We asked our readers to tell us about how much money they save in their shopping exploits, whether it's groceries or back-to-school clothes. Here are two local, self-proclaimed thrifty shoppers who have good tips to share.
Durwood Pepper, Publix employee who uses his grocery store knowledge to save money
With more than 30 years in the grocery industry, Durwood Pepper said he knows how to save money in grocery stores.
"Coupons save a lot," he said. "If it's stuff you use, get it. ... if you can save $4, that's a gallon of gas."
Much of Pepper's savings comes from coupons he finds - and he's learned to look all over for them. For example, local Kiwanis clubs put out a coupon book each year with discounts for local restaurants and other businesses. Schools will also print up coupon books, he said.
Do you shop at an outlet mall? Sign up for their e-mail newsletters, he said, and if they don't give you a discount on the spot, they'll e-mail you coupons you can use in the future. Plus, he watches the sales at drug stores like Walgreens and CVS to look for specials on items he usually buys.
"I put my coupons in order in little folders, then you go to couponmom.com and clip it out," he said. The Web site allows members (it's free to join) to track their coupons and alerts them to other local deals, too. "Just keep them in order and it tells you when it expires."
Pepper said he's also been known to troll yard sales too.
"It's just antiques and stuff you can use, and we turn around and sell it on eBay," he said.
Pepper also recommends buying the grocery store brands rather than the national brands. Often, the quality is the same or similar for less money.
And when something's on sale that you use, buy it.
"My basement is like a little storage room," he said. "I haven't bought paper towels in two years."
Teressa Glazer, Owner, Next to New Resale Boutique
Teressa Glazer said she's been a bargain hunter as long as she can remember. "Forever, really, but it really started with my first child," she said.
Because she was an only child, there weren't many family members around to lend her items, or even give them as gifts. She suffered from sticker shock, she said, when she would buy a newborn sleeper for $18 and, three months later, find the baby's outgrown it.
"That's when I got to thinking, ‘Well, there's a lot of things that children outgrow so quickly,' and that's when I got the idea to open up a shop," she said. "It's been great."
Her resale store started with just children's and maternity clothes, but soon evolved into everyday clothes, too. Today she has regular customers who bring in clothes in exchange for store credit, she said.
Now that her daughters are almost grown and away from home, Glazer said she sees her thrifty ways rubbing off on them, too.
"It thrills my mother's heart," she said. "I noticed they're much quicker about money they save rather than money they spend, and that's how I think it should be."
Her oldest daughter, who just started graduate school, agonizes over shopping and spending money.
As for Glazer's shopping habits, she said she scours coupon circulars and weekly store coupons to find the best deals. She also tries to do as much shopping as she can in one shopping plaza, taking advantage of a nearby grocery store, drugstore and dollar store.
"I get excited when I go in the grocery store and it's triple coupons," she said, adding that when she works on Sundays she buys an extra copy of the paper and doubles her savings using the coupons inside.
Her best deal? A gold and garnet bracelet she found among a box of other items at a yard sale - which she also frequents for good deals.
"There was this big box of stuff, and I said, ‘How much? and the lady said, ‘$5.' So I gave her $5 and I took it home and there was this beautiful garnet and gold bracelet," she said. "I went back and I said, ‘I don't think you meant to sell this,' and she said, ‘Yes, it was my mother-in-law's.' And I thought, I'm not going to push this. There's a story behind that, I'm sure."