Strategic Shopping with Candy Foote of Pyrites
 Tips on How To Clip and Save a Lot From a Mother of 12

Candy Foote of Pyrites makes frequent appearances throughout St. Lawrence County to talk about how to use the Internet and other resources to save, and even make, money. Here, she periodically shares more of her savings tips. To read more about Candy, go to Pyrites Mother of 12 a "Coupon Queen," Writes Book On How To Clip and Save a Lot. For a video, see Candy Foote Describing Strategic Shopping from Her website is at

The most important thing to remember about strategic shopping is that there's a season and a time to buy everything. Buying at the wrong time could literally cost you hundreds of dollars.

'Strategic shopping' more than collecting coupons,

says Pyrites ‘super shopper’


People tend to think Strategic Shopping is all about couponing. Although coupons are a part - a really fun part - of the strategy, it is definitely not what Strategic Shopping is all about.

Strategic Shopping is about having a plan, and knowing when to shop.

April is such a wonderful month to be a Strategic Shopper. There are so many good deals to be found everywhere you turn. Now is the time to restock your pantry and gift closet for the year, or at least as much as possible.

It doesn't matter which store you choose to shop in, you will find deep discounts and clearance prices. I have found shockingly low prices in both dollar type stores, and higher end stores, like Sears and J. C. Penney.

Clothing prices have dropped so low this time of year that the thrift store prices seem expensive in comparison.

Our children just got new wardrobes from the clearance racks. Sneakers, t-shirts, jeans, and socks were marked down to rock-bottom prices. We found $1.00 t-shirts, $3.00 dress shirts, and $5.00 shoes!

It is so easy to fill up the Christmas closet with all of these clothing deals too. The best part is that the stores are really trying to get rid of all of their winter clothing, and where I live, Christmas comes in the winter. That means, these outfits will work as perfect gifts come December!

Clearance prices are not limited to clothing, and they are definitely not the clearance racks of old. They are no longer just filled with old, out-dated, ripped packages that should be in the trash rather than the sales racks.

Today's clearance racks are practically ongoing in most stores. They are filled with everything from sneakers and socks to peaches or even diapers. I found a really nice set of hair clippers on the clearance rack for five bucks, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with them. Even the packaging was in perfect condition!

One of the best things to remember about clearance racks is you can still use coupons! Coupons and clearance racks always equal rock-bottom prices, FREE items, and can even enable you to get paid to shop!

Interested in learning more Strategic Shopping tips? Look me up on Facebook and Twitter. Check out my website, Order my super inexpensive Strategic Shopping book, and schedule your own Strategic Shopping class!

Candy Foote




Plan now before you get tax refund check,

says Pyrites ‘super shopper’


It's income tax time again, and many people are expecting to get a refund. Don't let a big check throw you off from your goal of being a Strategic Shopper!

Don't you hate it when you get a large sum of money, then a few days later you sit there wondering exactly where all of that money went?

The key is to remember that Strategic Shopping is about two things:

#1 - Preparation #2 - Knowing when to shop.

Take time to prepare how you will spend your refund BEFORE you actually get the money in your hands. We are always encouraging our children to make lists of things they would like to spend their money on way before they get any money. We tend to forget things once we see the money. Preparing ahead of time helps to keep us focused.

Knowing when to shop typically applies to when the price tag is at its lowest point, but it can also mean when the money is available to make those purchases.

Getting a large sum of extra money is the perfect time to set the tone for the rest of the year.

Don’t live the feast or famine life this year. Let this time of plenty help ease the time of less.

Buying extra pantry staples will take a lot of stress off at meal time. You won’t have to worry about feeding the family when finances aren’t so grand.

Some of my pantry basics include powdered eggs, powdered milk, flour, baking powder, baking soda, yeast, sugar, oil, shortening, salt, herbs, and spices.

Fill up the freezer with meat.

Maybe you just have to make a large purchase, like a car. Instead of going through the bank and then struggling with payments, consider paying cash for a used car.

There is nothing wrong with running out to Walmart to buy a large screen television, or the latest video game, but let that be done after you have covered the essentials.

Let Strategic Shopping make 2015 your best year yet!

You can read about more ways to save this year by visiting me at

Let's be strategic with our money this year!

-Candy Foote-


 For every deal there is a season,

Pyrites ‘super shopper’ says


The most important thing to remember about strategic shopping is that there's a season and a time to buy everything. Buying at the wrong time could literally cost you hundreds of dollars.

We already realize that candy will be the cheapest right after Easter and American flags get marked at rock-bottom prices just after the Fourth of July, but did you know that many other items have a specific rock-bottom price time period?

We will usually see soups, stews, chili, hot cocoa, teas, and coffee on sale during the winter months. Anything that has to do with barbeque season will be on sale in the summertime.

Here's a list of things you can watch for this winter.

• January:

After-Christmas sales - Look for anything with the Christmas theme. If it has the red and green theme on the packaging, it will probably be marked down.

National Oatmeal Month – You won't see oatmeal cheaper any other time of the year than January.

