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Garage Sale planning

Maybe it is the extreme cold and cabin fever, or maybe it is because all my Christmas things are put away and there is room on the attic stairs, but I am starting to get excited about stashing things away for my annual April garage sale. 

Last night while shopping at Fareway’s meat counter the young man waiting on me exclaimed, “Wow, I haven’t seen anyone with a coupon box since I moved to Iowa!  I saw coupon binders and boxes all the time in Atlanta. But then, with all the grocery store competition and double couponing, we could get lots of things free.” 

I was pleasantly surprised by his enthusiastic response to my coupon box. I’ve seen women pulling out their purse-sized coupon holders here in Manchester, but that meat department worker was right; I’ve yet to see someone using a box or binder.

The young man continued raving about coupons; how he and his wife would purchase $100 worth of groceries for $5 after coupons, and how he wished there was doubling in Iowa because he missed that.  I can only imagine what I could do with double coupon policies.  Yesterday our family went to Mass in a nearby town and visited the Pamida store for their once-a-month $1 double coupons.  Pamida is so limited in its stock and so high in price that I normally wouldn’t travel the 27 miles to get there but since we were already in town I decided to check them out.  I paid $3.38 for over $35 worth of merchandise., including Solo bathroom cups I was paid $1.40 to take out of the store.  Just think what I could do at a grocery store that doubled!

We might not have double coupons but there are still plenty of opportunities for getting things free, or cheap enough to stock up or stockpile for a garage sale.  As a mom at home, having an annual garage sale is one way I can make a little money.  (or a lot of money, as was the case last April after a winter of double coupon sprees at K-Mart). There are some pretty good coupons you can purchase on ebay or through www.thecouponclippers.com  for your own savings. Keep in mind that when you are paying for coupons that is a part of your cost, so look for the best prices on the coupons themselves. Since legally you can’t “buy” coupons, you are paying a handling fee for the clipping and sorting. Sometimes the handling fee makes the coupon savings just not worth it. My personal limit is 10-cents per $1 value. When Snuggle put out their $2 off any Snuggle coupon I got them for 10-cents each, but they soon were selling on ebay for 25-cents or more. 

Some recent coupons that make for a really good deal:

(expired now) Snuggle $2 (Walmart sold 40-ct sheets for $1.87)

$1 off GE Smart Bulbs, on sale at Fareway for 99-cents.

$1 off any Reach dental floss, 98-cents at Walmart.

$1 off any Ivory soap bar bundles, 3-pack bundles $1.07 at Walmart.

$2 off Reach multi-packs, 2-packs are $2 at Dollar General.

75-cents off Ronzoni Smart Taste, on sale as low as $1- $1.28 at Hy-Vee or Walmart.

$4 off 2 Rolaids, look for single pack Rolaids and get them free.

Marcal toilet paper $1, 19-cents after coupon at Fareway (people grabbed these up for 75-cents at my last sale!)

Fisher snacks $1, no longer available at my Fareway but used to go on sale for 99-cents, now I have to find them somewhere else on sale.

Tone’s spices $1 off 2, free spice when Fareway has their 50-cent sale.

Coupons like these can make shopping fun as you hunt the aisles for the best deals. Whether you are buying for yourself, buying for re-sale, or looking for inexpensive things to share with others, even without double couponing, there are still good deals to be had.  This year, I look forward to sharing my garage sale pictures on my blog.

Author:

Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Certified grief counselor and Senior Service librarian for the James Kennedy Public library. Popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing, couponing, utilizing your creativity in everyday life, and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015. Grief journal to be released in 2018.

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