Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Saving BIG.....With A Little Patience!

Y’all might not know this about me, but I LOVE saving money! In fact, I’m quite good at getting a deal on just about ANYTHING! After living in the insanely expensive state of California for several years, I learned quickly how to stretch a dollar. Now, I don’t do that crazy couponing like some, mostly because I don’t need (nor do I have the storage space for) 10 boxes of cereal at a time!  Instead, I’m a very patient shopper. I cut coupons out for the usual things on my list and wait patiently while I watch and search for sales on those items. The one thing I have to be mindful of is the expiration date on the coupon.

If you’ve noticed, most things that have coupons in the Sunday paper are already on sale for that week. I figure the stores and manufacturers are somehow in cahoots and those coupons are ways to get warm bodies into their stores-- not just to buy the products on sale, but to load up on other things while there.

But, those planned sales aren’t always the best deals. I usually do the all the comparisons and scenarios of total cost from different retailers. Fortunately for me, I live in the city and have all of the major retailers within a 5 mile radius of home, so it’s quick and easy to compare on my regular shopping trips.  If the deal isn’t that much less than what I usually pay, I’ll wait.  

I keep a “watch” list for those items in the Notes app on my iPhone and add prices when I’m in the stores that way I can determine which retailer will give me the biggest savings! After all, it’s my money and I work hard for it. I don’t want to throw it away simply because the purchase was convenient. I’ll end up paying substantially more, and over time, that money adds up.

If you are flexible in your purchasing, sometimes it pays to try a different product. Companies often have ridiculously cheap deals for the opportunity to get their products in your home. If you need pain reliever and the active ingredient is acetaminophen, you might find a coupon for another brand name with the same active ingredient at a much lower cost. Keep your eyes peeled and stay informed. For me, being an informed and flexible shopper has saved me a lot of money over the years.

Sample deal from this week:
-          Community Coffee was on sale at Albertson’s for $3.99/each. I had a coupon for $4 off two bags!  Total price for (2): $3.98!! A savings of $4!! Now I can face my mornings with ease.

I cut out that coupon about 3 weeks ago when the bags were on sale for $5.99 each. So, that’s where a little patience pays off! I already had coffee so I was not in any hurry to make a purchase.

So, I ask you…..would you like to take an extra weekend trip somewhere this year? Well, get out there and shop around! You have the potential to save more than $1,000 per year just by being conscientious and minding your pennies! Good luck! --Birdie

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Got $20?

Got $20 burning a hole in your pocket? Seems like these days $20 doesn't go as far as it used to. But here's an idea! What if you could take that $20 and turn it into $100? It is possible and I do it all the time!!

I'm an avid picker. I love estate sales and go to them as often as I have a few bucks to spare. In the big cities, there is usually an abundance of estate sales. And given larger cities fast-paced lifestyle, many people who inherit homes filled to the gills of things they don't want are ready to wheel and deal to unload items as quickly as possible. That's where I come in!

I'm methodical about my buying process and I'm a strategist. I use the same formula again and again to score unique items for a great price. Over time, I've gotten a better eye for things that I can resell for a profit. It doesn't always work 100%, but my profit margins are off the chain and I can honestly say that I've never lost money reselling anything. 

My first task is to find sales in my area. I don't want to travel too far because gas can get expensive and I don't want to cut into my profits with extra fuel expenses. I search on Craigslist for estate sales only. I have pretty much stopped going to garage sales because they are just too many of them and almost no one posts pictures of the goods. There are also some great estate sale websites that let you search by zip code. My favorite is Once I find a few that sound good, I peruse the photos and see if there are things that peak my interest. 

Now, I look at photos with a different mindset. I'm not looking at the item they are featuring in their photo. I'm looking at all the items in the background! Estate sale companies want to feature their best items to drum up business. And those featured items are also the first items to go! And I'm not going to be the lady that shows up at 6am so I can be the first name on the list to get the first picks. It is much harder to negotiate when the estate sale crew is full of fresh coffee and still hopeful to get top dollar for their wares. 

I'm the lady that shows up a few hours later...when it's hot...when they're tired and when they've already had the mad rush of rabid customers rummaging through everything like a blue light special at KMart!! I'm the gal that comes in with negotiation skills so good, they never know what hit them until I'm long gone!

So get out there with your $20 and go invest in yourself! If you have a smartphone, you have instant access to eBay or Etsy, so look up an item you fancy and see what it's worth. You'll have a lot of fun and you'll learn a thing or two in the process. --Birdie