Today’s tip for saving money is: Gather goods in odd places.
I am always surprised at the lack of creativity in our lives. We tend to have set routines – we go to the same grocery store for years. We frequent the same restaurants when we dine out. We fill our time with much of the same activities. I am a creature of habit more than most – we like our routines around here. But, I have to ask myself, does my routine help me save money? Do I search out better deals or just buy the items I am looking for at the same old store each week, not considering there may be a store down the road with a better price. Do I forget to look around a store to see what they really offer before settling on my purchases?
By thinking outside of our constructed boxes, we can get the same items, eat the same food, and conduct the same lives we already do; BUT maybe for less! Here’s a few suggestions:
1. Shop for groceries at the drugstore and the dollar store. This may not be a revelation to many of you reading, but I am surprised at how many of the “new coupon enthusiasts” don’t know about the potential savings found inside these stores. The drugstore can offer great deals on staple items like flour, sugar, and canned goods at stock up prices. This is usually due to coupons they offer in store that can be matched with manufacturer’s coupons to save more money. At the dollar store, the name on the door says it all. The only caution at these stores is to check sell by dates. The inventory at these stores does not always turn over as fast as your local grocer, nor is it as well monitored. To make sure you get a great deal, make sure the food you want is fresh.
2. Explore the stores you frequent more thoroughly. If you are like me, there are aisles of your grocer and drugstore that you have never walked down. What is on these aisles may be a source of savings to you. There may be a clearance section you have never seen. There may be a new item you have a coupon for stuck in an odd place. Or there may be great savings on items you buy normally buy at other stores. I have noticed that the grocer sometimes has items that are just not moving at their store (because no one thinks to buy them there) like hardware, and odds and ends clearanced out and you can stock up on these items at a great discount. Examples of this include light bulbs and kitchen supplies (even dishes and pots and pans).
3. Check other sources. The grocery, drug, and dollar store are not the only places to get goods for a great price. Check out your local farmer’s market, the produce stand set up on the corner, or the local carniceria for better prices on local foods. You may also be able to find great savings on organic foods by going through a local CSA (community supported agriculture) farm. These sources are often the best places to get the freshest foods, with some produce stands set up directly next to the field where the produce was picked.
What is the weirdest place you have bought an everyday item? I’m listening…