I have talked on here a few times about my love of couponing. I rarely buy things that don't have a coupon, thanks to coupons(and mother nature) I didn't have to pay for Eliza's formula until she was 8 months old. But what about things that don't have coupons? Big items? Dinner out? Here are a few tips I have learned.
As you know we have been doing some upgrades to the house in attempt to sell it. We went and bought some new light fixtures to spruce it up a bit. We found the one we liked and unfortunately there was only one left. The box was dented, not horrible but dented. When we went to check out I asked the cashier if there was anything they could do about that(of course Mark rolled his eyes) and she said sure, 15% off!! How easy was that?? I was able to do the same thing back around Christmas for the power wheels car we got her, the box was damaged so 15% off! The Jump-O-Lene we just got?? 30% off. Now I don't want to catch you smashing up boxes in aisles, but you can always ask if it is dented!
Another discount I got was with our flooring we are having installed. We had HUGE issues with the guys who came to measure, they tried to swindle me out of an extra $700. The store apologized and sent out a new company(much better) and offered me 15% off my materials cost. I talked it over with Mark and then I went to the store to talk to the manager. I appreciated the 15% off, but in the end it only too $70 off of my bill. They almost made $700!!! So I expressed my appreciation but said it wasn't adequate, he asked me what I felt was fair and I gave him my #(I didn't go crazy, I didn't ask for free). He felt that it was a compromise and gave it to me for that amount. Simple as pie. Yes, he could have said no and I would have had a decision to make, but in the case where your service was less then stellar you can always try to compromise.
Let's go out to dinner! Eliza now eats when we go out to dinner. Yes, I could bring a cup of milk but what fun is that for a big girl? We now look for restaurants where kids eat free. There is a great site, and many more, where you can find out which restaurants kids eat free at on which days. This is a double bonus for us because Eliza never finishes her food so we can take it home and give it to her the next day for another meal. Technically we get two meals free!
How about bigger items, like a car? Free oil changes for a year, free year of satellite radio, free car washes. Find out what the dealership offers at their facility and see if they will throw it in. Mark has to get his oil changed once a month, at $30 a piece, over a year that is almost a $400 savings!
A house? Since we are in the process of this I have been looking into ways to save. We are looking at building our home, so what can he throw in for me?? How about an upgrade on the carpet, or the padding you are putting in? Better light fixtures? A longer home warranty? In our economy in Michigan people are begging to sell their house(LIKE ME) so they are willing to negotiate. The builder and I were talking and he mentioned he belonged to a VERY PRESTIGIOUS local Country Club. SIR if you can afford the membership there, you can throw in some pretty lights for me! My house will pay for that membership I am sure! When we bought the current house we have we negotiated that they pay for a home warranty for us for one year. The house was going into foreclosure and they were desperate to drop it, they agreed to the warranty.
How about your monthly cable bill? You see all of the ads on T.V. for the specials they are running for NEW customers, how about rewarding me for being an existing customer?? I could easily go to a different company, for the most part, give me some incentive. At Christmas I got Mark DVR for a gift. It is normally $200 to install but I got it for free, how? By asking. They were offering new customers free installation, why shouldn't I get that? He also gave us 3 months of free movies(be careful to cancel before the 3 months are up or you will pay) and $15 off our bill per month in other incentives. Just ask!
There are lots of ways to save outside of couponing, you just have to be willing to ask and put yourself out there. What is the worst they can say? No? They aren't going to say, never mind you can't buy this house-car-boat-light fixture-flooring.
So try it, next time you are out, ask what they will do for you for buying that product!
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