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Coupon Lady: New Year's Resolution to save

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It’s time for a New Year!

If you find yourself in a panic after Christmas spending left you with too much month at the end of your money, now is the time to consider couponing as a part of a New Year’s resolution to take better care of your finances. Maybe you have spent too much money on the credit card and the new balances are leaving a bitter taste in your mouth. Perhaps you are looking at retirement planning and realize you need to put more away to meet a goal of leaving the workplace sooner rather than later. Or perhaps you are a senior having to choose between a phone or cable service because food and electricity have gotten too high.

Whatever reason, smart couponing can help you to stretch your monthly budget further than you would have thought possible.

Did you know that The Augusta Chronicle has a Sunday-only multiple copy subscription? This option is not well known to most subscribers, but The Chronicle has had this one day a week paper option available since I was first brought on in 2010.

Currently, this option is available through my coupon classes, by contacting me or calling the sales office. The Sunday-only multiple paper option is the best deal for couponers like me. Since I have four members of my family, I get four newspapers each Sunday. That option currently costs $23.20 each month and includes full digital access for the rest of the week. If you do the math, this monthly rate makes each paper cost $1.34, which is far less than the retail price of $2.

When you begin couponing, one of the first things you learn is that some sales happen in cycles and some happen by month. It is important to know what’s on sale in the upcoming month in order to know what you need to stock up on. In January, those New Year’s resolutions take center stage, so expect some great sales on diet and fitness products. Look for sales and specials on diet food brands such as Atkins, South Beach, Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers and Special K.

You should also find sales on healthful food items such as yogurts and 100-calorie snack packs, and workout items such as fitness tapes, home gym and fitness equipment.

January has some great deals on foods to keep you warm and toasty as the weather gets colder. January is National Oatmeal Month, so check Web sites and newspapers for coupons on this winter staple because this is the best time to stock up.

You can also find some great deals this month on “warming” foods such as chili mixes and soups.

If winter weather gets you under the weather, you can also find sales on cold medicines, vitamins, aspirin, Tylenol and Ibuprofen this month.

Clearance finds this month include Christmas décor and gifts, Hanukkah decorations, New Year’s Eve party supplies, Christmas wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, ornaments, Christmas storage boxes and bags, computers, major electronics and dated calendars. Also, you should start seeing some markdowns on winter clothing, especially jackets, coats, gloves, hats and boots.

Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to find places for all the things received from Santa and the family. So it’s time to organize and store all those new items. Look for sales on plastic containers, organizers, shelving units, cleaners and household items to tame the clutter.

This month will have a few national promotions in addition to National Oatmeal Month. January is also National Candy Month, National Egg Month, National Meat Month, National Slow Cooker Month, National Soup Month and National Prune Breakfast Month. These national promotions give shoppers a clue to see what other sales are going on during the month.

Produce in season this month includes Anjou pears, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, kumquats, tangerines, lemons and oranges (including Blood Oranges). Vegetables in season this month include spinach, napa cabbages, leeks, broccoli, celery, chard, collards, kale, brussels sprouts, carrots, celery root, cauliflower and haas avocados.

Happy New Year!


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