By Betsy Finklea
Who doesn’t love saving money?
Jenny Martin, the writer at SouthernSavers.com, which is one of “leading frugal living websites in the South,” gave a crash course on how to save money on your grocery, household, and personal care budgets at the Dillon County Chamber of Commerce Employee Appreciation luncheons held recently.
Grocery stores in the south typically run their sales of regular items on a six to eight week cycle, Martin said. When an item is at its lowest price, buy enough of them to get through until the next sale. You won’t “need” anything if you buy enough to last while it is on sale, and you save money.
For example, if peanut butter is on sale this week, it will be six to eight weeks before peanut butter is on sale again. So, stock up on peanut butter while it is on sale so you won’t run out until the next sale in six to eight weeks. Some items are on sale seasonally.
Look for barebones prices. A good sale is spending 50 percent of what you are spending at regular price.
Beware of sales that look like sales, but aren’t much savings. Saving 10 cents on an item isn’t much of a sale, Martin said. Every item in the grocery store has a “best price” or a “rock bottom, low price” and that is the time to stock up. Look for prices that fluctuate 40-50 percent during the sale cycle.
Make a list of prices that you are willing to pay for most items in a store.
Another helpful hint is that the “buy one-get one” prices in a regular grocery store often beat big box store savings.
Brand loyalties was another topic Martin discussed. She said being stuck in a brand loyalty often causes people to miss out on great deals. An example, she gave was buying only a particular brand of detergent when other equally good detergents are on sale.
A way to save even more money is to couple coupons with sales; however, Martin said if you never use a coupon you will still see a savings in your budget just from the stock up method and working sales. She said one way to gather coupons is to get a Sunday newspaper. You can get an accordion file from your local office supply store to put your coupons in. Digital coupons load straight to your card or phone. Some popular mobile apps for coupons and rebates include Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Savings Star. Rebates are deposited to a PayPal account, gift card, or bank account once the money you have accumulated from your rebate savings reaches a certain limit, which is usually $20. Each app has its own method of rebate payment. Target Cartwheel is another popular app that offers savings exclusively at Target stores.
Another point that she made for best savings is to get items you eat from a grocery store and get items that you don’t eat from a drugstore.
Martin suggests getting a CVS card because they have a good rewards system. She recently went and purchased $70 worth of items and paid only $2 plus got $40 in rewards to use on a future purchase. She recently did a question and answer session on getting the most out of your CVS savings which can be seen on her Southern Savers channel on YouTube.
Martin said this was just a small part of her savings tips. You can get more tips as well as the top deals of the week on www.southernsavers.com. Those in attendance received a free Couponing 101 handbook by Southern Savers to help them in their money-saving efforts.
About Jenny Martin
Jenny Martin is the writer behind SouthernSavers.com, one of the leading frugal living websites in the South. Her goal is to teach a purposeful, relaxed approach to saving money on almost everything you buy. As a mom of five little girls, ages 10 and under, Jenny’s focus is one finding ways to coupon, deal hunt, and shop in the quickest, most time conserving manner—that way you can get back to what’s truly important, like playing games and coloring with the kids.
In the blogging world, Jenny has seen Southern Savers grow into a community of over 1.5 million users. She works directly with a number of companies, consulting and establishing brand partnerships, including Savings.com, Aveeno, Recyclebank, Procter & Gamble, TJ Maxx, CVS, Piggly Wiggly, and many others.
While running a large community takes a lot of time (and help), Jenny balances blogging time with puzzles and dress up. She is passionate about moms not getting lost in coupons and forgetting their focus. Really, anything you start doing to save money is better than what you were doing.