Hey Deal Finders,
I was just talking with a friend about easy ways to get started in finding deals at most local stores.
Here's what I do:
I subscribe to the Houston Chronicle. On Sundays, I go through the ad section. On my first pass through, I separate out the ads that I want to look at from the ones that I am not interested in. I pull out the coupon inserts and set them aside. I flip through the ads once through to see what the big promotions are. I pay special attention to Walgreens and CVS since I have been doing a lot of those match-ups recently. I then clip the coupons of only the things I need or think I might want to try. I save my extra coupons to give away to friends (or readers). If I am on top of it, I sort my coupons by category right then and put them in my coupon expanding folder. After clipping the coupons, I look at the Walgreens and CVS ads again and plan what I want to get that week. I sometimes pull out the coupons just for those shops and leave them in the front pocket of my expanding folder for easy access.
On Wednesday, I look at the Houston Chronicle ads again. They usually have the weekly ads for HEB, Kroger, and Randalls. I do most of my shopping at HEB (because they are the closest to us), but I will run into Kroger and Randalls on occasion for special promotions. I mentally think about what coupons I have and do match-ups based on what I just cut on Sunday. You can just grab the ads at the front of those stores if you don't get the newspaper on Wed.
Overall, my strategy is to save money by matching a coupon with a sale. Not all sales are sales. I do my best to learn the prices of things I regularly buy so I will know what is a bargain.
For example, since we buy Diet Coke regularly, I think under a $1 is a fair price. $0.88 is a deal and $1.59 is overpriced.
Same story with Blue Bell ice cream half gallons. I recently have seen them for 3 for $10, which I think is a great price. Anything under $4 is fair. Over $5, and I think it is overpriced.
FYI: The TV is on and an HEB commercial said red grapes are $1/lb. That is a fair price to buy.
What till I start giving y'all stock advice! Hehe.. Same idea.
Ok, back to finding deals:
The only other thing I really do is I go through the junk mail and find coupons there. I sign up for the email lists of most of the restaurants and shops I regularly go to. Most businesses give you the full scoop on their latest deals through email, and they often offer a sign up bonus.
If I want to buy something online (like books or contacts), I google for the best price. Fatwallet.com has some nice forums, as well as many other cashback and couponing sites. I usually check amazon, but amazon isn't always the cheapest. I also check ebay if I am in the mood.
I will need to buy new contacts in June, so I will post the deal I find then.