Discount Shopping Part III
How would you like to save on groceries and other household items? Does the idea of clipping coupons, keeping them updated and organized sound like too much work for the reward? Perhaps you should try clicking your way to save that hard-earned cash. There are a few good Web sites that offer substantial savings on your grocery bill. Even Kmart has a weekly rebate site. With the click of the mouse and a printer, you can easily save anywhere from a few dollars to more than $50.
Will That Be Paper or Plastic?
Grocery shopping isn't the highlight of many parents' weeks. But with a little bit of planning, you can at least enjoy saving some money off your grocery bill. Listed below are the Web sites and a description of how they work. Choose which one works best for you. A typical rebate check for my family may be around $15. But you can save more depending on what products you buy. Of course, if you also use coupons, the savings will be bigger.
E-save.com. The plan is simple. Select your rebate items (use the "rebate directory" for quick access of the products). Next, print out your selections and go shopping. After you're finished, simply write the tracking number on your receipt and circle the rebate items you've purchased. Mail it in by the specified date. You will receive your rebate check in two weeks. The plus to this site is you can shop at any store, as long as you are given a cash register receipt for proof of purchase. New offers are added each week, so check before you make your list.
ValuPage.com. The rebates you choose are disbursed as Web Bucks at the check-out. Web Bucks can be used as cash on your next purchase to that store. Here's how it works: first, type in the zip code for the store where you usually do your shopping. If you live in a rural area, you may not find your local store as a participant. However, if you are willing to travel a few miles to do your shopping, you can still participate. One or more stores should appear. Click on the store of your choice and print out the entire list of offers.
Take your printout to the store and shop, circling the items on your rebate list so you don't forget them! When you're ready to check out, give the cashier your printout for scanning. Pocket your savings in the form of Web Bucks and use them for your next purchase.
Blue Light Specials
Remember those blue light specials? If you were lucky enough to be in the right store at the right time, you could save on a product you probably didn't even need. Does a $1 bag of charcoal in December ring a bell? To get cash back on products that you do need, try Kmart. Many items on the weekly rebate offering are also part of the weekly flyer. An average rebate check for my family is around $10 to $20, and you can get some good deals. For instance, one week, a cough syrup was on sale and with a $4 rebate offered. Add the $1 coupon that I clipped, and the cough syrup only cost a meager $1.29. You can expect your rebate check in two weeks.
Here a Dollar, There a Dollar
I try to save a bit each week. Some careful meal planning (which alone will save you time and money) can yield a nice little bonus. With the money you save each week, you could take the family out to dinner or have a pizza and video night picnic in the living room. Saving for a family vacation, next year's Christmas shopping or large purchase can be done painlessly this way. Just deposit the rebate checks in a savings account marked for a special occasion.
The Choice is Yours
Chose one or all of the above plans and you will save as much or as little as you want. One thing for sure: it's nice to be rewarded for the weekly chore of shopping. You may even decide to spend a little of that money on yourself!