Last week, at an upscale department store in my hometown, I took advantage of a coupon worth $5.00 off any sale priced item. So, being the budget conscious shopper I am, I picked out a pair of women’s panties for $5.00! You should have seen the look on the clerk’s face when she handed me the bag…priceless. She didn’t even charge me tax, so the item was totally free.
As many do across the nation, I rely on coupons, special promotions, and sales to make the most of every penny. But most of all, I guess you could say I am obsessed with everything “free.”
I do feel just a little sorry for my children who cringe every time I say I have a free coupon for a local restaurant or a local activity; however, I’m sure even they would admit that they enjoyed the free water park tickets to the “Water Park Capital of the World,” the Wisconsin Dells. Can you imagine? Five free tickets to a water park, valued at over $150.00!
Another local favorite has to be the 2 for 1 burger basket. Every Tuesday night, a local bar and grill features this promotion. No, we don’t go every Tuesday, yet when the kids have something else to do, my husband and I take advantage of this awesome deal! We figure that if we visit this restaurant a mere five times a year, we will still save close to $50.00.
Here are a few other free items I have taken advantage of in the past month:
1. Four packs (brand name) gum from a local salvage food grocery store, just for mentioning their promotional email.
2. Five tickets to a minor league baseball game – value $50.00 – courtesy of one of the players.
3. Two box seat tickets to a (different) minor league baseball game – value $20.00 – courtesy of a local promotion.
4. $20.00 worth of free items from Staples (office supply store) for turning in used ink cartridges.
5. $100 Epson printer (free after rebate).
6. Free food at Burger King…buy one, get one free coupons.
7. $10 Kohl’s Cash.
As you can see, the items I obtain for free are both big and small. I tell myself, though, that each dollar saved can be put towards something else. And the key is to not get “sucked in” by these promotions. For example, with $10 Kohl’s Cash in my pocket, I could have easily bought myself a new outfit, but I didn’t. I spent only the $10.00 Kohl’s Cash. That way I ended up with something I really needed, instead of something I wanted.
If you’ve never made it a mission to take advantage of free offers before, now is the time to start. Collect newspaper inserts, of course, and sign up for local stores’ emails. (For this purpose I have a separate email account, so I am not overwhelmed with the volume of messages).
Also, be sure to read your local paper, either a hard copy or on line, and listen to the radio to find out about local promotions.