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First off, saving money isn`t easy, but it`s worth it. Be willing to put in the time, effort and sometimes money (buying coupons, newspapers, etc.) to save money. If you want to go so far as to take up <em>extreme</em> couponing, be aware that it is a full-time job.
<ol> <li>Keep track of unit prices for everything (Unit price Total price / Total Units) in a chart. Use same measure of unit for all items.</li> <li>Keep an eye out for coupons and clip/print coupons from wherever you can (papers, online, etc).</li> <li>Always keep your coupons on hand and organized in a coupon organizer or folder, whatever works for you. You never know when you might come across a sale.</li> <li>Always keep a calculator on hand to calculate and compare unit prices. Note: Walmart labels unit prices on their shelves, but the unit price does not reflect the excess of bonus sizes.</li> <li>Optional: keep a conversion chart on hand. Note: products may be labeled different weight units (ex: one formula might be in ounces, another in pounds)</li> <li>Manufacturer and store coupons can be combined to save more on the same item. Save even more with sale/clearance items.</li> <li>Take advantage of sales.</li> <li>The best sales are end of the season sales and even better, end of the year sales.</li> <li>Certain products go on sale at a specific time of the year. For example, you might find that lotion tends to go on sale in the winter time.</li> <li>Be open to buying online, but always account for shipping prices.</li> <li>Be open to buying used/pre-owned.</li> <li>Accumulate store/loyalty/club cards. Doesn`t matter if you shop there often, take advantage of the rewards. Note: if you open online, they may only give you a printout card or none at all (use phone number only).</li> <li>Open and connect online accounts to your store cards for more savings.</li> <li>Buy in bulk. It`s a bit of an investment in the short run, but will save you so much time and money in the long run.</li> <li>Check out clearance/dollar sections in store. Actually, it should be your first stop. Items don`t go on clearance because they`re unpopular, it`s because they need to be cleared out for new items. They could also be seasonal items, so don`t be afraid to buy clearance.</li> <li>Don`t buy wholesale memberships (Sam`s Club, Costco, etc). Find someone who will let you use theirs because it isn`t always cheaper and they don`t allow manufacturer coupons.</li> <li>If you don`t mind spam, some mailing lists will send you coupons. Tip: keep a separate email address for this or set up those emails to automatically filter/sort into a folder.</li> <li>If you already have the proper container or don`t think you need one, buy refill packs instead.</li> <li>To save paper and be green at the same time, print coupons on old paper (ex: scratch paper, fliers, etc). You can also try print one, place that sheet back in the printer upside down and print a second coupon. Note: Will not work for all coupons (some are full sheet, like CVS coupons) and to use the bottom of the sheet, you place the printed sheet in to appear right side up.</li> <li>If you have small animals (hamsters, rabbits, etc.), Keep useless paper (already printed on both sides) and shred them to use as bedding.</li> <li>Keep on top of the latest sales. Read the weekly ads religiously. If you have a smart phone, the weekly ads are available through official store apps. Some unofficial apps are all-in-one, meaning they have weekly ads from many stores in a single app. The apps helpful on the go and/or if you don`t receive certain ads in your circulation).</li>
*I included a picture of a chart I made to give you an idea of how to keep track of data.