National Beef Month and National Meat Month

National Soup Month

Super Bowl Sunday Snacks - Think beyond Super Bowl and stock up!

New Year's Resolutions - Diet Foods, weight-loss programs, health and fitness, home organization and cleaning

Cold medicines and vitamins

Seasonal produce - citrus fruits, pears, broccoli, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower

• February:

National Canned Food Month - canned fruit, pie fillings, vegetables, meats – tuna, chicken, salmon

National Hot Breakfast Month - malt-o-meal, frozen waffles, bacon, sausage, syrup

National Snack Food Month

National Cherry Month

National Potato Lover’s Month

Sweet Potato Month

Celebration of Chocolate Month

Valentine's Day Sales - anything chocolate!

Chinese New Year - great time to stock up on Chinese food.

Seasonal produce: artichoke, asparagus, raspberries, potatoes, strawberries, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, kale, kiwi, avocado and spinach

• March:

St. Patrick’s Day themed products including corned beef, cabbage, and carrots

National Noodle Month - watch for those rock-bottom prices, then stock up

National Frozen Food Month - ice cream, frozen vegetables, frozen meals, waffles, pizza, etc.

National Peanut Month and National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month will bring us some awesome deals.

National Celery Month - Yeah! Celery is one of our family's favorite foods!

National Flour Month - I can't wait for flour to get marked down!

Easter - Be watching for candy, hams, and eggs, etc. to be marked at rock-bottom prices.

Spring Cleaning items

March is one of the best times of the year to buy clearance winter clothing, shoes and slippers.

Seasonal produce: artichoke, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, fennel, kale, leek, lemon, lime, mushrooms, spring onions, oranges, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries and tangerines

This is by no means an exhaustive list of monthly deals.

You can find a full year's worth detailed things to watch for on my website,

Contact me at [email protected] to set up your own private Strategic Shopping class!


Pyrites ‘super shopper’ has many online options for Christmas shoppers


Christmas shopping can be overwhelming for many of us. The thought of having to go out and face the overcrowded stores can be downright frightening for others!

There is still time to do your Christmas shopping online. You can shop from the comfort of your own home while, many times, saving more than if you had braved the elements and the crowds to shop in the regular brick and mortar stores.

Make sure you keep these things in mind while shopping online in order to get ultimate savings:

1. Look for a sale. A clearance is even better. Online stores run both sales and clearance deals all of the time. Make this one of your first priorities – find those sales.

2. Look for a coupon code. These are everywhere online. Check out sites like,, or simply Google the coupon codes you want to find.

3. Always use a cash back program, like,, or You won’t make a lot of money from these sites, but they can really add up, especially if you get in the habit of doing all of your online shopping through them.

4. Watch for rebates. Check store and manufacturer websites for rebate offers. Sign up for programs, like Ibotta.

5. Understand the stores’ coupon code rules. Many stores, including,, and Jo Ann Fabrics will allow you to use more than one coupon code on one order.

Also, don’t pay for shipping! After finding all of these deals you don’t want to end up paying a fortune in shipping costs. National Free Shipping Days are Dec. 18 and 19 this year, but if you search around the internet you will most likely find a free shipping code.

You can also check the store websites to see if they have any purchases that qualify for free shipping. Another option would be to pick up in the store, if possible. For example, if you order pictures from Walgreens, then choose to pick them up at the store, and just grab them the next time you are in town. Do the same thing when ordering from Walmart, Target, or any other local store.

Let's be strategic in our Christmas shopping this year!

You can find links to all of these stores and more on my website,

Email me at [email protected] to set up your own personal Strategic Shopping class.


Military discounts abound, not just on Vets Day


Most of our military know that multiple businesses offer discounts on Veteran's Day.

That's awesome, but did you know that our servicemen and women are remembered not only on that day? Many, many establishments offer our heroes discounts every day. The main problem with these discounts is the fact that they are rarely publicized, so be sure and ask.

You will need to show a valid military ID card or retiree card in order to qualify for these discounts. Always keep in mind that the military discounts may not be the best deal in town, so check out other available discounts before making your purchases.

Some retailers offer periodic discounts, while others offer everyday military discounts. Many times these discounts seem to be top secret though. There is no mention of them on their websites or in their stores.

Your best bet is to call the corporate offices since not all clerks or managers understand the stores' discount policies. Just don't assume because there's no advertising that they won't give a discount. Since many establishments are privately owned you should check each store.

For example, ask at each Walgreens you shop at and even check to see if their online stores offer any discounts. Both Lowes and Home Depot are proud to offer our American heroes a 10 percent discount every day – both online and off.

Many restaurants offers discounts. According to, even Burger King, Pizza Hut and Ponderosa are willing to honor our military with a discount. Again, each individual establishment varies.

When traveling, ask your airline if they give a military discount. Some airlines will even waive the check baggage fee. Don't forget to ask for that discount when renting a car and booking a room at a hotel.

Active military, and in some cases retirees and civilian personnel may be eligible to have their taxes filed for free. This is offered through both Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and through online software like Turbo Tax Military Discount.

