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Thursday, February 16, 2012

A New View on Money

Boy have my buying habits changed! Ever since I had my little one, it’s changed the way I look at spending money. I suppose part of it was out of necessity, and part of it was my way of contributing back to the household with a reduced income. A few months after having the baby I did dabble in some extreme couponing (or as extreme as you can in Canada...it’s nowhere near as exciting as couponing in the States!). It certainly didn’t help that all of a sudden the big baby companies started sending me free samples and coupons, something that I didn’t even know existed. And then when I discovered that free samples are available for all sorts of items, more than just baby products, all hell broke loose.

My coupon obsession started one day when I took my coupons to a drugstore to purchase some laundry detergent. I was pretty excited, my coupons were of a rather large value and the detergent was on sale. And when I went to pay for it, they told me it was double coupon day! Oh my goodness, what luck! Again, I didn’t even know this sort of thing existed. Being very excited about my big score, I told everyone how I purchased detergent for 97 cents a jug...and then I found out that another drug store allows you to stack coupons! Woo hoo! (In case you weren’t aware, stacking coupons is where you are allowed to use multiple coupons on an item.) Between that and price matching, why shop anywhere else! But it all does take time, organization, and research. Luckily for me, once I was stocked up I started losing interest as I didn’t have anything I needed to purchase. And I think Extreme Couponing can be a slippery slope to Hoarding!

So then, one day I wanted an item that wasn’t available locally. In my search for it, I found a used one online, and I thought I would try and purchase it. Buying used was something that my husband and I had never really done before (garage sales and occasionally at consignment shops were the extent of it), and my husband wasn’t hugely supportive. He thought it was weird! But I was careful, and I purchased several used items through online marketplaces. When he saw the quality of what I had purchased, the price I had paid, and the amount I had saved...he was sold too! I know I have him converted when he asks me to lookout for a particular product he would like, and to see if I can get it cheaper used. There are new online marketplaces are popping up everywhere, even a slew of groups on Facebook dedicated to just this thing.

Now with the limitation on time and mobility, I find that I purchase much more online than before. It’s much easier to order something straight to my door than to try and drive all over town looking for it. At the least, I pre-shop online to get the best deal. And big companies are recognizing that mom’s buying habits change after having kids, and are capitalizing on this by having Mommy Bloggers sample and review their products. Oh yeah, I’m a mommy blogger too www.themellowmama.com.

This latest blog can be seen on www.okanagan4kids.com.