On my last post about couponing, I wrote about how the stores try to trick you with their prices. Lots of stores do this, but you probably don’t notice if you don’t buy multiples of each item. I love using coupons because I hate paying full price for anything. My great grandmother would be rolling in her grave if I didn’t take something that someone was giving away for free. I’ll give you some real-life examples to show you how couponing can help you in ways you might not have thought of before.
In my previous posts, I told you about my mobile library. Anyone who has ever had a business knows that start-up costs can pile up if you aren’t careful. Although my library started off as a box of books it quickly grew into the cozy little booth I have today. You can’t use a coupon for everything, but if you save money anywhere you can, then you’ll have more money for things that you can’t save money on.
In the beginning, I was using crates that I bought at Target for $3 each. It was fine when I only had 100 books to carry around, but I quickly learned that we didn’t have enough room and we needed more storage. I liked that you could stack the crates on top of each other, but they had holes that didn’t protect the books in case it rained. I decided to look online and found an ad from Office Depot that had storage containers that were retailed at $15 each and were on sale for $6 each. At first, I ordered 4 of them online and shipped them to store for free. I got the email that they were ready and went to go pick them up. In true retail employee fashion, they had no idea about the order when I went to pick it up.
Luckily there was no one in the store and one of the employees went to the shelf and got it for me. The storage boxes held twice as many books as the crates and I decided that I should buy some more while the sale was still going on. I purchased another 8 boxes at Office Max (which is apparently the same company now), got the email that it was for pick up, and went to go pick them up. Of course, the cashier had no idea what I was talking about and picked up my boxes several times before saying, “Oh, wait, these are yours.” So, I got 12 storage containers that retailed at $180 and I paid $54. You might be thinking, “Wait a second, that math doesn’t add up because 12 boxes at $6 each are $72.” And you would be correct.
So, here’s the best part: You can use coupons on items that are on sale. Not only did I take advantage of the fact that they were on sale, I used my Wikibuy and Honey Google Chrome extensions to find any online codes to make it cheaper. I ended up saving another $20 in addition to getting the item more than 50% off. All I did was spend about 10 minutes researching deals online and my browser does the rest. On a side note, never buy from Amazon without checking Wikibuy first. It will notify you if they find it cheaper somewhere else.
I found a cute foldable bookshelf for my library and I fell in love instantly. Unfortunately for me, it arrived a week late and I couldn’t use it for my book event. The bookshelf was retailed at $100 and was on sale for $50 with free shipping. I called to complain and they gave me a 15% discount for their error. This won’t always work since my package was late and I had a legit excuse to complain, but you should always contact the seller if there is anything wrong with your delivery.
Fast forward to now, I bought 3 more bookshelves from a different company who had the exact same bookshelves for $40 with free shipping and no taxes. I even got $4 cash back. There are so many cash back sites that if you aren’t using them already you need to start. I use Ebates who also have a Google Chrome extension that makes online shopping so much better. So instead of paying $300, I ended up paying $120. I used the money I got from donations from book events to purchase it since I had been saving the money to build up my library fund.