices, March is always frozen food month etc.
Use our Best Time to Buy Monthly Guide to Retail & Grocery Sales here to help you to know when products are usually the best prices for both grocery and retail items.
WHERE– My suggestion to new coupon shoppers or those looking to save money, is to shop at Dollar Tree for freebies and then your local grocery store for other items you need to fill your pantry and linen closets. While the drugstores are a great place to get free items, you need to go back there weekly to use the Store points and coupons. If you have time to do that then by all means, do it!! I love to shop the drugstores, I just need to retire from one of my jobs to do that! Otherwise, shopping fewer stores and following our guidance and coupon matchups will still ge tyou on track to saving.
Here is where I shop with coupons and it is not every week.
I also love Target, but I get very tempted to spend extra dollars there so I try to stay away!
Find your local grocery stores on our Store Page here to see weekly sales matched with coupons.
You can also join our Couponing to Cut your Grocery Bill group here to see all the grocery deals we post
3) Warehouse & Local:
It is usually wise to check your local butchers and Restaurant Depots to see if they have bulk meat purchases. I was just able to get chicken at $1.29 lb at Restaurant Depot when you buy 40lbs. My local Hoelscher Meat Market also has chicken for $1.39lb. Compare that to Tops price at $1.88lb this week. The men in my family also hunt, so our freezer is always full of Venison roasts & steaks, Venison Hot Dogs and Venison Sausage so I only have to buy Chicken, Ground Beef and pork. I have also purchased half cows/half pigs to fill our freezer with meat from local farmers.
- I shop Aldi for eggs, milk, produce if there aren't any good sales at my local grocery stores Tops and Wegmans. Their everyday produce and bread prices are much lower than the local grocery stores. If the prices are close that week , then I just shop my normal grocery store.
- Aldi stores are national and we do provide the WNY Aldi Sale list here. Aldi does not take coupons but you can use Cash Back apps to save more.
- In the summer, I prefer to buy at local farmers markets for fresh in season produce.
By following some of these guidelines, you should be able to save money in half the time that an Extreme Couponer does! Time is money and life is short. All of us want to save as much as we can and knowing WHAT-WHEN-WHERE to buy is the first step to cutting your bills.
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