You have created your weekly shopping list. Your anticipation builds as you get closer to the store where you know you are about to score one honey of a deal. You pick up the pace as you near the aisle where this great conquest is to be found. Then, disappointment of disappointments. The shelf is empty. You suppress your despair and head off to find the nearest sales associate, certain that there are more in the back. The answer? “Sorry, no.” Suddenly, you and Charlie Brown are kindred spirits. Uggghhhhhh……… Fear not my penny-pinching pal! Most stores offer rain checks that allow you to return to the store at a later date (even if the sale price has ended) and purchase the item at the sale price. I suggest that you make a note on your shopping list, since you will have to request the rain check at checkout. I mark the item with a “R√” and have a habit of reviewing my list right before I get to the checkout. Request the rain check before the cashier starts the transaction, then review your shopping list again before you walk out of the store. This may seem excessive, but it is easy to forget as you are watching the register screen to make sure that sale items ring up correctly and keeping track of coupons.
Add to change purse.
If you are in the habit of making a shopping list before heading out to do your weekly shopping, you know that penny pinching requires a little hard work. As you are out and about, you realize that the actual shopping is a full-fledged workout – bending, lifting, pushing a heavy cart. Breathe in. Breathe out. Unfortunately, I suffer from chronic lower back problems, so I need to take along a little muscle when I am shopping. Enter the most kind and generous husband ever. That’s right, my husband goes shopping with me every week to spare my aching back. Not only does he provide the brawn, but he provides full support for my penny-pinching efforts. Another bonus that I have discovered is he provides a second set of eyes. Because he is the one who is stooping and reaching to get the items off the shelf he has a vantage point that I lack. Twice in a single week’s trip, he discovered packages that resulted in extra savings. In one store he found that a few of the Finish detergent boxes that we were buying had on-package coupons (You’ll have to forgive me if you clicked on this link since the post indicates that I found the product on the shelf. Giving credit where credit is due, it was my dear husband that actually found the extra-savings boxes.) At another store he found Pop Tart boxes that had additional Kellogg’s Family Rewards for free books and music.
If you don’t have a willing hubby helper, that doesn’t mean that you have to shop alone. Train your children to look for items with special coupons and rewards. Treat it like a treasure hunt. Offer prizes (like the 10¢ candy bar you picked up because it was on sale and you had a stellar coupon) for great finds. No kids? Coordinate your shopping trip with a frugal friend. Whatever shape they come in, when it comes to penny pinching, four eyes are better than two!
Add to change purse.