Now that our kids are teenagers, going out to dinner can seriously cost us an arm and a leg. In order to be able to afford this luxury once in a while, we have had to come up with some pretty creative ways to save. A favorite spot for our family on a Sunday afternoon after church is our local Steak & Shake. The meals are decent, the $4.00 meal prices can’t be beat, and we often find coupons in the Sunday paper or in the mail flyers that are delivered to the house. What we realized is that if we combine some coupons, we cannot only afford to eat there, but it’s often cheaper than if we were to buy food to make lunch at home.
Our teenagers are old enough now that several of them have checking accounts of their own. Because of this, we utilize them in our evil plot to save money in eating out at Steak & Shake. There are six of us in our family, making buy-one-get-one coupons a hot commodity. We divide ourselves into three separate checks when we order, each using a buy-one-get-one coupon. This allows us to order for six, but ideally only pay for three. If we all vote to drink water, we can get out the door with a tab of less than $15.00 to $20.00. There’s just not much you can make your family of six at home these days for less than $15.00 that isn’t a hotdog or a grilled cheese sandwich.
In an economy facing some difficult times, our family gives kudos to businesses like Steak & Shake that still pack out the coupons so that we can enjoy a little family lunch date together. In this case, a little creative couponing can not only go a long way, but it can feed our family and keep us on our budget all at the same time.
Although the Christmas season is indeed my favorite time of the year, buying gifts for four teenagers can be very costly. Typically my husband and I set aside what we call a “line item” in our budget where we save up anticipating the cost of the holiday, but this year, our beloved “line items” was wiped clean with a purchase of a new engine and a completely new air conditioning system for our minivan. So, we decided that this year we would be as diligent as possible with the limited funds we did have to get the kids a few things for under the tree. This is why I was totally stoked about my recent trip to my favorite store, Kohl’s!
Gotta love some crazy Black Friday deals at Kohl’s! A few days before the big sale I was sent a special coupon for Kohl’s charge card holders that gave me 15% off, and with it was an impressive $10.00 gift card! I also received a $5.00 gift card from them the following day, and given another $5.00 gift card from my mom, as she wasn’t going to use it. My son had eyeballed a particularly expensive jacket a few days prior to the big sale day, and I headed back to snap it up.
As I entered the store, a woman approached me with a 30% off coupon that was expired, however, she told me that if I asked the manager, he would accept it. I was so excited! I popped into the store, spotted the last coat in his size, and headed to the register. The coat was originally priced $68.00 and was now on sale for $40.00. With the gift cards and the coupon that they did let me use, I scored the coat for less than $15.00! Now, that’s the kind of Christmas gift I can afford!
When our family relocated it was time to not only find a new home, but also a new pharmacy home as well. My son has serious asthma and my husband has Congestive Heart Failure, so a dependable pharmacy is on the top of my “to-do” list whenever we have to relocate. My brother worked at CVS at the time of our move and highly recommended shopping there due to their extracare rewards program. Over time, little by little I have received extrabucks from CVS that can be used as cash in their store for about anything outside of the pharmacy drugs themselves and a few other minor things.
Until recently, my largest extrabuck has been $5.00, so I decided to hang on to it until I came across just the right sale to use it. In the meantime, I was awarded a 50-cent extrabuck and then came a whopping $10.00 extrabuck! This totally made my day and I began perusing the ads to see what I could get the best deal on. It wasn’t long before I spotted a crazy pair of “as-seen-on-TV” puppy slippers on sale at CVS as well as a certain package of soap that we love at our house. So, I stopped in to see what kind of damage I could do with my extrabucks.
Sure enough, I was allowed to use all three extrabucks together on one purchase. I bought the soap for $5, a tube of toothpaste for $3, and the silly slippers for $20 and walked out spending less than $14 out of my pocket. That was less than the slippers to begin with. As if I wasn’t already a fan of my beloved CVS before, they are now stuck with me forever, and ever!