As every mom knows, having children is very expensive and saving money on big purchases, as well as daily purchases, goes a long way. Anyone who knows me is aware of my love for finding good deals. My husband jokingly refers to me as his ‘slick dealer’ and patiently plays the ‘guess how much this cost,” game with me when I return from my shopping trips. Whether it’s a box of diapers or a jogging stroller, I am determined to get the best price. The following list highlights a few of the deal finding techniques I use to save money.
COUPON FLIERS: I remember when I was a little girl, sitting with my mom clipping coupons from the Sunday newspaper. Today, in addition to newspaper fliers, I ask for coupons at the customer service desks, save the coupons that print after I pay at the register and visit sites like coupons.com. I’ve also signed up for the mailed coupon booklets from Target, P&G Brand Savers, and more. Don’t forget you can combine store and merchant coupons (this works well at Target), to get double the savings. If you shop at Target, I highly recommend getting a Target credit or Debit card, to save 5% on every purchase. The debit option is great for anyone who doesn’t want to open another credit card.
TEXT ALERTS: While I don’t usually like signing up for text alerts, Hy-Vee has a program called NOWWOW that sends deals to your phone. These deals are only good for a specific day, but by showing the clerk the text you receive, you will get deals such as a free 24 case of Hy-Vee water for free when you spend $10 or more, $5 off your $50 dollar purchase, free 12 pack of Coke with any purchase, and more! You can register for this program at http://www.hy-vee.com/company/mobile-alerts.aspx or text NOWWOWS to 49833.
ONLINE AND PRINTABLE COUPONS: I rarely go shopping for clothes for my son without a coupon. One of my favorite websites for finding big chain coupons is retailmenot.com. This website is one of the most updated sites I’ve used, and has printable coupons to local stores such as Old Navy, Gymboree, The Children’s Place and more. The website lists printable coupons, as well as online coupon codes and promotions.
OUTLETS: Once or twice a year I head to an outlet mall to stock up on clothes for my son and myself at super deals. In addition to finding coupons online via sites like retailmenot.com, I also recommend signing up for the specific outlet mall’s free club program (Williamsburg Tanger Outlet’s TANGERCLUBhub or Chicago Premium Outlet’s VIP Shopper Club). Register a couple days before your shopping trip and you’ll receive access to printable coupon packets. Adding coupons to the outlet mall’s already reduced prices results in awesome deals. I’ve been able to pick up sweatshirts at Gap Kids for less than $3 and shorts at Children’s Place for less than $2.
DAILY DEALS: I’m sure everyone has seen deals in major cities via Groupon.com and Livingsocial.com. While places like Chicago, Des Moines and Iowa City are deal cities for the websites, the QC has not made the list yet. However, we do have a couple similar local deal websites of our own that you can subscribe to and get great deals right here in the QC. The Quad City Times has the Get It Today deals that can be sent to your email at qctimes.com. Quad-Cities Online has a Deal of the Day link at qconline.com. I have picked up gift certificates such as passes to the Niabi Zoo for $3, a $20 gift certificate to Stone’s Apple Barn for $10, and many restaurant and spa gift certificates for over half off!
DEAL WEBSITES: My favorite deal website is slickdeals.net, which lists deals on everything you can think of, from electronics to hotel stays to crayons. We have scored some amazing deals on this site, allowing us to get our big purchase items, such as our tv and computer, at a fraction of the price. It lists the deals and directions on how to obtain the extra low prices. A few other deal sites that are more specific to baby and toddler apparel and gear are babysteals.com, kidsteals.com, zulily.com, and totsy.com.
These are just a few of the ways I research and find deals for my shopping trips. By taking the few extra minutes to search online for coupons and by keeping your coupons organized, you can save a lot of money with little effort. There are many other little tricks out there, so please share with all of our readers your favorite deals and coupons steals!