Frugalista

Welcome WGN Listeners!

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I had the privilege of sitting in the WGN radio fishbowl studio this morning with John Williams for a few minutes. Baby James came along of course and their wonderful producer Beth Swierk held him in the sound-proof control room while I talked with John.

We talked about CVS deals, combining coupons with sales, whether rebate deals take too much time (my answer: usually), buying kids' clothes ahead during the end-of-season clearance sales, and how setting a weekly budget -- not coupons or any other tactic -- was the most important step for me in becoming a frugalista.

For those of you who are new to bargain-hunting and couponing, these posts will help: My glossary of couponing lingo and my overview of a workshop I gave on bargain grocery shopping. Yes, a lot of my posts are about grocery shopping, although you will also find great ideas here on entertainment, clothing and living the frugal lifestyle.

Here are a few links to specific deals brought to mind by my conversation with John Williams:

  • CVS deals. Here's my latest free haul from my favorite drugstore. I'll be sharing these most weekends, but another great resource is I Heart CVS. By the way, Walgreen's is offering great deals this week to which I will post about asap.
  • Combining coupons with other deals to get the total near or even below zero. Until the end of today, you can still stock up on lunchbox treats at Dominick's with the fruit snacks and granola bars Catalina deal.
  • A rebate worth the time: $25 in free groceries from Kraft at Jewel-Osco. Shop through this Sunday, 8/23 -- but a lot of the sale prices may be ending today. I'm gonna do this deal for my mom (it's one per customer and I did mine) and get her 52 boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for 48 cents (plus tax and the cost of the stamp) after rebate.
  • Check out the end-of-summer sales while you shop for school clothes: I mentioned on the air that The Children's Place is currently selling summer items for less than I have paid for the same brand at resale. Wantnot.net has a coupon code to make the sale even better if you're shopping online.
  • Buy used clothing for kids. I told John that I'm so cheap that I consider buying at a used clothing boutique a splurge. It's true -- I picked up a lot of cute things that my daughter will wear to kindergarden at garage sales and at Goodwill this year. But my favorite all-time place to shop is the semi-annual consignment sale at Parenthesis in Oak Park, which is coming up Sept. 26. The prices are great, the quality is high and there are so many clothes there that the variety is usually pretty good too.
  • What I learned from setting a weekly grocery budget. A post I wrote about this for Wise Bread ended up in that site's money-saving book, "10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget."

P.S. On the way back from WGN, I found a coupon booklet on the El platform with two $1/1 coupons for Laughing Cow cheese. To proud to pick up a coupon off the ground? Not me.

Photo by Saturnism, used by Creative Commons license.

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