Oh, the woes of a down economy! Do you shudder when you open your bank statement or dread that trip to the mailbox because you know that it is bound to be full of bills? Hopefully, you've come up with some money saving strategies to get your family through the lean times; or better yet, make everyone feel like things aren't so lean after all.
The great news is that there are definitely some good deals to be had in the worst of times. Whether you are looking for simple strategies to save a few pennies day to day, or ways to save on the biggest deals of all, you can find them. Here are some of my favorite methods to take advantage of the way things are, without whining about it!
Let's start with easy ways to save money on a daily basis. Coupon clipping is a tried and true strategy that savvy shoppers have used for years. You simply can't lose when you walk into a store with a guaranteed discount. The only downside to coupon clipping is that it takes a little bit of time and organization to get the most out of it. You need to commit to sit down with the Sunday paper, or whatever one offers your local coupons, decide where you are going to shop and plan your list carefully. I think it's worth the effort if your family budget is stretched pretty tight to begin with.
The upside of a down economy is that the retailers are hurting as badly as individual consumers and families. Why is that a good thing? It's a good thing because those retailers are so eager to get you into their establishments that they need to offer you great deals. Some of the simplest and best bargains around right now are the BOGO (Buy one, get one free) deals that you are seeing all around.
You can find amazing savings from the places you already shop like Publix, Albertsons, Food Lion, Bi Lo, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Giant Food, Winn Dixie, Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, Long's and Kerr Drug among a ridiculously long list of others. Here's the best part of BOGO deals! You can get weekly BOGO bargains in your local area emailed directly to you. This means no scouring of the newspapers because all the bargains you are looking for are already sitting in your in-box. If there is a coupon involved you can just print it out; however, many BOGOs don't even require a coupon.
Of course, if you're dreaming of bigger deals now is the time to buy real estate at bargain basement prices; even houses have been sold in BOGO deals, but this is rare. Even so, it just goes to show that the sad state of American economics can be put to your advantage in big deals and in smaller ones.
If your focus is on keeping your budget in line, or stretching the family dollar then I definitely recommend one of the first two methods above. The small time investment that you'll put into clipping coupons or checking your email is bound to pay off in savings.