It’s the start of a year AND a new decade, so if you’re one of the many consumers resolving to save more money in 2020 we’ve got tips from one of the fabulous frugalistas out there. Faye Prosser - best known as WRAL’s Smart Shopper - appears daily at the Raleigh Home Show January 24-26 at downtown’s Raleigh Convention Center.
Her workshops will guide guests through some of the most accessible and easy-to-implement habits to slash your bills and leave more money in the back. Here’s a sneak peek:
Learn the art of couponing. Smart shoppers know that using coupons wisely is the greatest money-saving technique to save on buying groceries. They know how, when and where to use those little pieces of "paper gold" and they know just where to find the best coupons for the products they prefer to buy. Their top tried-and-true savvy saving tip: their coupons are well-organized and accessible, so they don’t ever miss an unadvertised sale. Smart shoppers pay for a good portion of their groceries using coupons and save more than 50% off their weekly budgets each and every week.
Compare apples to apples. How do you know whether something is really a bargain just because it is on sale? By developing a Price Book, you are able to compare the price per unit of one size package to another. This allows you to compare the 200-ounce box of warehouse club bran cereal to the 20-ounce bag of the same type of cereal from the grocery store. Smart spenders know the surprising news that often the smaller container is less expensive per unit than the bulk container when used in conjunction with coupons and sales.
Gain leverage from sales flyers. By reviewing the sales flyers that stores issue every week, you can plan your weekly menu, decide where to shop, determine what to include on your grocery list, and choose the best money-saving coupons to use at the store. Smart spenders realize that the key to the greatest savings is purchasing the best sale items listed in the weekly flyers and then using coupons for those items.
Be a proud card-carrying member. Sign up for the frequent shopper rewards cards at the stores you shop. Without them, you won’t be offered the sale prices or special incentives and you may lose out on thousands of dollars in savings a year. Many stores will even mail great money-saving coupons to members throughout the year. Smart shoppers take advantage of the sale prices by using their rewards cards every time they shop.
Refuse to be overcharged. Many grocery stores carry 30,000 or more items. It is not hard to imagine that there may be a price mistake or two at the register. Before you leave the store, thoroughly review your receipt to make sure you weren’t overcharged. If you discover an overcharge, head straight to customer service and explain the error. Many stores have a price scan guarantee, which means that you will receive the entire cost you paid for the item and get to keep the product. Yes, this means you will take home the product for free! Smart spenders never leave the store without reviewing the receipt and requesting the price scan guarantee, when applicable.
Enjoy delayed gratification. Pay attention to rebates and cash back sites. You buy an item that offers a rebate or cash back refund, fill out the form exactly as required or scan the receipts and after a short delay, you get your money back. If you are thinking that it doesn’t sound so difficult, you are right! Surprisingly, many people don’t take advantage of the amazing rebates available for everything from beef to toothpaste to pasta. Smart spenders recognize that the savings opportunities are huge with the cash back sites.
Stick to your strategy and avoid the tactics. Do you smell the fresh cookies baking in the deli? Did you taste those free samples of cereal when you walked into the store? Welcome to the world of store tactics. Their job is to make money marketing the products they sell. Your job is to steer clear of the tactics and stick to your grocery list. Don’t be enticed by the sale signs when you know something isn’t a good deal. Don’t go to the store hungry and don’t impulse-shop (unless it’s a good unadvertised buy, of course!). Smart spenders come prepared to shop for the items that will save them the most money and they avoid the clever methods designed to persuade you to part with more of your paycheck than you should.
For more information and the schedule of Faye’s appearances at the show, please visit www.raleighspringshow.com.
You can find Faye and WRAL’s Smart Shopper on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/WRALSmartShopper