Friday, May 29, 2009

Comparison shopping

Last week our accounting software went on the fritz. We have gotten this software free after rebate every year since we started our first company in 2004. This year I saw it free after rebate, but we decided we didn't need it because the software lasts two years. I thought we bought ours last year, but apparently it was . . . (wait for it!) 2 years ago. So when wouldn't load, and customer support was of no value, we realized we had to splurge and by a new 2009 edition. We found a great deal online at Staples and bought the software. THIS week, I saw the same product, same price, same free add-on payroll software, but with a free $20 gift card too at Office Depot.

Boring details, but it's to illustrate the way I think. I know both stores do price matching, so I called Staples customer service to see what they could do. They pleasantly offered to send me a free $20 courtesy coupon via email as a way to match Office Depot's price - works for me! A five minute phone call, and I made $20. Not bad. It pays to read the Sunday paper. BTW, Office Depot also has a free calculator, free t-shirt printing kit, and free digital scrapbooking software this week. That's what I love to see!! In 2007, I got about $2100 worth of stuff for free via rebates, coupons, etc - I've been slacking lately (only about $650 in 2008), but I'm trying to get back on track. For example, I haven't paid for toothpaste or toothbrushes since Julian and I got married almost 10 years ago - we always get them when they are free after rebate. Same with body wash, his shampoo (I'm too picky about mine), cleaning supplies, even most of my makeup. It's almost a game for me to figure out how to get stuff for free. And it's a great way to build your home storage on a budget. I get stuff even if I don't need it yet because I have a big basement. Then when I need things, I just go downstairs to my personal "store" and I know that I got it on sale or even free. This might sound boring to you, but that is MY kind of FUN!!

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