The concept of using online friends and blogs to pass along saving tips and such is a fairly new thing to me....but I've had fun in the learning of it!! This will be an ongoing topic as I share what I am learning in the whole "shopping game"!!
I decided to investigate into ways to save some money for two different reasons...we had less $$ to work with in our budget after my long-term temp job came to an end...and it would be another way to simplify our lives if we could make the smaller budget work.
The first thing that I did was to sign up for The Grocery Game. This is a pretty cool site that you can sign up for that teaches you how to use coupons to your best advantage at your area grocery stores...as well as stores such as CVS and Walgreens. I have only been a member on there for four weeks...and they say that you really need to do it for 12 weeks before you really start to see real savings results. A four-week trial for all your area stores is just one dollar...so it's totally worth checking out...just to see if that is something that will work for you. After the initial trial...if this is something you want to keep up with...it is $10 per 8 weeks for one store...and $5 per 8 weeks for each additional store...so really it only works out to a couple bucks a week for a couple stores...and you can totally recoup that $$ in savings...so check it out!!
If you don't want to spend any money initially until you feel you have a better grasp of the "game"...so to speak...see if you can get your hands on a copy of "Shop, Save, and Share" by Ellie Kay. She gives a lot of great ideas on saving money by using coupons and shopping sales. If you can get this book from the library or thru Paperbackswap...saving you from having to spend $$ to read it...so much the better!!
I do need to mention that for most of these savings ideas that you will prob want to buy a Sunday newspaper (or get someone who gets the paper to save you out the circulars for CVS and Walgreens as well as the coupon inserts). If you don't receive the grocery store circulars in the mail each week (we get ours on Wednesday or Thursday)...then you might want to find out what day's newspaper has those as inserts and get that day's paper as well.
Also, if you don't have a Google account, think about getting one...even if it is just a generic one...for the purpose of signing up for RSS feeds in your Google Reader...I will post some good feeds to sign up for later in this post. This Google account can also be handy if you set up your iGoogle homepage with a bookmarks area...to bookmark other handy sites that don't have feeds...as well as handy forum links...I'll post a few of those as well. Another thing that makes having this Google account handy is that you can sign up for all kinds of freebie offers and coupon offers via email...and it won't flood your regular inbox. Definately some advantages to think about.
And now for those RSS feeds...
MoneySavingMom is written by Crystal Paine. On this blog she shares how to save money...mostly at stores like CVS and Walgreens...but she also lets people know about other good deals. Not all will be in your area of the country, but it's still totally worth it!!
CentsibleShopper is another good one, sometimes with overlap from Crystal's...but she finds some things that Crystal does not and vice-versa.
Those are the top two I check, but some other ones that are handy to subscribe to are linked below:
A couple forums you can join for free...
Fishing for Deals
One thing that I think WOULD be a great initial investment though is Crystal Paine's Supermarket Savings 101. I haven't bought this yet...but based on her blog (which is one of my RSS feeds)...even my husband is enthusiastic about buying this. Best of all...since these are ebooks...you can download them immediately and start to put the ideas into practice!!
Anyway, here's the first of my shopping simplicity posts. As I come across good deals and further money-saving ideas, I will post them.
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