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I say it every week, I love to save money. And using coupons is one of the easiest ways to save on everyday products. However, there isn’t always a coupon for the item you need. If you must make that purchase, and you want to save the most money, these are some simple guidelines to keep in mind.

  • Buy what is in season. You realize that it is cheaper to enjoy watermelon in July than in December. That is because it is in season. You will save money by only buying items that are grown during the season you are in, and waiting until other times to enjoy other items. If these items that you can freeze, stock up on them. You will thank me in December.
  • Know prices at all stores. I shop a lot, and I know that certain items may be cheaper at one store and more expensive at another. Make sure you keep track of prices and sales at any stores you shop frequently, as you will save money by doing so. Keep a little notebook in your vehicle, and compare prices and items at the store you frequent the most. It may pay to drive to that next store to save money.
  • Use the store loyalty cards. These cards are used for numerous reasons, but one of the best reasons is saving you extra money. Someone shopping without their card will not be able to get the same discount or price as someone using their card. It is very important to remember to show the cashier your card before purchase. This also gives you the opportunity to earn reward points toward future purchases and other unique things.
  • Ask about markdowns. The manager of the butcher shop, seafood, bakery, dairy dept, etc. have specific times they go through their inventory and set aside something that needs to be sold quickly. Meat markdowns are a great way to stock up on meat at 25% or more savings. Know when they mark down prices so you can take advantage of the good deals!
  • Learn the cycle of sales. Most companies have a 12 week cycle. Some are as often as 6 weeks and as long as 24 weeks. There are also seasonal cycles. Learning how long before something goes on sale again, will allow you to stock up on that item, so you don’t run out before the next sale. Always check out end caps, as they are usually filled with an item on sale. If it isn’t on sale, then it is put there to make you want to grab it. Walk away!
  • Buy store brands. Some items are just about the same in the generic store brand as they are in the national brand. Try items and see if your family approves, and then save money!

In my class at The Post-Star, I go into detail about using coupons, saving money, finding monthly deals and how it will benefit your family and your pocket book! Free giveaways during the class as well. Please join me for my next class on Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m. Call 518-742-3309 to sign up.

Kimberly Butler is a busy mom, wife and child care provider who loves to save money. She lives in Queensbury with her family and her black lab Duke, and writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at kimberlybutlerthepoststar@gmail.com.

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