Often when I talk to people about couponing they say they just don't have time. I suggest it's worth it to find time to save money. Clipping coupons can save you hundreds of dollars throughout the year. And there are many other ways to save, too.
For example, you don't have to go to the mall or your favorite big box store to find a bargain. You can get a good deal at thrift stores, consignment shops, pawn shops, through classified ads, online sales sites and yard sales.
Thrift stores operate solely on donations. Most are nonprofit organizations raising money for a cause. You drop off donations at the store and they will give you a tax-deductible receipt based on the estimated value of your items. Examples of area thrift stores include Goodwill, Salvation Army and Lexington Rescue Mission.
Consignment stores sell goods for you, for a percentage of the sale price. You keep ownership of the item until it sells, if it sells.
Examples of local consignment stores are Stephen Lawrence Ltd., at 2051 Richmond Road and 1200 South Broadway; Sassy Fox, 3101 Richmond Road; Ladybug Landing, 392 Southland Road and Apres Vous! 183 Moore Drive.
Pawn shops offer you money for your items immediately. Pawn shops are getting more popular for purchases of jewelry, high-end clothing, tools, stereos, and even motorcycles. Here are some examples of local pawn stores, although some might not call themselves that: Plato's Closet, 2200 Nicholasville Road; Re-Kid, 197 Moore Drive; Dan's Discount Jewelry & Pawn, 2191 Versailles Road and Half-Priced Books, 2321 Sir Barton Way and 127 W. Tiverton Way.
Classified ads allow you to sell items by means of a one-on-one relationship with a buyer. Examples of classifieds are Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, AutoTrader, and The Lexington Herald-Leader.
Salvage and surplus stores offer unique items or large quantities of discounted items. Example include Salvage Building Materials of Lexington, 573 Angliana Avenue; Cowgirl's Attic, 1535 Delaware Avenue; Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 451 Southland Drive and Army Surplus Warehouse, 138 East Loudon Avenue.
■ Teachers can go to the Colgate website to request a free Bright Smiles, Bright Future Kit for your classroom. You will receive a video, poster, storybooks, curriculum, parent take-homes and Colgate kid's toothbrush and toothpaste samples for each student. Kindergarten.colgatebsbf.com
■ Teachers, you can create a list and give it to parents when they shop at Office Depot. Your school can get 5 percent back on qualifying purchases to use for free supplies. Officedepot.com/a/school-supplies-checklist
■ Purchase qualifying products from Kellogg and enter the promotional code on the box to receive free Scholastic books. Kellogg.scholastic.com
■ Download the free Shoparoo mobile app and follow instructions to earn 50 bonus Roo Points for your school. Shoparoo.com
■ Turn Kool-Aid or Capri Sun drink pouches into money for your school. Establish a drink pouch brigade. Earn up to 2 cents per donated pouch. Caprisun.com/terracycle
■ Sign up for boxtops for educations to earn money for your school. Buy collecting boxtop coupons worth 10 cents from participating products. Schools can use the boxtops cash to buy whatever they need from books to field trips. Boxtops4education.com/all-about-boxtops
■ Save $5 off admission to Newport Aquarium, One Aquarium Way, Newport, KY during Shark Week through Aug.18. http://bit.ly/1cvCFxU
■ Free membership to AARP ($16 value) when you receive a free blood glucose test or one body composition test or blood pressure health test from Walgreens. http://bit.ly/O5Uecs
■ Call 1-866-204-3942 and leave a message with your name, phone number, and address, you will get a free Unilever coupon book in the mail.
■ Book your fantasy football league draft party at Hooters for a free draft kit. http://bit.ly/aeziLH
Deborah Morris' weekly column, The Fru-Gal, can help you save money. Feel free to share tips on The Fru-Gal blog at Kentucky.com/living and visit her website, Fru-gal-friends.com.