Friday, August 22, 2008

Crafting and Couponing go hand in hand!

I think we all know about the glorious invention of coupons! Who doesn’t love a good coupon? Show me someone who doesn’t and I will show you someone with more money than they deserve!

Coupons are available for household goods, foods, oil change and car repairs and craft items too! You just need to know where to look and how to use them to your maximum benefit. It helps tremendously if you have local craft stores nearby, otherwise you just have to find your favorite online retailer and hope they appreciate their customers enough to share great savings every once in a while!

My favorite coupon craft stores locally are Hobby Lobby, Archivers and Michaels. Each of them offer excellent coupon choices, and have great sales as well. To sign up for the Michaels email newsletters and coupons go HERE, to sign up for the Hobby Lobby emailed coupon and weekly newsletters/sales go HERE, and to sign up for the Archivers mailed newsletter and coupons go into your local store and ask to be added to the mailing list.

Each store has a specific coupon which is the “best” and some others that are just filler in my opinion. Before I get in to the specific stores, please remember, and always try, to support your local scrapbook stores before you go to a large national chain! Most of the local stores offer their own coupons, discount cards, punch cards and many will take your national coupon chain coupons in their stores! Now onto the big name national chains!

Michael’s coupons can be found in your local newspaper ads or through the above mentioned email. Their coupons vary from 20% off of your total to 40% off one item. Depending on your needs, the 40% off one item is typically your best bet. In email format you are not limited to the # of coupons you can print, so if the store is convenient, you may just be able to go once per day to get what you need, all at 40% off. On certain holidays Michael’s will offer a 50% off ONE item coupon good only on that one or two day holiday. These are EXCELLENT for those higher ticket items you can live without until a great coupon appears. Think BIG!

Hobby Lobby coupons will go to your inbox overnight between Saturday and Sunday. Keep in mind Sunday is the one day of the week that Hobby Lobby is closed, so don’t get too excited right away when you see that email! You need to wait until Monday to use it! The coupon is almost always 40% off one item. Occasionally they will switch it up and make it something else, but that happens once every five weeks or so. HL is best for their everyday sales! Sometimes the items you use frequently will already be 50% off, so be wise with your coupon decisions. If you go in to get paper, but find it is already on sale, use your 40% coupon to purchase a must have item, or to treat yourself to something you normally wouldn’t buy. Me? I am a stocker! If I can’t find anything I “need” I will get a dotto refill or a set of trimmer blades! Those items will always be needed, and it really stinks to be “on a roll” late at night and run out of adhesive! That is no fun at all! I will touch on stocking up at a later date! Hobby Lobby is the same as Michaels in that you can print unlimited coupons, so again, if it is convenient, they don’t mind you going in more than once. I’ve begged on a prior occasion to simply do two transactions, and the cashier was perfectly fine with it!

Archiver’s coupons come in your mailbox once per quarter. There are many coupons to choose from. In my opinion, the best they offer is the free cardstock coupon, and the free hot spot item (with any purchase) coupons. Keep in mind though to only use the dollar spot coupon if you really need something else! Their “Hot Spot” items are way overpriced for the most part, and you can find most items elsewhere for half the price. You can use the free cardstock and hot spot item coupons together, so that is a good thing. They also typically give out 30% off one item coupons as well, not as good as Michaels or Hobby Lobby, but if you find something there you can’t find elsewhere, it IS a savings!

Coupons are a beautiful thing! With any sales/coupons though, the basis of your success must be an understanding of the current cost of such items so that you can determine if the sale or coupon is really a good buy! The more you shop the easier this knowledge will be. Each store may have the same price on one item, but another item may vary significantly!

Happy Couponing!

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