Before I get to “Couponing 101”, I wanted to post two pictures of myself demonstrating how to add some color to your outfit.
This is the outfit I wore today. Red cardigan (Jacob), hat (Ariztia), shorts (Reitmans), white tank top (R W & Co.), gladiator sandals (Aldo), bracelet, earrings and necklace (Stella & Dot), and watch (Coach). You can see how I added color with my cardigan, watch and my pink nails.
This is the outfit I wore yesterday. Red cropped pants and jean jacket (Gap), sweater (Jacob), ballet flats (Aldo) and necklace and earrings (Stella & Dot). Yes I know that in both I used something red to add color to my outfit, but what can I say? I like red!!!
Now onto “Couponing 101”. Let me start by saying that I am not some crazy “extreme” couponer like the ones from TLC’s show. I do not spend hours clipping coupons or have a warehouse full of stuff I don’t need, but got for free. I am a normal (ok that’s debatable if you ask my friends and husband :)) person, who when her husband lost his job 6 months ago, wanted to find ways to help save money. With some help from friends, who are quite proficient in the couponing world, I was able to purchase everyday items at a fraction of the cost. So here are some of my tips to help Canadian families out.
1. Check out the following site: Healthy Shopper. It is a great site for natural products that can be found here in Canada. The great bonus is that the coupons have long expiry dates, so you can use them many times. By printing off a coupon from this site, I was able to purchase 7th Generation laundry detergent (which normally costs $9.99 for 1.5 L) for $2. I had a $3 coupon from the Healthy Shopper site, then I waited until my grocery store had a 2 for 1 special. Instead of spending $10 on one, I was able to purchase 5 for the price of one. This did not take any extra time and saved me tons of money.
3. Look at your weekly flyer’s from your local grocery stores, Walmart and London Drugs. They have great deals and you can combine them with coupons. I try and base my weekly grocery list on items that are on sale.
4. Know the price of things. Know when its a good deal.
5. Don’t buy when you need to, wait until its on sale. You can always freeze things (I do that and i don’t even have a deep freezer) or store them.
6. FYI you can freeze cheese. Cheese is quite expensive so when its on sale I usually will buy 3 or 4 bricks. They also keep quite well in your fridge. They have long expiry dates.
8. Sign up for e-mails from your favorite stores: Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic, Jacob, R W & Co,Stella & Dot, Children’s Place, Gymboree, Aldo, Sephora, Chapters and Michael’sjust to name a few. These stores ship to Canada without having to pay duty. Shipping is usually free if you spend above a certain amount. Most of the stores are reasonable, anywhere from $25-$100. They will e-mail you when things go on sale and when they offer free shipping. Michael’s usually has 40% off coupons on their website or in their flyer and if you subscribe to them you usually get extra coupons.
9. For your birthday stores like The Body Shop (if you have their card) will give you $10 off your purchase. If you register your Starbucks card you get a free drink on your birthday. R W & Co. give you 25 % your total purchases including sale items 3 days before and after your birthday. With your Sephora beauty insider card you get a free gift when its your birthday.
10. Get an Airmiles card. They send you e-mails informing of extra points that can be earned and stores that have discounts. You can also purchase items from their on line catalogue. That’s how we got a brand new kitchen aid blender and shipping was free.
11. Costco is not always the cheapest place to get things, but with that said it pays to get an Executive card, you get 2% back on your purchases, which usually pays for itself. Its also the cheapest place to get your pictures printed and they also have current best seller books for much less than at your local bookstore.
12. Its cheaper to purchase books on line at Chapter’s then it is in the store and shipping is free after you spend $25.
13. Another thing you could consider is getting a US mailing address and having things shipped there. Its much cheaper and then you don’t have to worry about duties and shipping costs to Canada. I have yet to do this.
14. Borrow books from the Library or from your friends.
15. Host a party like Stella & Dot, Norwex, Tupperware, Usborne or a Candle Party. The hostess usually gets free items which is a great way to get things you need.
16. Buy things at the end of the season, especially kids stuff. Its usually much cheaper and then you don’t have to worry about it next year.
17. Be aware of where you money is going.
18. Call your local gas, cable, internet, cell phone, mortgage provider and see if there are ways to cut down on your bills. We called our local cable company a few years back and we cut our bill by $30/month. It never hurts to ask. The worst they can say is no.
19. Just because its on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Only by things that are on sale or with coupons if you need them, otherwise its a waste of money!!!!
I hope this helps. For some of you, this may be nothing new, but if you were like me, every little bit of money saving tips helps.
Like I said in my last post, I like to end each post with some fashion. Today’s fashion tip comes from my obsession with stripes. Some of you may be thinking that you can’t wear stripes, but I’m here to tell all you big busted ladies out there, yes you can. You just need to find the right type and thickness of stripes. You can find stripes in anything like tank tops, t-shirts, sweaters, cardigans and scarves. I absolutely love stripes and have them in many colors and styles. Below is a picture of my striped t-shirts, cardigan, tank top, and sweaters collection.
So there you have it: my stripes wardrobe. I warned you that I am obsessed 🙂
May this blog inspire you to help save money and to add something striped to your wardrobe.
Happy Hump Day everyone!!! 🙂