I was standing in line at the grocery store under the florescent lights with my apples, bananas and Speed Stick deodorant reading the headlines of gossip magazines while waiting for my turn to check out. The lady in front of me, a typical looking soccer mom, pulled out a huge folder with coupons. She had a coupon for everything. Her total bill was $98.72, but after all of her coupons it came to $53.19. Now that’s some savings!
If you’re like me, you never use coupons unless it’s for a free beer or a buy one get one free lunch special to save a couple of bucks.
With a need to start saving money for the CDT, I’m looking at creative ways to save a couple of bucks and start collecting things that I will need for the trail such as food, personal care products, prescriptions, batteries and everything else that might come up.
I did some searching and came across a couple of sites that offer online print coupons, coupon codes and free giveaways on Facebook or the products website. Here’s a couple I found.
Coupons.com– obvious website address but they have pages and pages of coupons for everyday products such as cereal, shampoo, bologna, chocolate and anything else that you can find in a grocery store. A nice feature of this site is that you can enter in your grocery store’s savings card number (not all stores are listed) and the coupon is automatically uploaded to your card, no printing or remembering to bring it with you.
CouponMom.com– This site also has coupons you can print but you can search locally, nationally and also by categories like restaurants and online-only deals. They also have a great section that actually teaches you how to ‘coupon’, for example knowing when you can double that $1 coupon for TP into $2 worth of savings. The thing I like most about this site is they keep track of free samples that companies are giving away. I’ve got a couple of Prilosec and Head & Shoulders samples coming my way just by filling out some info. It takes about 6-8 weeks to receive your freebie, but who cares, it didn’t cost you anything.
CouponCabin.com– This site is great for saving percentages off of everyday products. Lots of the deals are save $20 off of a $50 purchase or 20% savings on your entire purchase at oldnavy.com. One came through today that said save 40% on any flight with southwest.com. They also have savings on shoes, clothing and electronics.
Living on a Coupon– This site was started by a mom who was struggling to buy food for her 4 kids when the recession hit. She’s started a blog about coupons, how to do it, what deals are out there and the best way to use a coupon. I guess there is a right time to use a coupons and other times not.
This isn’t ground breaking stuff but, it helps you get into the mind set that every penny counts and that there is always a way to get a better deal. Why spend $20 when you only have to spend $10. Not all of these things are exactly suited for the CDT but saving $1 here, 75 cents there, adds up quickly and can save you a bunch of money in the long run.