04/16/12

Coupons – Easy – Easier – Easiest!

Today, we’re privileged to have as our guest blogger, Marlyn Ferguson, Founder/Creator of the Strategic Shopping Network!

Coupons – Easy – Easier – Easiest!

Using Coupons Is Easy

We are all busy.  And we all want to save money.  But we want to save time too.  Many people commit to using coupons as a New Year’s Resolution and stop soon after as life begins to happen.  The Strategic Shopping Network wants to make your life easier while saving by using coupons.

Here are some ways to make using coupons – easy – easier and easiest for you and your family.

Easy

1. Take Baby Steps.  We don’t have to do it all at once.  Every saving is a small victory.  If we try to do it all at once AND maintain all of our other responsibilities, using coupons can become overwhelming.

2. We recommend beginning to use coupons in one store.  I personally started with CVS.  I found the CVS staff to be very helpful and their promotions were clear and simple to use.  Some people like to start with one grocery store.  That’s a good idea as well.  The decision on how to get started will be based on what works best for you and your family.

3. Pick and choose the sales you want to focus on.  It’s not a race.  Or in this case, perhaps slow and steady wins the race.  Because it’s easy to ‘burn out’ and not use coupons at all.  We don’t have to  take advantage of EVERY sale in the store.  Just choose one or two and then shop normally for the rest.  We can build our savings over time – it’s all good!

Easier

1.  Invest in an Accordion File.  They sell for about $10.   This is the most important step toward realizing big savings at the grocery and drug stores.  And it can’t get any easier to use.  You will probably save whatever you spend on the accordion file after one shopping trip.

2.  Each week, save the weekly inserts from your local newspaper by date in your accordion file.    And now you’re done for the week if you’d like.  That’s really all you need to do.  You can clip, sort and file coupons in a notebook, but I have found the notebook method for organizing coupons to be too time consuming.  If it works for you – that’s great.  But I have trouble keeping up with it.  So, I just sort the coupons in my accordion file by week, and they are ready for me when I prepare for my shopping trips.

3.  Someday in the not too distant future this process may all be digital.  You’ll be able to go online and load the coupons you want to your phone and/or your store card.  That will simplify things even further.

Easiest

1. Choose a web site with match ups to follow.  Of course we hope your choice will be the Strategic Shopping Network, but let’s face it, we can’t possibly cover every store, so if you find that your favorite store is covered elsewhere, follow the site that works for you.  (If we don’t cover your store, we hope you’ll visit us for entertainment, retail, travel savings and lots of freebies/free events that are featured on the SSNW.)

2. Preparing in advance makes a shopping trip easiest.  Before you shop – check out the web site you follow.  It will tell you what’s on sale and break down the coupons for you. Use the site to make your shopping list and pull the coupons you need for that week.  This process will take about 15 – 30 minutes, but will save time and money in the store.

3. Spend less time in the store.  When you’ve prepared your list and coupons in advance, a shopping trip takes less time.  We have shopped a store sale in 15 minutes.  Once you are familiar with the store and you know what you will be buying, the rest is easy.

Today, Everyone Needs to Shop Strategically – We’re Here to Help!

Everything has changed. Most of us learned how to shop and budget in times of great prosperity but the world as we knew it looks completely different today.

Many people have faced periods of unemployment in the past several years.  Those who kept their jobs found that they were required to work twice as hard for less money AND face the daily fear of losing their jobs as layoffs plague businesses.

So many organizations have changed as they struggle to stay afloat.  In many cases it has become increasingly dehumanizing to work in our corporate culture today, knowing that – as they say on one of my favorite shows, Dance Moms ’everyone is replaceable!’

And we found that we wanted to find a way to help.  So we created the Strategic Shopping Network, a platform to help our readers become more strategic about how they shop.  After all, we work a lot harder for our money, today – we should be more  strategic about how we spend it, don’t you think?

We help sharp shoppers stay on point…here’s how:

  • We help our readers save money at the grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants, retail stores, on travel, entertainment and even at the gas station.  And our site is FREE and always will be!
  • We showcase opportunities to have fun – in many cases for free. (With an emphasis on the Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. Markets)
  • We stay on top of current trends and information and keep our readers in the know – especially as related to shopping and saving money.
  • When you become a Strategic Shopping Network Reader (Did we mention that it’s free?), you are not alone anymore! We are creating a community of Strategic Shoppers who share information and help one another.

Visit us often at www.strategicshoppingnetwork.com!

About Me

What to write about Marlyn…hmmm. I’ve been described by many as a little bit larger than life, and I love to learn new things. One of my most recent projects has been to learn to shop strategically, so that we can stretch our dollars. I’m happy to be able to share this with you!

My background is in marketing and entrepreneurship, so I’m combining all of my skills and background to bring you the best of Strategic Shopping! Have no fear – we will take the Baby Steps to Big Savings, together!