I like coupons. Actually, I have a higher regard than a mere liking of coupons. They’re golden tickets of goodness just waiting to be used at the right time. Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you have to use it immediately, though. Sometimes, you need it in your back pocket for those “just in case” moments. A perfect example would be a trip in the car to the doctor’s office, grocery store or any other place that requires time on the road in a part of the city you aren’t usually in or even in a neighboring city. We live in Shippensburg, PA. Our pediatrician’s office is in Chambersburg, PA, about 20 minutes away. Chambersburg has much more in the way of stores, restaurants, shopping centers and so forth. It has a Target and a Sonic (Strawberry Limeades during Happy Hour anyone?). Since moving to Ship just 10 months ago, I have constantly scoured my inbox and “Google-ed” for coupons that we could use whenever we have to make a family jaunt to Chambersburg (and any other town we might frequent). I signed us up for restaurants’ birthday clubs, always try to be aware of specific times of day where drinks are half price, have alerts sent to my phone for annual store deal reminders, etc. We don’t use all of the coupons and special offers we receive, but knowing they are there should we be headed in that direction allows for my family to have a fun excursion out of town (and we’re not wasting gas in order to use a coupon). Why consider something you must do as a chore that zaps the hours of your morning when it can be a fun family outing instead?
Another way of looking at the idea of having coupons for places of interest is that it will save you from shelling out more than planned on snacks because the doctor’s office was behind or road construction halted traffic for 45 minutes and now the baby needs a diaper change. Let’s call it Family Sanity Insurance, if you will. The next time you need to run errands, consider researching the area for possible gems that will help you out in a pinch and make your day a little brighter.
This same concept can be used for planned vacations where your family will spend extensive amounts of time in a vehicle. Look for all the possible places you could stop and see if any deals correspond with those areas. Better yet, have all the chain restaurants’ coupons handy in case you have to stop for potty breaks. Know of a specific place off the beaten path you want to visit along the trip? See if they have a website and look for a coupon. You could even call and ask for one. Also, travel during a birthday month and one of you may even be able to eat free or get a free dessert.
Change your mindset. Ask yourself, “I wonder what we can get for free or super cheap today?” You may be surprised when you get your answer.
Here’s a recent photo of my kids with my parents. They were visiting last weekend so we headed to Hershey, PA to visit Chocolate World. Yes, we used coupons.