Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shopping for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is in less than a week.  

I'm writing that, in part, as a reminder to you in case you are like me and the holiday has sneaked up on you.  The only reason I knew we were close is because all of the ads offered discounts on things like yams and cranberries.  Those are not usually big sellers, I'm guessing.

I am not a big-time couponer.  I don't have time to haunt e-bay looking for the right coupon, I refuse to dumpster-dive searching for unused coupons and I don't want to buy more than one paper.  I'm not going to drive around to fifteen different stores and spend hours finding the perfect deal on the item I may never use.  In other words, I don't want to make couponing a part-time job.  However, I am a big believer in coupons!

My small local newspaper costs $3 per week.  Each Sunday and Wednesday paper comes with all of the information I need to be a smart shopper.  My modest goal is to be smart (plan meals around the sale items, use coupons on items I would have purchased anyway) and to save at least as much as the paper costs; even if I'm only saving by being aware of the deals before I go to the store, it is a sum total cost savings.  After living here for a while, I've gotten to know which ads are worth my time--in other words, which stores seem to have the best deals on the groceries I most often buy.  I only check those favorite store ads now.  Thirty minutes a week clipping and writing a menu.

Parenthetically, if you think you are getting the best deals by going to Walmart, you need to start getting a paper.  This week's ads, for instance, showed the glaring price differences between Walmart and practically everywhere else.  Walmart is good if the thing you need is not on sale anywhere because it is probably a pretty good price--three to ten cents cheaper than the non-sale price everywhere else.  BUT, if it is on sale, you'll find a better deal practically anywhere.  In this week's ad, for example, showed Cool Whip for $.97, but it was on a Thanksgiving sale at my regular store for $.28.  That one example was indicative of the whole ad.  Yes, they price match, but who wants to shop at Walmart if you can get the same deal in a much nicer environment?

Anyway, tonight I did most of my Thanksgiving shopping (you know how long it takes a turkey to thaw!).  I saved over $100 dollars.  No, the store didn't give me money back.  No, I didn't get anything for free.  No, I'll never be on a TV show, but $100 dollars is certainly worth the thirty minutes I spent on my couch clipping coupons this morning.

There you have it.  An entire post dedicated to something that matters to you not at all.  Sorry.  It's really early in the morning (insomnia) and it was what was racing through my head.  I wish I could guarantee better content in my next post, but I'll probably be writing that in the wee hours of the morning as well.  Have a great Saturday anyway!

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