The headline means just that. If you aren’t catching up and reading up daily on your favorite blogs or sites on the latest deals and fliers and what’s on sale then you might miss a good sale and that coupon you have might go to waste! Believe me, it has happened one too many times and this time I’m vowing to not let it happen again.
I try to make it into work early (when I get enough sleep that is) so that I can take the down time in the morning when it’s quiet and I’m the only one in the office to do some stuff before it gets a little busy throughout the day. During this free time, I try to catch up on my freebies, the blogs I follow and post blogs of my own and sort through some finds I might needle through on the internet and save them for sorting later when I’m home or for the ride home.
Either way, saving is like a full time job. It’s not something you ever want to keep your cheek turned to. You always want to be ready for what saving might come your way and constantly be checking on what stores you frequent for any sales they might have. For instance, I just started to open up my grocery shopping to cheaper and bigger food stores and I noticed that Pathmark, which distributes their fliers on Fridays, looks like they come out with a 1-Day Friday Sale and usually seem to provide a coupon with a $ dollar amount off of your purchase. This of course, isn’t including your coupons! Think of all of the great savings. I was able to save $5 off my recent Friday grocery shopping with the in-store $5 off purchase coupon, along with $39 in store savings and almost $7 in coupons. All in all, not a bad day. It’s a learning process, but one that I’m having a ton of fun with!
When you’re not busy clipping coupons during weekends like this weekend when there aren’t any inserts in the newspapers because of the holiday, you can always check out the newspapers and online for FREE and CHEAP things that you can score to do or get at literally no cost to you.
I happen to read the Daily News almost every day and inside it right before the horoscopes and before the movie timetables sections is a small section every day that reads FREE AND CHEAP and in it are things that are things to do in and around the city from book readings or walking tours and children’s festivals. There might even be free yoga classes, too. I highly recommend them especially if you already read the newspapers as I’m sure the New York Post probably has something like this, too. In a previous post I praised Google for finding tons of stuff and I highly recommend it when looking for free and cheap things to do in and around NYC when you’ve maxed out all of your energy in clipping coupons, especially during a holiday weekend where you might not find yourself as busy or looking for something to do.
The web is a definite way to search for things free and cheap, so let the internet be at your fingertips. Just by Googling “free and cheap things to do in nyc” I can guarantee the results you will find will be endless. Go ahead. You’ll be amazed at what free things exist!
Those nifty designers of the 3G or smartphones knew what they were doing when they created them. Not only can you virtually download any app you can think of, but you can save when using them too. Last Fall I was able to download a Black Friday app that leaked a bunch of deals from a number or retail stores so that I could plan ahead for my trip, since most of those ads aren’t reached to the general public until the day before Thanksgiving.
Foursquare is a great app for those who aren’t keen on printing coupons or very organized. If you’re heading to a restaurant that is on Foursquare, chances are they have a deal. If you have the app installed in your phone, it would be worth checking out the eateries and restaurants you often visit to check to see if they offer a deal on Foursquare upon check-in.
I’ve used Foursquare a few times to dine out in Brooklyn. When going to a Cuban restaurant in Park Slope, Bogota Latin Bistro – once I checked in on Foursquare, the special was a free appetizer that was absolutely delicious and took $5 off of our bill. Our waitress was super friendly and seemed thrilled that her customer had used the app.
Another place I’ve used the application is Uncle Jimmy’s Backyard BBQ in Bay Ridge. After three check ins on Foursquare, you get a free dessert. But if you were looking for a feel-good kind of place to eat in the neighborhood – then this is your place. I live a few doors down and have seen this place thrive and the owner, whose name is actually Jimmy, is a humble guy. If you happened to go in the past week or are planning to check it out, they are doing a survey card and putting it in every receipt to fill out. Before you leave, stick it in the box and make sure to put your e-mail address because they will e-mail you some coupons to use on your next visit!Don’t worry, they won’t expire until the end of the month.
Don’t be a stranger to these coupon-saver apps, because besides clipping restaurant coupons to bring when you dine out, some of the eateries that don’t use them might use applications like Foursquare to score a freebie or a discount off of your bill.
Remember the times when your parents would bribe you into cleaning your room and what lavish gift would await you once you finished? A shiny, new toy you were dying for or a chance to go somewhere you haven’t been since the New Age? Well, think of organizing your coupons as such. Keeping your coupons in order and being on track of even the smallest of things like when they expire is crucial to saving. The rewards are just so much larger when you keep track of your coupons and savings it practically pays for itself to stay on top of yourself.
In my recent coupon searching, I’ve noticed that expiration dates on coupons all vary and they are all dependent on the manufacturer. Also, not all specials on certain products will coincide with your coupons either. So perhaps using that $1.00 off coupon on a package of Oscar Meyer sandwich meat one week that is full price in one grocery store won’t pay if another store has it for $.30 cents cheaper. Think of it as you’re actually saving $1.30 rather than $1.00 just by calculating the difference in price at your local supermarkets.
