This will be a second blog of mine where I will share my tips for finding bargains,deals and budgeting for those of us who have already spent so much money trying to achieve our goal of building our families.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bargain basics

I need to get this up and running trying to find the time to do so has been kinda hard but I think I am at a point now that it will be possible. So here goes. It might be a slow start up but it will be a start up.First let me start my stating the size of our family with ages we have 2 adults,a 7 year old,5 year old, 6 month old and 2 dogs.That should give you an idea of how many living things there are to feed and what their type of needs may be.So bargain shopping has become a very important part of my job as a stay at home mom.Since we have one very modest income we have to be careful and make our dollars stretch. I guess I will start by tackling basic bargain shopping and the tricks I use to hunt down bargains. First of all the clearance sticker is a familiar sight in our house and it can be on everything from clothing to housewares to shampoo and food.While it is a bit more rare to catch food items on clearance that you can use it is not impossible. For example for my youngest son who is on baby food I purchased most of his baby food on clearance, the rest with coupons.(I bought a lot of formula the same way but that is a whole other post) I stocked up buying trays of it all at once. I make it a point to check the baby aisle on a regular basis and noticed they were pulling and resorting I asked why they were doing all that they said the were clearancing it all because the company was changing the label that was all. All of the baby food I bought was still good and not expired in fact it doesn't expire for over a year.I have not paid full price for baby food yet.My point here is it pays to ask and also to pay attention to any changes going on in your local stores.Recently when pampers came out with their new max dry diapers I was able to get pampers on clearance too. Not because the pampers were different inside because they weren't, pampers has been putting max dry diapers out for a few months in the old packaging (I found this out recently) before the products official release. Even if the diapers I got were the old pampers I didn't care because I got them on clearance plus I was able to use a manufactures coupon plus a store coupon on them. Making them about $4.25 for a pack that usually costs $9.96.Of course at that price I bought as many packs as I had coupons for. I never fear stocking up on diapers as I don't buy all one size I buy future sizes.It is important to remember that diapers are a very easy exchange for a larger size later or return as long as they are unopened and you have your receipt.They have a long shelf life too.Most stores have a return policy of 90 days but be sure to check your individual store.The important thing is if you have a good sale/clearance and or coupon that you don't want that price to get away and pay full price later.Most stores will permit you to use one manufacturer coupon and one store coupon per item.This is on everything from health and beauty to groceries.A few stores that I know will does this right of the top of my head are the following: Target, Meijers,Toys r us, Babies r us,kmart? (I think they still double coupons too)But it could very state to state. The best thing you can do is familiarize yourself with your stores policies and don't be afraid to ask.I will always ask when I am in clothing stores if there is a coupon promotion going on and if they have any coupons laying around. It is not uncommon for me to walk out with a discount for which I did not walk in with a coupon for. This has happened in Kohl's and Children's Place to name a couple.The cashier will usually just scan a coupon they keep behind the register and reuse. But the trick is you have to ask. Just don't count on it if you do indeed have a coupon bring it because most times it will be a better deal then what they will be able to give you. But a discount is better than no discount.Another thing that is a good idea if possible is to "make friends" with your local business's for example we have a subway that we frequent quite often at which we always use coupons at. They have come to recognize us there and will go out of their way to ring up whatever we are getting to see which way it would be cheaper with the coupon.For example is it cheaper to use the coupon on this or this.They have done this all with out us asking just to save us anywhere from .75 to dollar or two.I have also had other workers who recogize us who will tell us when specials sales are coming,clearences start or if a product is really worth it before I buy it.(Which saved me from buying a bad camera because the store had already had a huge amount returned due to malfunction etc, which a photo department person let me in on since I was a regular )I tend to talk to workers and ask questions.Of course there will always be some workers will never be friendly or helpful but what I have found is that if you make your self rememberable and friendly they tend to treat you better. I guess that will have to be it for tonight any questions feel free to leave them in the comments. Any topics you would like to see covered feel free to also leave that in the comments. Happy bargain shopping!

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