Shopping Tip: Be Prepared for Savings

I utilize a lot of different “tactics” to save as much money as possible.  Here’s one…

The Eventuality:  You never know when you’re going to see something on clearance where you shop everyday.  I used to get frustrated when I’d see something marked WAY down that I had a coupon for (but threw away or left for someone else to use).  In some cases, I would have been able to get the clearance item for free – if only I had that coupon!

The Tactic:  Carry a stash of “just in case” coupons in your purse.  These are “just in case” there’s an awesome deal on something.  Even if it isn’t something you usually use, it might be worth trying if you can get it for free (or almost free).

Where to Look:   The best places for beauty clearance items are Walgreens, Target, and Ulta.  Target sometimes has clearance items marked down in the regular “organized by brand” beauty section, but a lot of the stuff is at the end of miscellaneous aisles in that part of the store.  It’s the same with Walgreens.  Ulta has a clearance section, usually towards the back of the store.

Keep in Mind:  Coupon policies vary by store, so make sure you know ahead of time what that store’s policy is.  For example, you can combine Walgreens and manufacturer coupons, but you can only have as many coupons as you have items to purchase.  (So, if you have 3 coupons, you have to buy at least 3 things.)

Have Self-Control:  If you’re a person who HAS to use a coupon if they have a coupon, you’re not in the right frame of mind for carrying “just in case” coupons.  Using coupons on full-price items at certain places guarantees you’re not getting a good deal.  Some stores (like CVS) have high “everyday” prices so their “BOGO” sales look better when they come around.  Be prepared to let coupons expire if you can’t use them to get a good deal.

In Summary:  Using coupons can be a hassle.  If you can come up with a system to keep track of what you have so you can be prepared, you’ll be able to set yourself up to get more for your money.  (Translation:  You’ll be able to buy more stuff!)

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