You Had Me At Free: Latest Adventures in Bargain Shopping.

In previous posts I have blabbed about my love of coupons, store discounts, and FREEBIES.  Working in a mall has really been a good thing for me.  Sure I have to be more disciplined, meaning I need to work hard at NOT spending money everytime I go to work.  But on the other hand, I get to see the prices in stores on a day to day basis and only shop when the deals are truly a good value.

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I had such a great bargain shopping weekend that I had to share the love today.  It all started on Friday evening as I walked through the mall on the way to work.  I saw a special promotion for the new ASANA Yogurt. Two lovely ladies were handing out single serving samples and coupons.  I passed by the display two more times that night and they offered me more samples.  I told them I already had one that day, they said I was welcome to have more.  Okay, you twisted my rubber arm.  At work, my co-worker Bea, generously gave me a coupon worth $5.00 to be used at another store in the mall.  It could only be redeemed early on Saturday morning, so I made sure to stop there on my way to work.  I approached the cash desk and found out the coupon was actually valid for a $5.00 gift card!  Sweet!  As I walked though the mall towards work, the lovely ASANA ladies were back at their post, so I got more free yogurt and coupons.  I handed the $5.00 gift card to Bea and told her the coupon wasn't actually only $5 off a purchase.  She said I could keep it anyway, because she is a very generous and kind lady.

Saturday night is grocery day for my Family so the Ads in Thursday and Friday's paper are scoured and dissected for deals on Friday nights.  Yoohoo, real exciting huh?  Friday night dates with my Ads, coupon index, post-it notes and calculator.  So when I went through the Ads in Thursday and Friday's paper I found that my favourite dishwashing tabs were on half price at my local Canadian Department Store (the same store featured in "When I Learn How to Fly You'll Be The First To Know.").  I flipped to the "Cleaners" section of my coupon folder, and saw that I had six $2.00 coupons for that Brand!  Needless to say I am stocked up on dishwasher tabs until Christmas at least!

A few tips on bargain shopping:

1) Get a purse-sized organizer for your coupons.  Know what coupons you have on hand and when they expire.  I usually use them in combination with a sale.

2) Sometimes buying the bigger package is a good value, but not always.  I check the unit prices to see which deal is better.  I figured out that the smaller box of dishwasher tabs were the better deal this time.  I got 150 tabs for $18.00.

For those that like the mathematics of a deal: My dishwasher tabs were on sale for 4.99/box of 25, or 18.99/tub of 90. The smaller package gave me a 0.19 cent unit price, the larger tub gave 0.21 cent unit price. So you may ask "What's the big deal on two cents difference?" When you calculate the unit price after $2 coupons: 2.99/25 = 0.12 cents as opposed to 16.99/90 =0.19 cents. 

3)Check receipts, some stores offer discounts on future purchases.  It may require you to call a 1-800 number for a validation code, but it can be worth the few minutes you will spend.

4)Don't be embarrased to use coupons, and let friends and family know you love them too.  I wouldn't have had the $5.00 gift card if my co-worker hadn't passed the store coupon along to me.  

5)Sign up for newsletters from sites that will alert you to free samples or discount coupons.  I use two sites that email me updates and newsletters.  I just delete the ones I'm not interested in, or forward to a friend.  Using this free service I have a coupon for a FREE tub of ASANA yogurt on it's way. (This ASANA offer is closed now though.)  My deal for today?  Purex laundry detergent is offering a free sample.  I saw it on a commercial this morning and have requested my sample at the picture link below.

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 Happy bargain hunting with my top 5 sites:

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