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With a little willpower you can get something for next to nothing

Manufacturers use promotional coupons to lure you into a store you may or may not otherwise shop in. Once inside the store, advertisers know that you will be tempted to buy items that you had not planned on purchasing, but with a little willpower you can use these coupons to obtain something for next to nothing.

Yesterday, I was able to use a $10.50 coupon at Bath & Body Works. I had to make a purchase first, but a minimum purchase price was not required. I went through the store and found the cheapest item for sale, in this case a $1.00 Christmas ornament. I was able to purchase the cheapest item in the store and still receive the promotional item listed in the coupon description. (In this case, a bottle of body lotion, shower gel, or bubble bath.) Of course, most stores expect you’ll look around and purchase something else while you’re shopping. But if your willpower is strong enough, you can simply make the minimum purchase and walk away with the free item.

As a present to myself I used a Victoria’s Secret coupon for free underwear. The Victoria’s Secret store didn’t require a minimum purchase, so I went into the store, (dodging all of the Victoria’s Secret saleswomen providing details of the latest promotional sales), found the right size and color, and left with a free pair of underwear. The manufacturers know that once you enter the store you’re likely to purchase other items, that is of course, why they send you the coupon in the first place. And they are right. I was amazed at how many women stood next to me in line, with the coupon in hand along with $50 to $100 worth of items. But if you’re truly frugal, you’ll just walk in, get your free item and walk out without spending any money.

Also, after making a purchase, don’t forget to check your receipt for coupons and other discounts. I purchased two glittery gold ornaments at Hallmark for $1.00 each. When I used my Hallmark rewards card at the checkout, my receipt printed with a $2.00 coupon to be used during my next visit. Of course, Hallmark wants me to use that coupon on a separate visit to the store at which point in time they hope I’ll purchase a plethora of items. But in my case, I noted the $2.00 coupon and purchased two more gold ornaments right there on the spot. I will attach the ornaments to special packages this Christmas. The recipient will get something extra, and all I had to pay was $.10 in tax.

For approximately $3.25 I was able to acquire four glittery gold star ornaments ($1.00 each), one Bath & Body Works Christmas tag/ornament ($1.00), 1 bottle of shower gel ($9.50), and one pair of Victoria’s Secret underwear ($7.50). More importantly, with a little bit of willpower I was able to get in and out of the mall without spending money on anything else.