Thursday, November 6, 2008

my frugalness part I

I'm frugal, more frugal then I ever thought I'd be! My mom's super proud, she used to tell me 'you'll understand some day' when I would roll my eyes at her for clipping coupons or seeking out the best deal. I used to think of being frugal as being cheap - but it's really being sensible, no matter how big or little your income is. How smart is it to pay more, when you could be paying less all along? My friend Julie has even recommended that we get some trendy shirts made about how it's cool to be frugal.

Anyway - this week I followed MoneySavingMom's advice and headed over to Walmart after printing off some of the e-coupons as well as looking through ones I'd clipped already. I left with 4 bags of goodies that retailed for just under 40.00, and I paid 18.47. One of those goodies was a clearance Thomas the Tank Engine toy for the little guy (5.99). Some other items included a small bag of Iams cat food (had a free coupon!), Pillsbury Cinnamon Cinnabon Rolls (free coupon!), Goody's Ouchless bands (.19 after savings!) and many more deals just like that.

So - this weekend it's triple coupons up to .99 cent at Harris Teeter and Bloom stores, Friday-Sunday. I've calculated in the past 3 months that using coupons, sales ads, and finding in store specials - we've saved almost 400.00 in shopping savings alone (groceries, toys for Christmas, bedding, cleaning supplies). That's a good bit!!! It gives us more to put in the dining out budget when we save on the necessities. Lowes Foods recently had triple coupons, and SuperKmart had triple coupons up to $2.00 last week. I left there with 1 months supply of cleaning items, cat litter, bottled waters, non-perishables, toiletries - and paid nearly nothing after coupon savings. I generally don't buy things just because I have a coupon for them, unless it's what we regularly use OR if I'm going to get it for nearly free.

Call me silly - but the way I see it, if the manufacturers are providing ways for us to cut corners... these days with prices going no where but up, we really can't afford to pass them up! I even get over 50% of our organic foods for less, I write the manufacturers (Full Circle, etc) a quick email from the contact us link on their sites and request coupons or free product trials and they almost always deliver. After writing them once, I become a regular on their mailing list and receive coupons by mail directly from them almost monthly.

A friend of mine suggested once that I join a company where you do free product testing, I did and we've received lots of goodies for FREE (no strings, only brief feedback is required) as well as lots of coupons and samples. The coupons and samples are yours to keep and either pass out to other people, or use for yourself... again - no strings. One of the products we received 100% free to keep, was a 250.00 all in one remote control . There are a few other word of mouth product sites that I've joined, but I've yet to see alot of product testing. Once I do - I'll share those too. The good thing about the ones I have joined, is almost all of them like you to do a survey so that they fit the product testing to your likes/interests in food/electronics/etc. Most people that I've told about this think it takes up alot of my time, but I seriously spend maybe 15-20 min one time a week. And I get rewarded with lots of freebies and fun stuff to try! Someone's getting stuff for free, someone's gets to test products for free, so I figure - why not me?