Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Extreme Couponing...Stay the Course

I know extreme couponing is the latest craze, but don't be distracted by all the hype. There are a lot of people jumping on the opportunity to save money on items they will never use. Stay the course, we are in this for the long hall, remember; using coupons is just one of the many things we can do to save money. Wise shopping is a lifestyle, not a hobby or a phase. I learned along time ago, the more money I save, the more money I have, because obtaining more money is not always promised.

You must train yourself to look for a deal, spontaneous shopping will ruin your budget, even when it's for a few items at the grocery store. It is a good practice to ask what do I have...now what do I need. This holds true in the kitchen, in the closet and in the home. We usually don't have a need, we simply have a want and if we are creative we can satisfy our desire without breaking the bank.

If you plan your purchases and take advantage of the discounts being offered, you can save a lot of money. You can actually eliminate or replace an income simply by changing your mindset and shopping on purpose. Just think if you had an income of $1800 per month, that's $600 per week and you chose to become a stay at home mom. Well, you would immediately eliminate the need for 70% of your weekly income by eliminating a few regular, weekly expenses i.e. the need for childcare-$300, gasoline-$75 and lunch-$45 not to mention the other minor expenses that making money incurs. The remaining 30% or $180 can be money saved by shopping wisely. This is how we've been able to live on one income.

This weekend I noticed it was time to purchase a few pairs of shoes because several of our children had a need for athletic shoes and dress shoes. Now, this could have been some big spending since we had at least three children in need. The first thing I did was check my email for the latest sales from the retailers (Kohls, JCPenny's, and Payless) that sent me notifications of their deals for the week. I also checked out Target's sales ad on line. Then, I visited Dealigg and RetailMeNot to check out the current online coupon codes. Next, I called in the children so they could choose which shoes they wanted. To make this simple I always define my search with lowest priced first and we scan the ones we can afford without making the others an option. My children are pretty simple when it comes clothes and shoes, so the shopping was quick and painless. In the midst of all of this I realized there were two more children that needed shoes, so I gave them a few choices as well. My final purchases were made at Target, Kohls and Payless for a total cost of just $113 for six pairs of shoes! I even saved on gas by shopping online. Though this process took time, it was time and money well spent.

How have you stayed the course of shopping wisely for your family?

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