You are hereFree Shopping: Everyday Ways To Save Money For Travel

Free Shopping: Everyday Ways To Save Money For Travel

By - Posted on 15 May 2010

A few months ago I was browsing online when I came across a video about a woman who feeds her family of 6 on $4 a week. Wondering what the catch was, I watched it. The catch was - this woman knew how to find deals! I mean REAL deals. Her creed was that, if it’s not free, or nearly free, she doesn’t buy it.

Saving Money for Travel
Photo of Piggy Bank © alancleaver_2000

I was intrigued. I went to her website and took a look around. I entered into a world that I never knew existed, I mean, why isn’t everybody shopping like this? Getting groceries, toiletries, household stuff for free or nearly free?

My first attempt at this was really fun. I took the advice of starting small and went to Walgreens for two items. There was a sale on Campbell’s soup – $.50 a can. I had a coupon for $1 off two cans. That made my soup free. I was a little nervous at the counter but I put my cans down and handed the cashier my coupon and waited to see what happened.

Campbell's Soup Photo.jpg
Photos of Free Campbell's Soup © Basha Cohen

The check out lady rang the cans up and then scanned the coupon. When the total showed $0 she looked up at me in surprise, seemed like she wasn’t sure what to do for a minute then said “Wow” and packed my free soup up. I replied with “I know, it’s a pretty good deal” and walked out with my two free cans of soup! I was giddy with excitement and felt amazingly empowered. I ended up going back to Walgreen’s two more times for free soup before venturing out to other stores and a longer list.

Receipt for Free Campbell's Soup
Photo of Free Campbell's Soup Receipt © Basha Cohen

I'm not sure exactly how much money I've saved since I stated this experiment but it's been enough so that my piggy bank for travel is filling faster than it previously had been. Not only do I feel really good about saving so much at the register but very dollar that I save gets me one dollar closer to my next big trip. And that is worth every minute spent figuring out how to shop for next to nothing.

Here are some basic steps to get started:

  • Set up a separate email account
  • Register at least a handful of couponing sites
  • Read through forums, follow links and do your own searches
  • Set up RSS feed for up to the minute information on savings
  • Clip coupons for items you don’t use and find forums where you can trade them for items you do use
  • Think about how much you are willing to spend for an item, set some goals as you are making your shopping list
  • Start small, shop for one or two items your first trip out
  • Make a clear list/spreadsheet before you go and only get what is on there, even if you see a ‘great sale’
  • Never buy a regular priced item, even if you have a coupon
  • Stock pile items. If you don’t need it now, if you can get it for free, or nearly free, you can use it later or give it away
  • Prepare to spend some time figuring out how to organize coupons, make spreadsheets and match items for deals in a way that works best for you. It takes a bit of an investment of time at first and then becomes easier and will be worth it when you see how much money you will save

Sites to check out:

How To Shop For Free
The Krazy Coupon Lady
Living Rich With Coupons
Never Pay Retail Again
The Frugal Find


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