Monday, September 3, 2012

Crazy Summer, it's "Back to School" with savings

Hello All,
    It's been a while since I've made time to write a post, for those who have sent words of encouragement for me to write, THANK YOU! It's always nice to receive a word of encouragement. So, I pondered on what I should write about next and I figured since it was back to school, I should share a few steps that help to save you the parents, student, consumer money, and will support your school system and community.

My daughter came home with a school fund raiser packet a few weeks ago, and it's for those "Smart Savings Cards", I usually buy those every year regardless if my kid is selling them or not, just because I love, love, love the saving they bring. I have bought three of them this year, one from different children in my neighborhood and one from my own daughter, of course they are different cards....usually won't buy multiples of the same card. Just on the card that I bought from my daughter it will usually pay for itself by the money saved within the first month of owning it....just remember to look at your card to see where to shop before you get into the car to purchase or dine. For instance, I usually make it to the local Lowe's once a month for this or that, and I usually spend an average of $35-$40 per trip, this smart savings card had a savings where if I go to Ace Hardware instead of Lowe's I can save $5 off of a $25 that gets used right away. I will usually go to Best Buy for a larger purchase at least once per year, and I will receive an gift card with a certain value depending on how much I spend...minimum gift card amount being $10 with $50 purchase.The next one I will usually use within the first month is $5 off a $25 purchase at Advance if you add those up, I have saved myself a minimum of $20 just on 3 local stores. not to mention the 15-20 restaurants who offer decent savings that Ashley and I can use either on date night or when we take the family out. If nothing else consider this, even if you don't think you will use it that much, you are not only supporting the community/schools/children when you buy those cards, but you are supporting the local businesses when you buy them as well. When someone has a savings card, they are more apt to go and eat at the restaurant who has supported the local school buy putting the savings deal on the card you bought. When you spend money at the local restaurants/businesses you are supporting your local economy.

These are events that most schools will do to try and provide a "fun" environment for kids that attend their school to spend with their parents...usually large turn outs in my experience. If you've never been to one you are thinking..."how is this going to save me money?"...keep reading, it gets exciting even for those who do not have kids in the local elementary schools you can still save a boat load of money just by going and supporting your local elementary schools. Here's how, find out if they are having a silent or regular auction...or even sometimes BOTH!!! If they are having a silent auction, they are going to have "baskets" that have all sorts of goodies.. For instance, I went to my wife's school's Fall Festival they were having and I found this basket that was labeled "Girls night our" it was full of little girls pajamas, toys, a gift card, and popcorn. I noticed that it wasn't getting many bids, so I bid on it, knowing that I can make some money on this basket regardless if I want it or the stuff in it or not. I won the basket, and got made fun of quite a wife even poked a little fun at me...all the while I knew I had just put money in my pocket. Here is how, you can pick out the stuff in these baskets that you like...such as popcorn and the gift card in my case with this basket. The rest of the stuff I stuffed in a plastic bag and went to Wal-Mart and asked if I could return the stuff I did not want that I had just bought from this silent auction basket....this is important DO NOT LIE when you are going to return this stuff, your integrity is NOT worth the $$$ that you will get on a Wal-Mart or Kohls gift card. Wal-Mart/Kohls does not care where you got it, so DO NOT lie. The stuff that Wal-Mart does not sell or carry they will give back to you and you can take it to one more place that allows you to return stuff even if you didn't get it there...Kohls. For those of you who may be getting up on a pedestal to judge, stop now, these two stores advertise that they want you to bring stuff to them to return even if you didn't buy it there. You may be thinking, "why in the world would they do that?", here is why and how I know this....I used to work in retail management for many years before I went to work at the Fire Department, here is why they would do this, studies have found that when a person gets a gift card or merchandise card at a certain store, they are more likely to spend another 50% more than face value of that gift/merchandise card at their store just because they are using this gift card, we were pushed really hard to sell gift cards for this reason. So, when Wal-Mart/Kohls returns this merchandise not only will they put this said merchandise back on the shelf for sale and sell it, but on average, they will also get you the consumer to spend another half of what ever they just gave you on that card. So, not only are you getting a GREAT deal, and making your money back plus some on this basket that nobody wanted, but you are supporting your school and local economy!!! Now to the real auctions at the fall festivals at your school, be smart and don't get caught up in the hype of bidding, or you could loose money. They will auction off baskets here too, but you can get stuff you need at a great deal at the schools auction...even if you don't end up winning the item getting auctioned you are helping the school just by bidding because you are getting them more money by driving up the bids. Be smart, if you can take time to take a look at the items before they get put up for bid, google/amazon them on your smart phone, see what they retail for, don't pay above retail unless you just want to. Just think, if you buy this item that you may need from the schools auction, not only are you getting what you were going to get at some point anyway, but you are supporting your local school as well.

Thanks for reading, as always, feel free to comment or send me a message if you want a certain subject blogged about, if I am unfamiliar with it, I will become familiar with it and post on it.