I’m going to share a few things that have consistently made a difference in my life. The first is something that has come back into style, something I never walked away from, even when it was frowned upon. Curious?
I’m a 3rd generation coupon user! Not only do I use coupons regularly, I also save proofs of purchase for promotional products. (My annual Christmas tree has beautiful Campbells Kids blown glass ornaments and white satin cats from Fancy Feast.) I have a coupon envelop filled with coupons on products that I use, ready for when an item goes on sale.
On the weeks when I’m doing major grocery shopping, I’ll load my store card with paperless coupons. I make a list (TIP ~ ALWAYS make a list, you WILL SAVE $$$!) and organize my paper coupons. I average 20-30% savings on each trip. It’s worth picking up the Sunday paper to get the coupons, and I usually donate unused coupons to a senior center or another charity (and I recycle the paper as packing for shipping Ebay purchases).
The second thing I want to share is that I’m an avid supporter of consignment shops, again, something I’ve always done. When I was young, my parents divorced and my mom had to be creative to stretch our family budget. We would shop in consignment shops for clothes, toys and other household items. It was like a treasure hunt! It was also one of the first ways I learned about giving back. When my sister and I got tired of a toy or outgrew an item of clothing, we would donate it. We knew someone else like us would benefit, along with the consignment shop organization, usually a hospital at that time.
Today, consignment shops are an important part of my frugal lifestyle, the closer to home the better! I like shopping in local consignment shops for fashion trends, bargains and home furnishings. I donate to Goodwill to support their efforts to provide employment, recycle and reuse. I receive a tax deduction and I shop in the stores for craft supplies, gently used clothing and home décor. Plus, I’m back in my childhood on the treasure hunt, it’s FUN!
Lastly, I wanted to share something that looks to be an important trend in 2011, which is attitude. I’ve been accused of being eternally optimistic, sometimes to a fault. Life is not perfect, but if you decide each day is a gift, you will find the blessing in each challenge. My life is full of challenges right now. Every day, my choice is to make the most of the challenges and the blessings and make something wonderful from the mix, always maintaining a positive attitude. It doesn’t always work out how I would like. Sometimes things fall into place BETTER than I had ever imagined!
I’d love to hear how your 2011 is evolving so far. Comment, email me or share your thoughts with me on Facebook, Twitter or Linked In.