Wednesday, January 23, 2008

How I use those hardware store rewards and coupons to my advantage

While I tend to use few coupons for grocery shopping, I am mailed several coupons a year from my two local hardware stores including for my birthday! Some of the coupons I receive because I have earned enough points purchasing items in the store and they mail one as a reward. Usually, they are $10 off my next purchase. The rest are to entice me to spend money in the hardware store.

As a new homeowner, I have visited these stores for various needs so it is to my benefit to sign up for the rewards cards. It was one of the first things I did when I arrived in my new residence and I brandish them consistently to maximize my rewards. I highly recommend the rewards cards not only for the future earnings but also for immediate discounts as some stores give price breaks for having the rewards cards.

It seems easy enough to spend a coupon for $10 off your purchase in the hardware store. However, this is when I decide what I want and need to purchase. In my latest shopping spree, I ended up buying foam pipe insulation, freezer paper and a door sweep. I would have bought the first item even without the coupon, but the second two items I upgraded from my normal purchase.

My previous door sweep purchases were the self-adhesive kind. While they work, they also pull away from the door until the adhesive no longer sticks. Not a great way to keep out cold air in the winter. I purchased a door sweep that screws into the door hoping that it would be a more permanent solution to my air infiltration.

I bought the freezer paper because it would make portioning and freezing meat easier. I can buy larger quantities and then freeze in smaller portions for single meal. My mom did this when I lived at home and if I get a chest freezer, I would like to buy large quantities of meat and freeze them into usable portions.

I also keep to using the discount coupons on items I would already want to purchase. Higher-grade pleated furnace filters, window film insulation, garden soaker hoses and other items were both wanted and needed for the house and bought using "Get $5 off your purchase of $20 or more". I maximized the savings by buying items that total around $20.

I am by no means perfect. I needed to buy mouse traps when I found a mouse drowned in my cat's water dish in the basement. However, I happened to buy the mousetraps when there was a rebate so I saved some money later. And there will always be other situations where purchases will have to be made regardless of price. However, putting a bit of thought into the use of the coupons will help save some money on home maintenance and that can only be to your benefit.

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