Considering the current state of the ecomomy and our never ending "recession", I am going to spend the next 10 days exploring ways to shave 100% off of your out of pocket expenses on high use items. Get ready to sharpen your super sleuth deal finding skills.
Can I afford toothpaste, envelopes, noodles, and rice? Yes, but why would I want to pay for those things when I can take them home for free? Today I want to talk about the "stigma" of coupons. Growing up I felt like a leper when my mom would use coupons. Why? The same reason people like "Concession Stand Chris" torment coupon shoppers at Target; I saw them as a sign of not being able to afford something.
To combat this in my own household I bring my daughter shopping with me. We talk about saving money and outsmarting the stores. It becomes a math game instead of a cheap game. Budgeting does not have to be "gloom and doom" or negative. I try to avoid saying "We can't afford." "It's not in the budget." "Don't touch.". I try to say "Ah-Ha this is free, Let's try it!", "Wow look at this one.", "If we get this one, we can get this one too.". While most of these things are way above her level of understanding now, they will be familiar concepts as she grows. We use coupons because we are smart. We save lots of money and bring home more because we used our thinking skills to win the game. We follow directions to find coupon policies and match coupons up to save the most.
These are all great life skills that we can teach out children now. Right now the economy says this is practical. While cashiers may relate coupons to welfare benefits today, we can work to replace these feelings in the next generation. Cheap, Free, Frugal, Conservative, Persistent, and Fair are principles I am working to instill NOW. These are not negative things. The coupon game can be won by anyone who has just a little bit of time and a touch of creativity. Will you join me?
To Come Later Tonight: 100% Clearance Lesson One- Free Samples and Promotions