Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saving the Big Bucks

I have to admit that although I'm enjoying the money savings with my new coupon tactics, there are times I feel I'm doing nothing more than nickeling and diming. That's why it feels really good when I save some serious cash with little to no effort. Here are four ways we saved over $400 this week.

First of all, we had to call the plumber about a water pressure issue. Had we not caught the problem in time, we could have seen damage in the thousands of dollars! Bob picked a name out of the Yellow Pages (a resource we rarely use anymore) but we were delighted Hiller Plumbing had a coupon in the back for $50. Tip: You can also get a $25 coupon on their website. Afterwards they sent us an additional $20 off any future service and offered a $25 referral fee. So if you're looking for a local plumber, tell 'em Margaret Slattery sent you! ;-)

Next, an office chair I've been eyeing at OfficeMax for awhile went on sale and they sent me a $25 coupon for being a MaxPerks member. Tip: Their furniture sale is going on through Nov. 21. I saved a total of $85. I'm not a big shopper and don't usually get excited about STUFF, but this chair makes me feel like a queen! I got what I really wanted and I saved money.

Though I've knocked Sam's Club in the past on some of their goods, I think it's a great place for some big ticket items. We've been pleased with furniture, a canoe, and even our playhouse from Sam's. So when my husband said it was time for new tires for the van, Sam's Club was definitely on the list. He hit Consumer Reports and shopped around the various local tire sources for the best price and product. He's more about quality than price, but he managed both this time. Since this month Goodyear is giving an instant $50 off 4 tires and he found a set that was comparable (but not an exact match) to a model at Sears for considerably less, Bob saved about $200.

Finally, since Bob has never been to the Knoxville Zoo in the four years we've lived here, we decided to take advantage of their annual free day today. The weather was gorgeous and the crowds were tolerable. According to an employee as we left, there were probably more than 20,000 people there today, but it was worth it for a totally free family adventure. Normally, it would cost our family $65 in tickets and parking for the zoo. And lunch would easily be another $20 - $30. Tickets and parking were free, I packed a lunch and water bottles, and I even had one carousel token in my purse. Ok, I did donate some toys and food as requested, but even those were deals I got on sale and with coupons.

We've yet to invest in a zoo membership since I've never paid full price between coupons in the paper, school coupon books, and library coupon books. However, I think we'll make that investment the next time we go. You can now buy discounted zoo tickets at Kroger with your Plus card. You can either save $2 off individual tickets or $5 off an annual family membership (making it $90). I have friends who love the membership and pop into the zoo for a couple of hours all the time. And it certainly lets you avoid crowds of 20,000!

So where do you save the big bucks? Comment below.

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