Here we are, already in PART 6 of our course. Here are handy links in case you need to review PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4, or PART 5. (And here's a bonus link to my shopping exploits last Thanksgiving Day.) It seems like just a couple of weeks ago, you were wide-eyed freshmen entering the Hungry Preacher's School for Savvy Shopping ("HPSSS" as we're referred to in the BCS standings). Now, you're ready to graduate. But even though you're "earning a degree", remember that life is all about "learning in degrees" (see what I did there?). So take steps to continue your education through your own experience, as well as the mooching off the experience of others.
Believe it or not, many of the lessons I myself have taught you in this course were actually passed on to me from shoppers even savvier than I.
First and foremost, check out iheartwags.com, and the sister blogs iheartcvs.com and iheartriteaid.com. I'm not exactly sure about the direction of influence in shopping and couponing blogs, but I think a lot of them draw from these. They provide good hints for newbies and seasoned vets alike, as well as sneak peeks at upcoming sales, links to coupons and other sites, and even a copy of Walgreen's coupon policy.
Since I mentioned links to coupons, I should point out the obvious gap in information in this series regarding online coupons. If I was doing a "PART 7", "Online Coupons" would be the topic. The biggest reason that I didn't cover that topic is because I'm still sort of figuring it out myself. If anyone knows a comprehensive and consistently updated database of online coupons, I'd be interested to know it. The closest thing I've found is afullcup.com, but I get the feeling they're always about a week behind on updates. Maybe I'm wrong.
Other coupons sites (and there may be some overlap in terms of what is offered) include redplum.com, couponmom.com, coupons.com, and smartsource.com.
Aside from having to jump around to different sites to find coupons, online coupon clipping is also more of a race than something to leisurely do while you're watching TV; there are often a limited number of prints available for a coupon, so it's a "first come" sort of thing. Realize some folks swear by it, and I may be just a couple of tips away from having online couponing click for me. But right now, I'm a dabbler.
If you want more insight into online couponing, or just feel like 6 posts is woefully insufficient to address all you need to know about saving money, check out this 30-post primer on couponing. The series (and the entire site) is pretty bada--, as couponing websites go.
Finally, here is a sampling of Price Ceilings from yours truly, presented here in appendix-like resource form. Many of these could be lowered by 15-20% in a pinch:
-pack of gum
-pound of bananas
-single cartridge for a razor (# per package varies)
-bottle of ketchup
-box of pasta (16 ounce)
-pound of apples
-box of facial tissue
-can of soup
-tube of toothpaste
-can of tuna
-6 pack of boxed raisins
-bag of tortilla chips
-package of hot dogs
-box of 6 granola bars
-box of 10 packets of fruit snacks
-8 ounces bag of shredded cheese
-box of cereal
-bag of potato chips
-stick of deoderant
-jar of peanuts
-16 ounce flavored coffee creamer
-12-pack of name-brand soda
-4 ounces of beef jerky
-12-pack of string cheese
-12 ounces of ground coffee