Monday, July 27, 2009

Real savings with a 'Penny Pinchin' Mama'

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 10:38 AM

buyinginbulk.072709.jpg

With everybody focused on saving more and spending less, it's easy to get caught up in clichéd axioms or shopping strategies. It can be difficult to know which suggestions to take, so Fat City turned to Tracie Fobes, who blogs about coupons and sales at The Kansas City Penny Pinchin' Mama, for her opinions on a recent CNN.com article on how to save on everyday purchases. Fobes tackled three of the main tips offered in the article.

CNN says: Purchase oranges, onions and potatoes in a bag.

"If you can not consume the items before they will go bad, it will end up costing you more money," says Fobes.

In other words, you can get sick of trying to live on oranges and onions in a hurry. Fobes also recommends doing a cost comparison between singles and bags, as the price differential might not be as great as you think.

CNN says: Don't buy nongrocery items at the supermarket.

Here,

Fobes recommends a two-tiered strategy. Grocery stores trying to

compete with retailers like Target or Wal-mart may lower prices. When

those sales are combined with a manufacturer's coupon, the grocery

store might just have the lowest price on non-food items like deodorant

or shampoo. You have to decide if you're willing to track the products you regularly buy. Drug stores are still likely to be your best bet because of rewards programs.

"Some drug stores offer reward programs that can pay you back for your purchases," says Fobes.

She

points to CVS Extra Cash Bucks and Walgreens Register Rewards as good

examples of rewards programs that give customers rebates or free

products based on purchases. But keep in mind that in exchange for

those rebates, you're volunteering information about your spending

habits for market research.

CNN says: Buy ground beef and chicken breasts in bulk. 

"Bigger

doesn't always mean better," cautions Fobes. Remember that cost

comparison from earlier -- yeah, you should bring a calculator to the

grocery store (or just use the one that is likely on your cell phone). 

And if you have to break up a package of meat into smaller portions before

freezing, consider how many of those little bags you'll eat before the

expiration date or freezer burn sets in. Otherwise, all your savings

end up in the trash can. 

Fobes also offered some tips for how to save locally that Fat City will share tomorrow.

[Image via Flickr: philcampbell]

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