Observing the experts

I am fortunate enough to work in a grocery store.  This allows me to see all the deals, sometimes before the general public (if I so choose).  It also gives me the opportunity to observe couponners in action.  I see them coming in with their binders chock full of coupons, ready to attack the latest sale to their best advantage.  These are the people who inspire me.

The other day, I saw one such woman come through my line, and was surprised to see who only had a few items.  In fact, less than 15:  I was running the express lane that day.  In her cart, a half dozen deodorants, and a few other items: two of this, four of that… in short, nothing extravagant.

I commented on her relatively small order, and, in the course of our conversation, I mentioned my desire to have a small freezer.

“You know what I do?” she asked.  “I check out Lowes and Home Depot once in a while.  Sometimes they’ll put out freezers with dents and sell them for $50!”

My eyes got big as I pondered the possibilities.  I can imagine spending $50 for a small, 5 cu ft freezer, rather than the $170+ they usually cost, and get it new!  $50 is what I might expect to pay for a used one.

On second thought, even second hand, I would imagine most people would want $75-$100.  Sounds like a bargain to me!

Speaking of bargains, I had been waiting and watching for a particular item to go on sale at my grocery store, where we often have things like furniture and other household goods. (In case you haven’t noticed, many of the larger chains are offering a fairly large selection of non-grocery items; Wal Mart has forced grocers to rethink their business model).

Anyway, the item in question is an entertainment center.  Farily simple in its lines, it has a glass middle shelf and two black shelves, one on top where your tv would go, and one on the bottom for whatever doesn’t go on the glass shelf.  Original price: $79.99.  For weeks it had been on sale for $39.99.  Still a lot more money than I wanted to spend.  So I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally, the Drug/GM department decided the remaining three units weren’t going to sell at that price, so they lowered the price to $24.00, a savings of more than 60%.

I snatched myself a unit, and installed it the very next day.  I had needed a unit for over  a year, as my tv was sitting on a lovely table that placed it rather high; therefore, this was a needed expense, not one made with the intention of making money.  However, had I wanted to (and been able to afford the extra expense, of course), I probably could have purchased the other two units and made a little money, making my purchase FREE.

Baby steps.

Have a great week, and happy saving!

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