Thursday, June 5, 2008

Frugality Fun

These days of high gas prices, saving on a shopping trip has to include the logistics of transportation costs. Many people who drove further away to get to their favorite discount wholesale club or grocer are now re-evaluating whether the savings add up when gas is counted in. If you have to use a credit card or a cash advance to pay for the trip to the store, then it might be time to alter your shopping habits. There are still many ways to save at the grocer or in the retail market, even including gas costs. You can choose to make a few less trips and stock up on items for the long haul. You can clip the coupons and go only on double and triple coupon days. You can also choose to buy items online and have them shipped to your house (although that sometimes includes a shipping fee).

If you have family close by, you can even make it a family affair. You can carpool to and from the shopping centers, can start a coupon trading group, and even tell each other about rebates and discounts offer online. Sometimes you even get free shipping online for certain time periods or dollar amounts spent. This works particularly well if you shop at wholesale clubs, where packages are in multiples that may be too much for one family. If you share the shopping, you can also split the cost and the package and thus buy just enough and save money at the lower discount rate. Wholesale clubs are also good for items that aren't normally considered when joining, like discount eye glasses and tires. It doesn't just have to be about food. So, when you are deciding to save some money next shopping trip, consider all the alternatives and try to find ways to minimize your transportation and product costs while having some fun too.

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