Friday, October 23, 2009

Discussions on Frugality

I've made a decision. I will change my "Frugal Fridays" to "Discussions on Frugality". Here are my reasons:

1. That sounds really sophisticated. And I'm a really sophisticated gal.

2. I don't want to trap myself into Fridays only. Because what if I get a really good deal or something on Thursday, and I can't wait until the next day to share it with you?

3. I accidentally stumbled upon the real Frugal Friday. And she has more than, uh, three readers. So who am I to steal her thunder? Ha. Ha.

I thought about calling it "Frank Frugality Discussions" just to get in the alliteration since that seems to be a title must in Blogdom. But the name Frank means nothing to me, so it would bother me everytime I posted it.

So. I did not sit down to waste a portion of my afternoon just to write an entire post about the name of my previous post. That would just be plain silly. Rather, I first wanted to thank Crossview for her Frugal Suggestions (no alliteration, and that doesn't even bother me), and to offer some coupon starting advice for Brownie.

In a nutshell, Crossview's tip is to Stockpile. I totally agree. If you see a good deal, snatch a bunch of 'em, whatever "'em" might be. However, unless you have need of 20 heads of lettuce--all at the same time--you probably want to focus your stockpiling energies to non-perishables (of course, meat works well to stockpile since it freezes).

Stockpiling is an especially brilliant idea if you have coupons for the item that is being offered at such a good deal. Obviously, you can get coupons in the Sunday paper, and that is my main source. There are many websites that have printable coupons as well; my only hesitation with those sites is that, one, many only allow you to print one copy (I'll get to why you should have at least two coupons for an item in a minute), and two, the ink cartridge on my printer is not cheap.

Like I said, I prefer to get mine from the Sunday paper, and I always grab the 2 papers for $2.50 bundle at Wal-Mart or Publix. This way I have only spent an extra $.50, but I get double the coupons. You need at least two coupons for each item for two reasons. First, it helps you if you are going to stockpile because you can use a coupon for each repeat item. Secondly, coupons are great for B1G1F items (that's Buy One, Get One Free).

Let's say, for example, Devil's Food cake mixes are regularly $2.25 (and I have no idea what they are regularly; I'm terrible at remembering regular prices. Note to self: Start a Price Book.) Anyway, let's say the cake mixes are priced at $2.25, and Publix is running a B1G1F promotion on them. That would be 2 for $2.25 for those of you who are slow. Then let's say you have two coupons, each offering $.50 off a Devil's Food cake mix. That would be $1.00 off of that $2.25, bringing your total to 2 cake mixes for $1.25. But wait! Let's say that your local Publix doubles coupons up to $.50. Why, that means each of those $.50 coupons are worth $1.00, making those two coupons equal a savings of $2.00! Which means that your 2 cake mixes will cost you a grand total of $.25. That's a pretty good deal, isn't it?

Now one point that Brownie made is that she generally finds that store brands are cheaper than name brands, even with a coupon. And she's right...if you are trying to buy the brand name item at its regular price. This is the most important rule about couponing: You have to combine coupons with sales. And that is where the research I mentioned in my last post comes in. You have to scour the ads and match coupons up with sale items you need or can stockpile for future use.

So, anyway, for what it's worth, that, my friends, is a bit of what I have gleaned from a couple of years of blog reading and trying to figure it out on my own. One of these days, I will try to post some of the links that have helped me learn about couponing. It really is kinda fun if you approach it like a game, a Let's-See-What-Awesome-Deal-I-Can-Get-This-Week Game.


CrossView said...

#2 - I laughed. Sounds familiar!

Frank means nothing to you? But I love Frank (Frank's buffalo wing sauce, that is)!

Funny you should mention Devil's Food Cake. My 13-yr old spotted some being discontinued so we grabbed them. They were store brand at 54 cents each. Those with sweet teeth in this house are happy...

I agree! It is more fun if you think of it as a game. I try to save enough to cover what I would make as a part-time, minimum wage employee. hey! I don't want to set my goals too high....

Kathleen said...

And just think...if you lived in my Imaginary World, you could have gotten those Devil's Food mixes 2 for $.25!!

Brownie said...

Thanks! Maybe I can mix it up with home ec and math... and make a homeschool thing of it.