Now that you’re shopping for two (or three, or four …) you’re probably looking for ways to save a few extra dollars. Whether you’re trying to make ends meet or just pinching a few pennies for a rainy day, we’ve got insider tips for stretching your dollar.
Skeptics be forewarned—we’re about to reveal the power of the almighty coupon. Check the Sunday paper and different online resources for both manufacturer’s coupons and store-specific deals. Many stores honor coupons from competitors, so don’t shy away from taking coupons from shops you don’t regularly visit. You can also double up store coupons and manufacturer’s coupons to make money. Yes, you can actually compound some coupons in such a way that you not only get a product for free, but you also make money on the transaction. (A negative $3 tube of toothpaste? Yes, please!)
What brand loyalty?
OK, so you may be partial to a particular diaper or type of milk, but for many other basic staples the need to buy brand name products is almost nonexistent. Next time you’re scouring the aisles at your local market, take a look at the store brand of some of your basic food items and we’re betting you’ll notice a big difference—in the price. Everything from rice, bread, spices and condiments to your basic medicines and beauty products have a knockoff version snugly situated on the shelf next door. Also, when you forego brand loyalties you open yourself up to taking serious advantage of coupons, enabling yourself to buy what’s on sale rather than the alternative full-priced product. Brand loyalty is so yesterday, so remember: treason is the reason for the season!
Rest your tired tootsies and take a seat in front of your computer. Sure, the Internet puts a world of shopping at your fingertips, but did you know it also sets a new bar for savings? Discount codes, coupons and competition abound on the World Wide Web, and with a little time and determination, you can take tremendous advantage of the savings. Focus on sites that are centered on discounts, like coupons.com and dailyedeals.com, which keep up with current sales both online and in stores. Other sites like mommysavers.com, pregnancyoffers.com and momfinds.com are your trendy answer to saving on all things necessary (or not-so-necessary) for parenthood. Not only do all of these sites highlight current savings promotions, you can also go to sites like justmommies.com and babycenter.com to join forums that are run by consumers looking to trade coupons or gift cards, as well as those who just want to share a really good deal with fellow shoppers.
Timing is everything
We all know shopping is a gal’s favorite pastime, so why not do it more often? This may sound counterintuitive, but if you’re always shopping, you’re bound to find the best deals. The smartest shoppers buy necessities in bulk and scour end-of-season sales to pick up the rest—everything from seasonal clothing and sporting equipment to holiday decorations and appliances can be found for great prices at the change of the season. It’s true that you’ll have to store many of the items for 6 months to a year, but buying goods for half the price can really start to feed a little extra change into your piggy bank. Buying diapers in bulk, for example, can save several cents per diaper—which can add up to a couple hundred dollars per year! Buying Junior’s coat during a spring sale can also save you lots come next winter.
Sign me up!
This is probably one of the most time consuming tips we have, but it pays off in the long run. There are tons of companies who want to have you hooked on their brand. They’re willing to do almost anything to corner a market of buying customers, including giving away their products for free. This is particularly helpful for mamas who are looking for diapers, formula or other baby-centric items. Check out Proctor & Gamble’s website, pg.com, along with Gerber, Pampers and Huggies—all of these manufacturers will send you coupons or free goodies. If you’re willing to put up with a little extra mail in exchange for samples, then it’s well worth your time.