Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Couponing is part of a frugal lifestyle. However, if you use coupons to buy items you don't need or can't use, it can impede your desire to curb spending and cut your budget. Coupons are printed to entice you to buy a particular brand name product or to visit a particular store. Coupons are advertisement with a hook. Don't take the bait! Use coupons to your advantage. Use them to buy what you really need. Even better, use them in conjunction with a sale. Here are some tips that I use when I am using store coupons.

First, keep a small notebook in your purse.

Divide it into 3 sections:

1 SIZES Here record the clothing and shoe sizes of your family. This should be in the front with a few blank pages behind it (as their sizes will change).

2 CLOTHING Here make a list of any clothing item needs include preferences (color, style). Sometimes I include photos from store ads or flyers - this helps me find an item right away, or a store clerk can help me locate an item.

3 EVENTS Here record items needed for an upcoming party you are hosting or gift ideas for an upcoming birthday.

Here is a photo of my notebook. It helps to remind me of the things I am really in need of. The event portion serves as a check list. The whole notebook keeps me from impulse buying.
Now, when your store coupon arrives you already know what you "need."

This week a $10/$10 JCPenny coupon arrived in the mail. JCP hopes you will take this coupon (bait) and walk out with a few bags of "great finds." I had a list of "needs" and went to those departments only. I found this pair of shoes for my 18 mo. old. They were $15! I thought this was really high. Maybe I don't comparison shop enough. However, after my $10 Q these summer sandals were just $5!