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How Great Thou Part

1. Go to three different grocery stores and purchase the specials and sale items at each store. Use a coupon and double that savings. This strategy brings almost double the amount of groceries for the money. The pantry will always be stocked.

2. Watch for savings at various drugstores. Take CVS for example, often there are specials to buy one and get one half off or buy several to earn extra bucks. Shop when the items are on sale and are combined with either extra bucks or buy one get one free. At times it is possible to combine this with a 20% coupon off the entire purchase.

3. Most people don’t really enjoy all of the junk mail that comes in terms of business promotions via e-mail. However, today there are more and more savings if one signs up with companies they are loyal to. Foot Locker, Sports Authority, Barnes & Noble, etc. all offer tremendous savings to their customers in the form of e-mail promotions. If not a fan of so called junk mail, it would be worthwhile creating a separate, personal e-mail account to take advantages of these frequent discounts. As soon as they come in either print them or access them via mobile phone. The advantage to printing the coupon and keeping a folder inside the car is that they are more likely to get used.

4. The best new cost savings website out there is www.jet.com which provides free shipping for orders over $35. This website is perfect not just for personal savings. It is the best place to send college care packages, gifts to parents, etc.

5. When eating at restaurants, especially with today’s super sized portions, appetizers can be hardy and save significant money off the bill.

6. There are favorite coffee and tea shops while out shopping this holiday season. However, rather than go for the ones that charge $4 per drink, seek out places such as “The Corner Bakery.” It is one of many places that not only offer cheaper coffee and tea, but refills. Lots of money to be saved in looking for more traditional restaurant outlets that also serve these beverages rather than visiting the expensive specialty chains.

7. There are many retailers this time of year that offer additional percentages off of their sale items. J. Crew is one. The sale merchandise can be even more enticing with an additional 20 to 30% off. This type of shopping can save far more than even going to the outlets.

8. Restaurants push gift cards this time of year and often offer a free gift card to do so. For instance, PF Chang’s promotes their $100 worth of gift cards with a $20 bonus card. Instead of thinking of these offers strictly as gifts for others, buy them for personal use and savings. If a family enjoys PF Chang’s and purchases $200 in gift cards they will have $240 worth of gift cards and additional savings to use in the new year.

9. Step out of individual shopping comfort zones. This means before shopping this season do a comprehensive retail field trip. Most individuals shop at the same stores again and again. The truth is bargain stores aren’t always a bargain and more expensive stores have sales which can provide bargain prices. Take a trip to the malls and retail strip malls surrounding the area to get an accurate feel for current pricing and deals. For instance, Bloomingdales often has sales and extra loyalty coupons which make their specials as reasonable as stores with discounted merchandise. Get out of comfort and into knowledge or true area stores and pricing.

10. Make a list of individual expenses above and beyond gift giving and then strategize and prioritize. For instance, is a $60 tree necessary when Home Depot has $29 ones that are gorgeous? Nails for that holiday party? Try a gel manicure which is slightly more only will last the entire month of December so really a savings. Flowers for the table? Or would a longer lasting, more creative table scape provide longer decoration and more savings.

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