Shopping on a Dime

Currently in the U.S., about 61 million people collect social security benefits each month. Another 56 million people, or 19% of the population, receive disability benefits. The average disability payment is about 1,200 dollars a month and social security is about 1,500 dollars. If you take into consideration rent, utilities, medication, groceries and the numerous other monthly expenses, making ends meet can be difficult. As a result of tight financial times, I became a savvy shopper. Today, I share a few tips on shopping on a dime.

One of my favorite places to shop is Goodwill. This is especially true when they have their 50 percent off days. This is usually every other Saturday in most Arizona locations. These discounts and days may vary from state to state. Tuesday is considered senior day in most states, which means seniors can take advantage of deep discounts in many locations. Veterans and active military may receive an additional 25% off on Sundays, as well as students. Shopping at Goodwill during the week means you must be vigilant and keep your eyes on the lookout for special tags that will offer up to 50% off on selected items. It may take a little patience to hunt through the racks.  If you are determined, however, you can find some awesome deals.

My second savvy shopping advice is couponing. As the price of food steadily increases, saving money on groceries goes along way toward stretching available funds. I recommend planning meals according to your local sales ads. You can maximize your savings if you look for stores that will let you use your store coupons in conjunction with manufacturers’ coupons to rack up double the savings.

  • Rule #1: Don’t be afraid to use store brands; they are often cheaper than name brands
  • Rule #2: Get comfortable with using various apps

My favorite app is checkout51. If you utilize this app, you must upload your grocery receipts. Once they are confirmed, you will receive a credit. When you get to 20 dollars in credit, you can cash out for actual money!

I also recommend Flipp, which is an app that will let you save up to 50% on your weekly shopping. This app brings you the latest ads and deals from your favorite retailers. It may include retailers such as Wal-Mart and Shoppers, to name a few.

  • Rule #3: I highly recommend checking your local newspaper and subscribing to a coupon fairy.

A coupon fairy is a person that will assist you with the purchase of coupon inserts for as low as 10 cents to 30 cents per insert! Couponing may take up to two or three hours a week, however, most consumers can save up to 75 dollars a week for a family of five. If you don’t want to go through the process of purchasing inserts, then you can download the Coupon Surfer app. This app will let you download digital coupons.

  • Rule #4: Take advantage of special offers with retailers

This is especially true when they offer five dollars off a 20-dollar purchase. You can use the off coupon, your manufacturer coupon from your insert, and a digital coupon to maximize your savings.

  • Rule #5: Take time to write your favorite manufacturer

This is a little time consuming but the savings are worth it. If you love Caress soap or Brawny paper towels, show them some love by writing a letter and they may return the favor by sending you coupons for your loyalty, which are usually several times higher than those in your local ads.

  • Rule #6: Have fun!

After all of your hard work couponing, take your savings and treat yourself to a matinee movie, or your favorite appetizer at a local restaurant. Remember: savvy shoppers save!

About Merlisha Henderson: Merlisha lives in Arizona with her family. As a wife, mother and disability advocate in her community, she stays active and independent, working toward bringing equality and access to all. Click here to learn more about Merlisha.