Survive the Fiscal Cliff Series – How to Save Money Without Coupons
Yes, you absolutely read that correctly. I wish I had all the time I need to cut out coupons and organize them according to sales/deals but sometimes I just don’t. That does not mean I resign myself to spending whatever retail price is at whatever store I end up at.
See how we do it!
And here’s how? With Price Matching. First of all coupons are not always available for products I need. What if I need all kinds of vegetables, fruits and meats? Yes, occasionally I can locate coupons for those types of items but it is rare.
I will research my local circulars though for the best deals on those items. But that could mean spending gas and going to several different grocery stores to chase down what I need. I definitely don’t do that.
For example – Stop and Shop may have tomatoes, cucumbers and hamburger on sale; Big Y – apples, salad mix, and pork chops; Better Valu – Sandwich meat, oranges and peppers.
Walmart and Target price match. Target makes you go to the courtesy desk to process that transaction. That can be a bit of a nuisance but generally works out better and long lines of impatient people do not pile up behind me.
Target requires flyers with the ads while Walmart says they don’t – however, I have never tested that practice. I always bring my flyers. Plus Target doesn’t have a huge selection of these types of grocery items so I most often go to Walmart to price match – though there are exceptions that I will detail in a moment.
Sometimes when I get to Walmart or Target they have already reduced the prices on their items so price matching is not necessary. If I have my daughter with me we take two shopping carts – her cart has all the items that don’t need price matching while my cart has all items that need to be price matched. Doing this speeds up the process tremendously at checkout – I keep all items to be price matched for the end of the transaction.
Before I head out to the store I usually create a notecard with what each item should be price matched at; from what store; and what page number on the flyer. That prevents the fiddling through flyers once at the register.
So there you have it – how to save money – and believe it or not, lots of money – even without coupons.
BUT – we are not done with this lesson. If you use coupons your options increase. Walmart and Target do not double coupons but it may be worth it to do all your shopping at those stores anyway and save on gas. That is your call and depending on what I need to buy – determines if I use this strategy. Dollar off coupons are dollar off either way. And many stores limit the number of coupons they will double anyway.
How you can really save lots of money though is keeping an eye on Target coupons. I very often will buy (for example) a toy for a gift. The toy is not on sale at Target but they have a printable coupon you can use. Kmart however has the toy on sale. Go to Target to price match the Kmart ad AND still use the Target coupon. These are the transactions I do with price matching at Target – the Target coupon deals and the free Target gift card deals.
Anthony and I did several of these deals over Christmas – we bought a large number of games by price matching other local retailers; used Target toy coupons; received several Target gift cards back and mailed in rebates. In the end about $300 worth of games cost me merely $20.
And around me – Target and Walmart are directly across the street from one another.
I just saved you hundreds of dollars in one shopping trip!