One of the ways that we can live frugally is to take advantage of store sales and coupons. While the store’s (or manufacturer’s) objective is to entice us to purchase their products; we can use store sales to save money and to help us establish, maintain and grow our emergency fund or other savings objective.
Another not-so-often touted aspect of store sales is the rate of return we get on our money that is immediate, safe and guaranteed! An example is a recent example of mine at a local grocery store:
$ 253.85 Total cost of all items purchased before discounts
$ 38.72 Discounts
$ 215.13 Total cost of all items purchased after discounts
15.3% ($38.72 divided by $253.85) Rate of return from discounts
What other ways are there to receive a 15.3% on your money that is immediate, safe and guaranteed?
However, this is only true if you actually add the money saved into your savings account (bank, money jar, envelope, etc.). If you actually spend the money saved to purchased products or services elsewhere, at a later time, no money was actually saved. It simply amounts to delayed spending unless your purpose of setting money aside was to have enough money to purchase a large ticket item with cash instead of using a credit card or loan.
In summary, utilizing store sales and coupons is a basic tool of frugality. It’s also a great way to help you fund your savings.