How To Save Money By Using Coupons

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This is a guest post by Young And Thrifty, one of my favourite bloggers that I read religiously whenever she publishes something new! She’s trying to “save generation Y” by writing her blog on personal finance for beginners like her sisters who don’t have a clue about how to manage their finances. So far I’d say she’s doing a fantastic job!

There's no secret to it, really. The trick is to get the coupons, sort them, and then use them when the items matching the coupons go on sale. Some advance planning is necessary because it usually takes a few business days for coupons requested online to be mailed out to you.

So, how does one sort all of these coupons anyway? I recently created a few envelopes that I have labeled “Food” and “Household” to start off. It certainly helps to keep things organized when you are in a pinch and rummaging around for the right coupon. In order for it to work, you need to keep your coupon stash handy, especially when you're going out and buying groceries. The other secret is to try and use coupons at stores where you can collect points (a shining example - Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum points). I learned recently that even though you spend $5.99 on toilet paper and you have a $1.00 coupon off, the value you get for earning points is still $5.99! That means on those 20x the points days at Shoppers you don’t actually have to spend a full $50 out of pocket to get $50 worth of points. This, my friends, is double dipping and it is indeed a good thing.

Online Coupon Websites Where You Can Request Coupons By Mail

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Save Money On Your Groceries: “Money In Your Pocket” Review

Save Money On Groceries Have you ever been frustrated at the high cost of your grocery bill? Doesn’t it seem like the cost of this essential expense just keeps rising and rising with no end in sight? Well, what if I told you it was possible to cut your grocery bill by 20%, 50%, even up to 100%? Sounds fantastic, I know! Right about now you’re thinking either: “where can I sign up?” or “where’s the catch?”.

Ok, it’s true, there is a catch – but it’s a pretty reasonable catch. The catch is you will have to do a little bit of reading and little bit of work to make it happen. The other catch is that you can end up walking out of the store having paid $0 or even having made money, but this definitely isn’t possible every time you go shopping and it is hard to achieve results that good when you’re just getting started. As you practice the art of saving money on your groceries, your savings will keep increasing until you are able to save more than 50% off your grocery bill on a regular basis!

Now that you know the stakes, I guess I better tell you how you can get started. Cassie Howard, the well-known Canadian blogger behind MrsJanuary.com, has recently released a brand new eBook called Money In Your Pocket: A Canadian Guide to Coupons, Stockpiling, and More. I have just finished reading the entire 65 page book, where she breaks down the complete process of getting huge savings on your groceries while providing additional links to a ton of useful resources to help you along. It’s a very worthwhile read, and it is my pleasure to review it and let you know what you can expect if you decide to read it yourself.

The Basics of Saving Money on Groceries – Chapter 1

The first chapter of the book is probably my favourite chapter because she covers so much ground in so few words about the basic principles you can follow to save money on your groceries and other purchases. She goes over things like how to read and use the sale flyers, menu planning, how to make a proper grocery list, retailer sales cycles (yes – sales are recurring and planned far in advance), and the basics of stocking up.

She also covers some more advanced topics like the Scanning Code of Practice (the who what??), price matching, and rain checks. Her description of price matching along with the provided links to resources on her own site actually make the thought of price matching a large number of items to save time, money, and gas a bearable one. Price matching is very intimidating to most first timers, but she actually makes it look easy and, by following her advice, chances are that it will be!

There are 17 topics in all in the first chapter and each one of them helps to provide a solid foundation for you to start saving money on your groceries. This all leads up to the biggest grocery money saver there is:

Use Coupons to Slash Your Grocery Bill – Chapter 2

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Using Freezer Cooking As A Way To Reduce Your Grocery Budget

Frozen Food

This is a guest post by Melissa, a stay at home mom to three little ones. She blogs at Mom's Plans where she shares how she and her family are learning to live a fulfilling life on less. She also shares her adventures in freezer cooking on a monthly basis.

When I had my second child two years ago, my husband and I got serious about finding ways to save money. We realized our budget had a huge leak in the food category. Because we were busy with a newborn and a four year old, we did not always plan our dinners. As a result, we often picked up food or ate expensive precooked freezer foods from the grocery store. Our lack of planning was costing us several hundred dollars a month.

I had heard about freezer cooking as a method to save money and time, but I thought the whole idea sounded like pure torture. Who wants to spend an entire day cooking ALL day, and then, when you are wiped out, spend the evening cleaning up the mess? No thanks, not for me.

My husband didn’t want to do it either because he was worried the food wouldn’t taste fresh. Neither one of us wanted to eat endless casseroles (which is what we both thought of with freezer cooking).

The Freezer Cooking Turn Around

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HOT - New Android Smartphone For $50 NO CONTRACT (Use With Any Provider)!

LG Optimus One I posted an amazing deal I got on a brand new android smart phone in my latest How To Save Money Radar. But, since this is such a smoking hot deal, I thought I should write a separate post with a step by step guide on how to get one yourself before this offer expires on March 31st, 2011 along with answering some common questions!

First things first, I want to make sure everyone understands that modern smart phones do not really cost between $0 and $100, which is what you see them typically advertised for. They actually cost more than $500 if you don’t want to be tied down with a 3 year contract. Some people don’t look at a 3 year contract as a big deal, but it is a big deal and here’s why:

  • Contracts eliminate your negotiating power and you can usually negotiate with retentions to save an enormous amount off your monthly bill if you aren’t under contract.
  • Contracts with smartphones often force you into an expensive monthly plan in addition to an expensive data plan totalling more than $50/month to get the cheap phone price.
  • Contracts stop you from switching to another provider that better meets your needs or that has better prices.
    • This is especially bad when a great promotion comes along and you want to switch.
    • Many prepaid companies offer outstanding value for savvy consumers and light users ($8.50 per month or less).
  • Contracts stop you from changing your phone whenever you want if you don’t like it or a newer model comes out that you really want.
    • If your phone dies out of warranty or you drop it, lose it, or otherwise break it then you are on the hook for the full cost of replacing it!
  • Contracts have huge cancellation fees (up to $400) if you need to get out of it because you are moving out of the country or to a place that doesn’t have service from your provider.
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