TIP - Be a Family Investor!
Using coupons as intended rather than spending your life on it!
I recently read an interesting article by Dr. Andrea "Andie" Weiner about Helicopter parents. The kind that hover over their children, monitoring, checking and intervening on their behalf for protection whether they need it or not. Basically they are overconnected to their children and go overboard to make sure their children never lose, fail or get hurt. The article goes on to describe a different style of parent she calls a Parent Investor. These type of parents love, guide and are committed to investing in their child's life by empowering them with skills that will enable them to have long term social success in life. When it comes to being a happy and smart consumer, many of these same principles apply.
When it comes to consumer coupon users, some seem to exhibit "helicopter" like behavior with coupons which are a form of currency at checkout. They constantly monitor and protect their coupons which consumes loads of time and energy all in an attempt to control costs. They are overly connected to coupons amassing huge inventories of inserts, combing through volumes of pricing data ensuring that no coupon goes unredeemed or is left in the recycling bin. Entire days are devoted to grooming coupons for jaw dropping performances in the grocery store check out aisle. This draws the admiration of family members, friends and even strangers but this level of attention seeking and control is likely masking bigger problems. Recently on an episode of TLC's reality show "Extreme Couponing" a shopper used food stamps in addition to 100's of coupons to lower a $900 bill to under $10. This bothered me. Not because food stamps were being used, but rather how they were being used to work the system.
What if this same person on food stamps redirected their planning, prioritizing, decision making and simple math skills along with 30+ hours a week into finding a job so they could earn a living, get off food stamps and manage real money. Clearly they have demonstrated the ability to set a plan in action and complete it! By doing this they would be investing in themselves and their family by growing and becoming more self sufficient. Coupons then become what they were intended; a gift from manufacturers and retailers to customers to enjoy savings when purchasing products and services. To manufacturers and stores alike, coupons are an investment in you, their valued customer in hopes of retaining your trust and loyalty for repeat sales. Sadly it seems in our struggling economy, some may have lost sight of this win-win mentality.
If you find yourself becoming a helicopter couponer verses a family investor, think about the real and hidden costs associated with of this type of behavior. Do your choices create options or keep you stuck? What gets lost verses what has been gained in savings? What behaviors are you modeling for your children that will set them up for long term financial success? Answer these questions honestly and then take steps towards regaining the big picture. Do this and you are on the path to becoming a family investor and then the savings gained from coupons are a reward for a job well done.
|TOOL - CVS Coupon Center
Instant savings right in the store!
Next time you are in CVS make a point of finding the coupon center. It is usually located in the front of the store as you walk in or just ask a store associate. Using it is easy and fun!
First, scan your CVS card, there is a scanner right on the machine that works everytime! Next, just wait, you'll hear the printer fire up and then out pops coupons and CVS rewards that you have earned! Be sure to save any unused coupons or rewards in your Couponizer for next time. Remember to check the expiration dates.
Obviously I coupon, this is Centsablecouponlady after all. If your like me your probably one that clips coupons. Even if its just a few at a time. What do you do with all those coupons you clip, even if it's a quick run to the grocery store? Do you throw them in your purse? Put them in a bunch of envelopes or elsewhere. I use to throw them in a bag (old makeup bag) with all my other junk after I clipped them . Then one day I discovered this cool product called THE COUPONIZER.
This coupon organizer is now my best friend. I absolutely love it! It is a small book which will fit in your purse or the green bag if you order the couponizer during their special. There are 18 coupon slots to put your coupons in making it easy to locate the coupons as you need them. It also has spots for places such as Restaurants, or other coupons you may need such as oil changes etc. To help you separate the coupons into the groups it comes with a huge layout. So this saves time when trying to decide which coupon goes where. Another thing I like is it comes with a savings tracker. That helps keep track of your spending's each month. When I went to the grocery store the other day I found myself saving more than I probably had in months thanks to the Couponizer. I have slacked off with my notebook, and laid back some on my couponing as we have been trying to use a lot of my stockpile up.
If you are a beginner I would recommend the couponizer, it's a great way to start couponing and saving without getting overwhelmed. It will get you started quickly and easily. Before you know it you will see a Huge Savings. You will definitely get your couponizer $ back from the first grocery trip! Average person can save $20 plus dollars on their shopping trip if they clip coupons.
Recipe from Amy
This is one of my all time favorite salads to make and to eat! Take this to a Graduation or Memorial Day picnic and watch it disappear! Feel free to share this recipe!!
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 pinch ground black pepper
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup white sugar
1 can rice noodles
1 head red leaf lettuce - rinsed, dried and torn
1 cup diced celery
1 cup shredded carrots
2 green onions chopped
2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin orange segments, drained
- In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and shake well. Refrigerate until use.
- In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, cook and stir the almonds and sugar until the sugar is melted and the almonds are coated. Remove from heat, cool, and break apart. Store at room temperature until ready to serve salad.
- In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, celery, carrots, green onions, oranges, almonds and dressing until evenly coated.
Use coupons for most all the ingredients!