Well, I'm one of those "friends," and I've learned a few tricks of the trade. While it's true that kids cost a lot to raise, they don't have to cost quite as much if you give a few of these simple but smart bargain hunting tips a try.
Warning: Bargain hunting does have the possibility of becoming an addiction. You may find yourself unwilling to ever pay full price for anything again!
All of the main mall-type stores (Kohl's, Old Navy, Sears, Mervyns, Gymboree, JC Penney, etc.) do end of season clearances -- you just need to watch for them. During Old Navy's summer and winter clearances, prices often get down to only 97 cents to $2 per item, which is an unbeatable deal.
Gymboree has similar clearances on older lines in which you can pick up items for $5-$12. Pair this with coupons you get from signing up for their newsletter online and shopping during Gymbuck time (periodic offer where you spend $50 and they give you $25 Gymbuck dollars to use in the store at a later time) and you'll really make out!
For lots more great ways to save when buying via the web, see our articles 41 ways shopping online is better than hitting the mall and Essential online shopping tips and tricks.
In another instance, I bought a container of Breyers ice cream that turned out to be not as I expected. They sent me a coupon for a new carton of ice cream. Similarly, I had a Lean Cuisine meal that didn't end up looking anything like the picture on the box. They sent me a coupon for a new Lean Cuisine.
Some companies even go the extra mile. I had a bad vanilla creme from Fannie Mae candies last Valentine's Day, and they sent me an entire one-pound box to make it up to me! Contacting the companies is very easy -- most have websites and a "contact us" form that you can fill out in just a few moments.
And she really knows what she is doing with those cents-off vouchers. "I regularly match sale ads from the various stores with manufacturer and store coupons," she says, which allows her to stockpile cheap or free items.
"Recently, I went to Jewel [grocery store]. I bought 20 or so Butler GUM toothbrushes for [just the cost of] tax." How did she manage that? Pape explains, "The store puts these on sale for $1 quite often. There are always $1 off 1 coupons out -- makes for free toothbrushes. There have also been 'buy one get one free packages,' so two for free!" This is just one small example of how Jenny puts coupons to great use.
Personally, I never hit a store without first checking great sites like Points & Prizes, TheSavingDepot.com or Savingsmania.com for printable coupons. You can find anything from 25% off an item at Borders to $5 off of $25 at Toys R Us.
Get four more tips on the next page!
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!