Thursday, December 2, 2010

Some Things You Should NEVER Pay For

Or, at you should pay very very little....

In the short time I've been doing this "Money Saving Mode" thing I've been amazed at the things I've discovered that you can get for free on a regular basis. Even if you are brand picky you can watch and save, but all the better if you aren't brand picky. Some things I've found that I will no longer pay for...

Shampoo - For a short time there I got bound to the salon brand shampoos. I think it was a perceived value thing but the reality is that (with few exceptions) they didn't really make my hair feel any different than the shampoos/conditioners you can get in the store.

Razors - ok, this one is kinda iffy. I'm stuck on a particular brand of razor (Gillette Fusion), the non-disposable kind. I usually buy this at CostCo as it's the best price around (regardless of sales/coupons). Although, this week I even managed to pick a few of those up for free at Rite Aid. Hubby on the other hand has gone back to disposables and he doesn't care what brand they are as long as they have at least 3 blades. He particularly likes the Schick Xtreme 3 (or store brand version of). I've been stocking him up on those for FREE to very cheap for the last month or so. He now has about 2 months worth thanks to great sales and coupons.

Soap - this is another item that we are pretty brand specific about in our house, so we buy it at Costco. However, if you aren't brand specific you can pretty much always get your soap for free.

Dish Soap - even if you have a dishwasher there is always and occasional need for regular dish soap. With sales at the drugstores combined with coupons, you can almost always get the small size bottle of dish soap for .50 or less (often free). We're talking the good stuff here - Dawn or Palmolive.

Feminine Products - My first memory of using a coupon, was about 15 years ago when I found a coupon in a magazine to try OB tampons with applicators for free. That product became my favorite. It's no longer available, but the memory still lives on and my love for using coupons has returned. There are usually some great high value coupons online for various feminine products ($1.50 or better), when you match those with sales at your local drugstores, it often means very cheap to FREE products. If you stock up at those times, you won't have to embarrass your husband by sending him out when you need them.

Pasta - OMG, seriously I can't believe anyone pays for this stuff now that I know what I know. There are always great coupons around for .50 to $1 off various brands of boxed pasta. Many major chains (like Kroger and Publix, locally) double coupons up to .50, which makes them worth $1 and most of the time this stuff isn't more than $1.40 anyway. But, if you watch for the sales you can ALWAYS find it on sale for $1 or less (often BOGO) and that's the time to stock up and get it for FREE! We now have about 6 boxes of the pasta and I'll be picking more up this week since it's on sale at Publix BOGO again and I have some great coupons to use.

Soy Milk - my household discovered soy milk completely on accident. I sent my hubby to the store with a list and on it I'd written "soy". Now at the time the only soy product we'd ever had in our house was soy sauce, so I guess I figured he'd know what I meant. He came home with soy milk. Luckily, he really liked the stuff (I just think it's ok, and will drink it when I run out of regular milk). Now that he's drinking it regularly I've discovered that you can usually find $1 off coupons on the SILK website and about once a month it goes on sale for $2.50 at one store or the other, so we pick it up for around $1.50, which puts the price of the milk I buy for me to shame, and makes me wish I prefered it (and that it was great for cooking - it's not. Other soy milks may differ, but Silk is sweetened - the light version with Truvia - so if you use it for cooking, expect it to add a slightly sweet flavor to whatever you are cooking. I guess this is great if you are baking a cake, but it wasn't so good when I discovered it while making Mac & Cheese).

Kraft Mac & Cheese - Some folks think of this as the expensive stuff, and I guess when you compare regular price to store brand it is. But, we all know it tastes better. That said, who cares about regular price when you can get it on sale. Then again, with the right coupons, it doesn't have to be on sale to get it for free! Publix takes competitor coupons and Target is a competitor store in my area; Target also almost always has high value coupons on their website for Kraft products, including Mac & Cheese. Often you can also find manufacterer coupons on the Kraft website for those same products. Put them together and you have FREE. Kraft's new Homestyle Mac & Cheese usually runs about $3/bag. I've tried it, it's quite good and I've been getting it for free thanks to coupons. Now, if Publix would just put it on BOGO so I could get double the FREE!

What products do you refuse to pay for now that you know the magic of coupons?

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