Not only keeping tabs on your coupons, but your weekly specials at your local supermarkets is definitely something to watch for. Usually Marketeer fliers will carry every supermarket within a 20 block radius from your residence and if you spend more than the average $50 in groceries, your grocery bill allows for free delivery (if you don’t own a car – which if you live in New York there’s a great chance you don’t). Spend the next two weeks comparing sales and checking out the different markets in your area will save you more money and allow more usage on your coupons. You definitely don’t want to go out of your way nor go to every supermarket merely just for a few items if it isn’t worth the trip.
My suggestion to being organized when saving is to keep a book or binder solely for your coupons and savings. Like you have seen used on TLC’s Extreme Couponing, even a binder with the baseball card sleeves will work as they will allow you to organize your coupons. You can divide them down to category, expiration date and store if you are a nit-picky organizer like I am. Use the best organization system that works for YOU and your shopping methods.
Often times we use Google as our main search tool, to find something and quickly. I’m usually on Google anywhere between 15-20 times or more a day. And that’s no joke. I use it at work for personal stuff (I know, I know) and sometimes for work stuff, too. I’m almost always using Google to find coupon codes. A task that is almost always over-looked and always underestimated. In my searches I have stumbled upon some really great finds. There are a few websites out there that will leak some awesome coupon codes that you can use online at retail stores like Old Navy, JCPenney, Bath & Body Works, etc. and then there are also others that you will find that you can print and bring them to the stores, too. Trust me, I’m living proof.
I owe a good friend who I met in Argentina who put me on to Dealspl.us which I use whenever I go shopping. Most of the retail stores that I shop at are on the site and have valid coupon codes that are updated every week or every other week. There are even stores like Coach Factory for the more frugal spenders who can snag 30% coupons on top of the factory discounts. Those kinds of coupons are ALWAYS updated.
What I like about this website is that the expiration codes are good usually for two to three weeks and I’ve had a 100% accuracy when using them when I shop. I’ve even printed them for family and friends on shopping trips and have saved a ton. When I go shopping at places like my favorites American Eagle Outfitters, I will use a coupon from the site if I don’t have a mailer coupon and I will remember to use the AE All Access Pass to build on my own points to keep getting coupons in the mail because you never know what kind of coupons you get every cycle.
I just recently stumbled on this site on one of my ‘Googling’ scavenges in search of a coupon code for some body jewelry on my favorite body jewelry site. Low and behold I managed to save 20% off of my order on top of the free shipping I normally get because my order was over a certain price and a $1.00 order credit. Total savings: $10.00 Bargain shopping? I think so.
RetailMeNot has a bunch of coupon codes and they tell you the accuracy in percentage. When you punch in the code upon your checkout online, you’ll notice immediately if the code works or not. It’s good to also check off if the code worked for you to let other shoppers know, too.
Google in it’s own way is a search engine all in itself. But what you can find will surprise you especially when you’re looking for ways to save a buck or two.
I just so happened to be shopping in the neighborhood yesterday and, as usual, had coupons in tow. I didn’t intend to go shopping as it was only really to go shopping for “the necessities.” Often times when we say this, we get sidetracked by the pretty things in the store. Did I really HAVE to buy that Mets hoodie that was on the rack on sale for $30 down from $50? But when I got to the register it rang up at $20. Could it be? There must’ve been a fluke in the cashier’s machine. No, it was right. She said it was on clearance. So that meant only one thing. I couldn’t use my coupon. Of course! Luckily my partner bought the same one and I bought something for her in exchange so I was able to use a $10 off coupon of my $50 purchase. I managed to get another $10 off of GNC vitamin packs, too.
But regardless of the $10 here and the $5 there.. I could still be saving a TON of other ways, too. Granted, I pretty much use coupons for almost everything, it is something that you have to stay on top of your game. It isn’t something you can just sort of go back into every few months. Those few months of not saving could cost you a few hundred dollars and then some.
Hence..my reason for this new blog. I happen to always hunt for bargains and am pretty savvy when it comes to saving no matter what it is. You name it, I know where you can go to find the cheaper price and quality service for certain things when it comes to it. At least for things I am keen on. Even Yoga! I’ve scored some great Mets baseball game tickets for less than $25 that weren’t nose bleeders and also gave you access to the “Promenade Club” in the stadium for those cold evening games you just want to stay inside the clubhouse and take in the scene from indoors. In fact, I’m going to another one on Wednesday night! I’m definitely a big lover of Freebies and a HUGE advocate for parades and street fairs and everything that is accessible especially in Brooklyn and in and around the Metropolitan area. I’m constantly hearing of great venues who offer free or super cheap things and this blog will just allow me to bring light to all of the things that I have found and have helped me learn to be more economically aware and efficient.
I sincerely hope you find this blog useful and fun as I am always looking for ways to improve in spending and saving so that I can enjoy the real things in life that matter like family and friends and my career! I urge and inspire you to interject as often as you wish, leave comments, feedback or suggestions. They are always wanted! I will also post helpful videos when and if the time arises. Save on, readers! And don’t forget your coupons!