Coupons and Cars

I thought I wanted to talk about coupons and saving money tonight…

Coupons have become a way of life for Dick and me, especially since retirement.

Dick and I have always been very aware that it isn’t what you make, or bring home, it’s what you do with that! And, since neither of us were born with a silver spoon in our mouths – in fact – not even silver-plated spoons, we have both learned the secrets of making the pennies we do have stretch.

One way is reading the local ads, a big one is buying food that is in season, another way is to use coupons. And more and more, I’ve turned to the computer to shop and find the cheapest price – as long as the shipping is free or very reasonable…because that factor has to be factored into the cost after all.

Right now, we’re sort of in the market for a new car. Let me clarify that – I mean “new to us”. Because, we’ve long ago gotten over caring what the Joneses were driving – we know what we like, and how to get it. “New car” may mean the latest model on the lot, or more than likely, it may mean a car just a few years old, already owned by someone who obviously has taken loving care of it, with a minimal amount of miles on the speedometer.

Our wonderful car that we’ve had since 2002, now is just pushing 150 thousand miles. We just put new struts on it (first time since we’ve owned it – and got such a deal on this, from a guy who just happens to love working on cars.  He’s also retired – and really loves saving folks money. One of our sons introduced him to us, and the price, instead of a quote of $1,200 from a couple of garages, ended up costing us $280 – including the struts – which he even showed us and explained all about them and showed us why they were actually way overdue.

Anyway, in looking for another car, I started on the internet – I really know next to nothing about cars. However, it has been my job for years and years, to go find the best deal and then show Dick. I also do most of the bargaining – I love that part – yep, some people hate that part – I think of it as a game. I also always have at least two cars exactly equipped picked out, so I don’t really care which one we get, as long as it’s by far the best price. It’s worked for us.

With the financial state of our nation, the dealers are hurting, so I expect to even get a better bargain this time around. A couple of hints – make your offers real near the end of the month – the salesmen are trying to get their quota in for the month, and a lot of times a Sunday is a real, real slow day – pay attention to that – the salesmen get hungry when there are no buyers around – ergo, a better deal.

Actually, I started to write about using coupons and sales to save money, and then the fact that we’ve spent two Sundays recently comparing things like smooth rides, good gas mileage, the quietness of the car, etc. popped back in my head. We haven’t made a decision on one yet, so, we’ll keep on “shopping” for a while – we plan to make the big decision sometime this year…

That’s another good hint – don’t be in a rush – to buy anything. There’s always another “whatever” coming up! Shoot! There I go again – my mind is stuck on cars apparently tonight. Our car still gives us just over 29 miles per gallon, with the 150k mileage. When we first got it, used, with about 18k miles on it, we got 37 miles per gallon. At 90k, it went down to about 35, and now, it’s still giving us 29 – so we can’t complain about that at all. And I certainly want whichever car we decide on to have great mileage. Oh – It’s a 2002 Buick Century.

Well, Dick headed out about an hour ago, with coupons in hand, to pick up a few things for the house…

He has taken over the couponing since retirement. Has his own drawer, and although the way he keeps track of them sometimes drives me nuts, it does work for him! He also enjoys doing the shopping – he has had no problem finding things to do to fill all the extra hours he has in his days that used to be taken with meetings and planning and everything that it took to have a successful career.  Now one of his “things” is to plan on which coupons will be going with him to help make sure our pennies keep stretching so that we have a very comfortable, stress-free retirement!

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14 Responses to Coupons and Cars

  1. Jennifer

    April 3, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Great post, Barbie! I agree. Coupons are the way to go. My husband and I save (I estimate) at least $200/month by “couponing”. You just have to keep an eye out for deals all the time and learn how to make your dollars stretch.

    Thanks again! I signed up for your newsletter!!

  2. Jonathan Jackson

    April 3, 2012 at 4:23 am

    Using coupons is a way of life for me. I never thought I would use so many coupons each month, but I do. It’s just like money. It’s an easy way to turn a small retirement budget into a big one. Without coupons, I don’t know what I would do.

    Thanks again, Barbie. Love your blog.

  3. Mia Drier

    April 3, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Oh yes, Barbie….! I agree!!

    Thank goodness for coupons! I love them. It’s amazing how much free stuff you can get with coupons. Whenever I go out to eat, it’s always at a place where I have a coupon for it. It doesn’t matter if it’s Buger King where I can get a free drink and a free desert — or if it’s an expensive restaurant where I can save 30% on my bill. There’s no shame in using coupons. It’s a great way to save money. So glad you addressed this important issue.

  4. Judy

    April 3, 2012 at 4:43 am

    I love coupons, too, Barbie!!!!!! I think about it this way: You might make 6% on a CD or much, much less on a savings account. You might make 20% in the stock market if you are VERY, VERY lucky. On the other hand, you can use a coupon on something you would normally pay full price for and get a HUGE return on your investment, sometimes up to 75%. That’s a 75% ROI!!! That’s why I LOVE coupons.

  5. larry gorski

    April 3, 2012 at 6:02 am

    We shop at Costco, so most things are like using coupons. In 2010 we bought a leased 2009 Toyota and gave our 1992 toyota 4runner to our grandson. The forerunner had 276,000 miles on it. We bought it in 1992 new, and it was great, in fact our grandson is driving it to work every day. So we know of what you speak when you say that you do not worry what others drive. I am sill working on getting to Mexico, but I still have some opposition.

  6. Lizzz

    April 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Hey Barbie,
    Do they use coupon in Mexico?
    Just Curious!

  7. Bob Truelove

    April 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    #1 what is gas prices there and #2 are cars cheaper there?

  8. Rick Hamilton

    April 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Nice post Barbie.

  9. Kat

    April 5, 2012 at 6:50 am

    I find very few coupons for what I buy. Seems most coupons are for overpriced processed foods or “convenience” items like cleaning supplies. If a company can consistently offer coupons that tells me they are making big profits on their regular prices.
    I save my money by buying fresh fruits & vegetables, preferably from farmers markets. There are few things that can’t be cleaned with baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice or a little Castile soap. No more effort to mix up a batch than to run too the store to buy a bottle of cleaner that I can smell the chemicals in.

    I do use Groupon & Living Social for restaurant discounts – usually 1/2 off. I much prefer the healthier choices offered than fast food. Plus many are locally owned so I’m supporting the community instead of a corporation which usually means much better & friendlier service.

  10. Barbie


    April 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Hi Lizz, depends where you’re shopping. Make sure in Mexico to get your Senior discount cards!

  11. Barbie


    April 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Gas ranges about $2.90 to $3.15 – a gallon. Cars, American made are cheaper in the states. Others, you can get bargains on.

  12. Betty Sallander

    June 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Barbie:

    I looked for your website & was amazed that I found it. Wow, what a diverse range of topics! I am impressed (didn’t know that you were involved in this type of activity). I especially enjoyed the everyday life articles. Everything from candied-dill stip pickles, Grifon eating corn on the cob to economical cars, etc.etc.! Keep up the good work!
    Good common sense type of info.

  13. Barbie


    June 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Hi Betty, thanks so much :)

  14. Barbie


    January 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    yes, and no.

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