Thursday, February 26, 2009

I love a good deal!!

Today, Mike & I woke up late & headed over to Denny's for a Grand Slam Breakfast. Of course, we did not leave without the handy-dandy coupon! We had the opportunity to try out their Grand Slam breakfast sometime after the Super Bowl when they were offering it for FREE! I'm not a fan of Denny's - had some bad experiences with customer service & cleanliness of the restaurant (in Houston). However, when we went here locally in PA, we were impressed with the facility & with the service & food. So, when I received coupons for BOGO (Buy One Get One), we were happily on our way for another treat.

It's been a week of freebies for us. I am finally back in the swing of couponing & rebating. . .and it has paid off fairly nicely. We made two trips to Rite Aid this week armed with a load of coupons & a listing of their rebates for February. On the first trip, we purchased $103.15 worth of merchandise. When subtracting the sales, coupons & rebates for these items, we ended up paying $32.14, which comes to a savings of 70%. Not bad! But, I wanted to do better! So, during our next trip, we purchased $57.70 worth of merchandise. After subtracting sales, coupons & rebates, we walked away with a 83-cent profit!! Everything was FREE!! I can live with that! Mike was amazed & walked out with a smile!

I have to admit it takes a lot of time to work these deals. I spend many hours on the computer corresponding with groups that specialize in couponing & rebating. I am on TONS of mailing lists with all the stores & restaurants that Mike & I like to patronize. And, I spend hours & hours each week matching coupons and rebates to sale items. All in all, it's a fun & challenging hobby. Over time, you experience the roller coaster effect - you begin to receive enough rebates each month to pay for your monthly expenditures.

As for eating out inexpensively, Mike & I take advantage of any program where you can BOGO breakfast, lunch or dinner. We have 2 Entertainment books for the West Philadelphia area. There are MANY moneysaving coupons in these books. It allows us to frequent expensive, fine-dining restaurants at an affordable price. And then, there are times when I receive coupons for the entire dinner FREE. Yesterday, I shared on Facebook the link to acquiring coupons for a FREE Quizno sub. Mike & I took advantage of those coupons yesterday evening. Not bad for FREE!!!

It's a bit more difficult calculating our grocery savings, but we do save approximately 75% during most of our trips. I can say that our total grocery expenditure this week has been $16.00, and we bought well over a $100 worth of groceries for that amount. We have the advantage of shopping at a grocery store that triples coupons. When that 50-cent coupon becomes a $1.50, many items are FREE.

I don't always have the time to acquire all the deals, but I give it my best shot & I have a ton of fun reaping the rewards of my efforts. I have met people online who hardly ever pay for anything. They spend countless hours researching & sharing with the rest of us who share in their hobby. It has become a job for many, but when you think about it - it's actually a lucrative income when you fully master the skill.

There's not too many hobbies that produce this amount of income. . .so, I think it will be a hobby of mine for a long time to come! I love the thrill of a good deal!!

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