Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

01/21/10
Amy
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(Money Saving Tip) Grocery Sale Cycles


When it comes to food, there are sale prices and then there are sale prices. If the item you are buying is less than 10% off, then it is probably a phantom sale and not worth stocking-up on. But when an item really goes on sale, how much should you buy? You don’t want to break your pantry shelves, but you also don’t want to run out before the next good sale. It is hard to make that call when you don’t know when it will be on sale again…or do you?

img_1227As it turns out, stores generally run on 12 week sale cycles and coupons follow a similar pattern. Your best deals are going to be found when you save your coupons to match those great, rock-bottom sale prices. But even if you aren’t a coupon clipper, just watch the sales and transition to making the bulk of your purchases based on the 12 week cycle. You will save a ton of money and can make a calculated decision on quantity based on the 12-week rule-of-thumb.

Note – There are always exceptions to rule. Start observing the sales at your store and you will soon see patterns emerge.

11/16/09
Amy
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(Money-Saving Tips) Holiday Menu Shopping


You may not put much thought yet into what you will cook for holiday meals or include on your Christmas cookie plates, but a little bit of planning can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Sales on baking supplies and ingredients are already happening. With your menu in hand, you can begin to keep an eye out for great sales and coupons on items that you would otherwise overpay for in a last minute rush. This also gives you the opportunity to gradually accumulate the needed ingredients and holiday foods, making it much gentler on the budget.

Holidays cost enough as it is. By simply doing a little bit of planning, this is one area where you can minimize holiday expense.

11/04/09
Amy

(Money-Saving Tips) Christmas Shopping Tips


We make a lot more purchases than normal during the holiday season and, after awhile, they can all blend together into a mess of expenditures. As you make your gift purchases, here are a few ideas on how to keep costs down and your purchases intentional:

1. Set a Christmas budget on a large scale as well as an approximate amount to be spent on each person.

2. Keep a running total of how much has been spent on each person.

3. Set up a separate checking account to manage Christmas purchases. I guarantee that you will spend less money on your holiday purchases when you have a limited and defined amount of money to spend.

4. Purchase kids’ toys earlier rather an later. Especially when ordering from places like Ebay, prices tend to rise as the number of people shopping increases. Make your purchases before the rush.

5.  Most stores are already running great sales to attract early holiday shopping. For stores that you know you will be making purchase from, sign up for their promotional emails. You can often get additional discount coupons or certificates.

6. Plan out your purchases at each store. If you are ordering online, this can save you on shipping. For in-store and online purchases, there are often promotional discounts that you can get for spending larger amounts of money (compared to multiple smaller purchases).

7. Keep all of your Christmas receipts in a designated envelope. That way if you need to make a return or find a better deal, you know right where they are.

Happy shopping!

09/18/09
Amy

(Home Management) Buy One Ahead


There are few things more frustrating than not having an item on hand when you need it. Whether you run out of toilet paper or are lacking a can of tomato sauce to finish making supper, stress is introduced into your life. And when situations like this are repeated throughout your week, it creates the feeling of being perpetually behind.

With a simple tweak in how you manage your purchases, this particular stress can be easily removed from your life.

Transition to buying one ahead for your non-perishable foods, baking ingredients, and toiletries. As soon as you open a new bottle of shampoo, laundry detergent, a bag of flour, or a bottle of ketchup, add it to your shopping list. This removes the stress of discovering you are out of an item when you need it and extra trips to the store, as well as providing yourself with the opportunity to purchase the product when it is on sale. You end up saving money while making no change in lifestyle. The only thing that is removed is stress.

And all you have to do is buy one ahead.

*Tip – Don’t expect yourself to make this transition overnight. Begin to build your one-ahead-supply by buying a second item when you see a sale and ease into this home management technique one purchase at a time. It won’t be long before you see this habit integrated into your everyday life.

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08/18/09
Amy

(Healthy Living) Kids’ Yogurt


yogurtThere are tons of great reasons to feed your kids yogurt. Yogurt contains probiotics, protein, calcium, Vitamin A and Vitamin D. They make for a cool summer snack, a sustaining breakfast item, or even an easy lunch addition.

These days we are presented with lots of yogurt options for our kids. Squeezable, drinkable, eatable. Blue, pink, or swirled. And don’t forget your choice of cartoon character. The next time you go to purchase some kid-friendly yogurt, though, take a minute to look at the ingredient list. An increasing number of companies are listening to mothers’ requests for healthier alternatives for their children. Some yogurt lines are now using sugar as a sweetener instead of high fructose corn syrup or vegetable juice in place of traditional dyes.

So take a second look. Sometimes easy steps toward a healthier lifestyle are as simple as picking one brand over another.

08/16/09
Amy
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(Money Saving Tips) Manager’s Meat Specials


Most grocery stores do their meat mark downs in the morning, but it varies by store. Next time you are at your local grocery store, ask somebody from the meat department what their mark-down routine is and then try to plan your shopping trips accordingly.

Stock up when you find good deals! If you are careful to immediately put your purchases in the freezer, the approaching expiration dates won’t matter.

05/28/09
Amy
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(Money Saving Tips) The Gift Tote


Once you enter the world of kid birthday parties and baby showers, it can feel like you are buying a gift every time you turn around.  Those last minute, mad-dash trips to the store are unduly stressful and costly.  All too often you settle for paying retail (because the party is in two hours) even though you saw that same item 50% off two weeks ago.

Enter the gift tote.

Go buy a large storage tote to stick in your closet. Be sure to avoid the clear totes so that your little ones can remain unaware of the goodies inside. Then, as a part of your normal errands and online purchasing, start to watch for deals on toys, baby items, gadgets and other gift potentials. Sometime you will have a gift recipient in mind and other times the purchase will be more general. Then store the purchased items in your tote. When you are in need of a gift,  simply go shopping in your own little gift stash. This idea has the potential to save you at least 25-50%.

*Tip – If you keep a budget, add a small category for these types of purchases. Plan to come upon these unplanned deals. $20 this month could save you $40 next month.