Validas found that the Gunns could save $65 a month by switching providers and plans. Lucky for them they were not under contract, so they were free to go without any termination fees. One interesting note, the Gunns were also paying about $20 a month for a prepaid cell phone for their daughter. Often prepaid cell phones are a good deal, but their 8-year-old hardly uses hers. Instead, they will be able to add a phone for her to their new plan for just $5 a month. Their total savings over the 2-year contract will be $1,560. And if their new cell phones get a good signal in their house, maybe they can drop their home phone after all and save even more!
The Gunn's big, blended family needs a lot of groceries but Tom and Nancy only have a little bit of time to shop for them because they're busy with said family. So I introduced them to the concept of "Copycat Grocery Shopping." All over the country, grocery gurus who know how to get rock bottom deals blog -- and brag -- about their best finds in great detail. They list the store, the type of product on sale and any coupons available for that same product. Rather than frantically clipping coupons in advance, all you have to do is save all the latest circulars. The bloggers tell you which circulars contain the coupons you need to pull off the deals they have found. Just cut 'em right before you head to the store and go.
The Gunns will copy the blogger who covers their store, Price Chopper. She is Michelle Hovestadt of www.WickedCoolDeals.com. Michelle has mastered the art of combining store sales with coupons, the key to getting groceries at a deep discount. You can make that discount even more meaningful by stocking up with enough of the item to last you until that sort of product is deeply discounted again. Michelle says she often gets her supplies for as much as 70-percent off, but always at least half off. All the Gunns have to do is copy her and I figure they can save 50-percent too! For their family that is a savings of at least $3,900 a year -- and even more when the boys are home for the summer! Nancy Gunn's reaction when I told her? "To save that kind of money? We'll take the time and do that," she said.
I found Michelle Hovestadt through the phenomenal coupon education website www.BeCentsAble.net, which aggregates lots of these grocery guru bloggers in one place. If you don't see a blogger there who covers your store, just Google the name and location of the chain and you are likely to find somebody who writes about it independently.