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By the author of What School Should Have Taught You and The Faithful Prepper.
It’s the time of year when high schoolers throughout the land are trying to fundraise for their senior trip. And one of the chief ways that these students attempt to do this is by selling community coupon books that are filled with savings at the businesses in your area.
We’ve alluded to these coupon savings books a bit before here at The Frugalite, but I wanted to take the time to really delve into the subject, as I just bought one.
Let’s talk about why these are great ways to save money.
Cost to savings ratio
The book I bought cost me $30. That initially may seem a little steep if you’re simply looking at the sticker price, but there is close to $4000 worth of savings in here. Will I use every single coupon in the book? No way. But I will end up using a lot of them, and it will save me well over $30 in the process.
If I’m simply looking at these little coupon books as an investment, I’ve already saved myself a lot of money.
Save money on your food.
Who doesn’t like to go out to eat? Nobody. The answer is nobody.
The problem is that due to current supply chain shortages, labor shortages, and rampant inflation, the price of just about every item on the menu at the moment has gone up several dollars. I’ve noticed that hamburgers in my area have gone up $3-4 at some of the restaurants that I habituate, buffalo wings are frequently out of stock, and prices have increased on just about everything else on the menu as well.
When you add in the tip, which is proportional to your now higher bill, you can easily end up with a whopper of a bill compared to what you were paying three years ago.
And then, when you combine rising restaurant prices with the rising cost of living in your own home, you end up with something of a situation. Obviously, cutting back is ideal, but if you want to take your wife out to dinner, a coupon book like this can help you out a lot.
The booklet in my hand contains free entrees (with the purchase of another entrée), $10 off coupons, free drinks, free appetizers, free coffee, and several other buy-an-item-get-this-free deals that can easily cut your restaurant bill in half.
Given that the price of food is likely only going to continue to go up in the meantime, these booklets may prove to be a way to save money a few months down the road from now as well.
A free house project
There is $35 worth of hardware store coupons in my booklet. That will typically cover one tiny house project for me. Whether it’s adding shelves to a closet, making sure the septic tank is alright or swapping out the air filters, those coupons not only cover the cost of the booklet, but they help me to make sure my place is maintained as well.
A huge savings? No, but it’s fun being able to get a project done at home and know that it didn’t really cost you anything.
Less expensive car care
One of the things that I like about these booklets is that regularly perusing their pages helps to remind me of some of the necessary chores that I’m likely to forget. One of those things is car maintenance. I have several coupons inside for car washes, free windshield wipers, oil changes, and tire rotations inside this booklet that not only help to save me money when it comes to making sure everything is running right but also help to remind me to do it!
Making sure your car is in good shape is a key way to avoid expensive maintenance later, so make sure this is something that you stay on top of.
Less expensive fun
Dave Ramsey always says that you have to set aside some money every month for fun. Love him or hate him, I think we can all agree that the problem is that it’s easy to have more fun than wallet.
One of the ways that you can help to stretch that fun money further is through the use of one of these coupon books. I have coupons for several free rounds of bowling, discounted tickets to sports events, free golf games, cheaper museum tickets, and a host of other fun venues that I would otherwise have to pay full price for.
That’s a good way to keep both you and Dave Ramsey happy.
What are your thoughts on these community coupon books?
Does your community regularly participate in these fundraisers? Are there other ways that you’ve found to save money with them? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section below.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.