Amusement parks, like Busch Gardens, Sesame Place, Adventure Island, SeaWorld, and Water Country USA are more than happy to offer free admittance for both our servicemen and women, and up to three of their direct dependents.

There are literally too many military discounts available for me to mention. Check out websites like the and for more information.

Learn how to put more in your cart while keeping more in your wallet at

Email me at [email protected] to set up your own personal Strategic Shopping class.


‘I don't have time to clip coupons,’ says strategic shopper


There are ways other than clipping coupons in the newspaper to save on your trips to the supermarket.

Here are 10 tips to remember:

• Produce Coupons – Whenever I enter a grocery store, I make a beeline straight for the produce section. I especially like the organic produce. Our grocery stores are full of a variety of produce, but not all of it sells as quickly as the store managers hope. Since they don't want to throw all of this produce away, they mark it down while it is still good. I love to take advantage of these awesome deals! I look for coupons right on the products and normally find some amazing deals. Many times I will bring home large bags of lettuce and salad mixes for 50 cents a package! I just bring them home and serve them up for dinner. Any coupons found on these packages are typically considered store coupons, so if your store stacks coupons, and you have manufacturer coupons, then be sure and use them together for ultimate savings. I also watch for other produce marked down, like fruit. Whatever we don't use, I chop up and throw onto my dehydrator, or freeze them.

• Meat Coupons – When I am finished in the produce section, I head straight for the meat department. I don't have much of a hunter's eye, so I walk up and down the meat section quite a few times searching for coupons stuck onto the packages. The same concept that was used in the produce section applies to the meat department. They would rather give you a deep discount on the meat while it is still good rather than wait for it to spoil, then have to throw it all away. This is how I afford to feed my family steak for dinner so often! It is not unusual for me to find manufacturer coupons to match up with this already discounted meat. But even without manufacturer coupons, this is a great way to save on meat.

• Bakery Discounts – My next stop is the bakery department. I'm sure you have seen cakes, cookies, pies, rolls, and bread marked at rock bottom prices. The stores need to move all of these perishable items out before they spoil. We get the benefit of it!

• Dairy Discounts – Are you beginning to see a pattern here? You can go into a grocery store without a list and without coupons and still manage to save a lot of money. You just need a strategy. That strategy is to hit every aisle that carries perishable products. I almost always find yogurt marked way down. I also watch for coupons on milk, juice, and eggs.

• Clearance Section – I know this sounds odd, but grocery stores have clearance sections. These sections are not filled with expired food either! They have everything imaginable offered on these shelves. I have found all kinds of cleaners, vitamins, food, socks, and so much more on the clearance shelves. Once I picked up some super expensive toothbrushes for only 49 cents each! You can even use coupons on these clearance items!

• Blinkies and Coupon Angels and More – Watch for coupon boxes attached right on the shelves. Take as many as you like. You don't have to use them during this trip. Watch for coupons left by coupon angels. Some people decide not to use their coupons for one reason or another, so they leave them beside the right products for you! Watch for coupons right on the products – just like you did on the produce, meat, and dairy products.

• Shop the sales – Make sure you take advantage of the stores' sales each week. This is a no brainer, but you don't want to pay $1.99 a pound for chicken next week because you didn't buy enough when it was 99 cents a pound this week. If possible, add coupons to the sales for ultimate savings.

• Rain checks – If your store runs out of the sale items, ask for a rain check! With so many people becoming strategic shoppers, this is happening more and more. Even if you are the one to take the last of the items, you can go back the next day and get a rain check. (As long as there was no limit on the quantity purchased.)

• Upload Coupons – Many people tell me that they just don't have time to clip, organize, and carry all of those coupons to the stores. Most stores have caught on to this dilemma and are now offering digital coupons. Many digital coupons can be uploaded right to your stores' loyalty cards. You don't even have to remember that you uploaded it, but when you buy that item, the coupon discount will come off automatically when your loyalty card is swiped. Another digital coupon feature is to have the cashier scan coupons directly from your SmartPhone. Since most people carry their phones with them all of the time, this is not a problem.

• Email Companies - The previous nine savings suggestions don't require you to clip, organize, and carry any coupons into the stores with you. (Although you could save even more if you did!) This suggestion will get you the coupons your family coupons for items your family will actually use. Open up your refrigerator, pantry, and freezer. Check to see which brand-named items you use, then email those companies and simply ask them if they could mail you some coupons.

Want to learn more simple ways to put more in your cart while keeping more in your wallet?

Schedule a Strategic Shopping class. You can also pick up a copy of my Strategic Shopping e-book for $6.99, and start saving today! Visit me at for more information.


Back-to-school bonanza in stores now


I'm sure that you have been busy with the back-to-school sales that have been in full swing since the beginning of July. I am loving all of the penny and quarter deals that have been coming out of Office Max and Staples! Make sure you have signed up for their rewards programs, then you can start earning money back on your purchases.

Most stores are running some type of back-to-school sale, so try to hit as many places as you can. Use the Family Dollar and Dollar General $5 off $25 purchase coupons to save even more on their already low school supplies.

Check out the different Dollar Trees because each one has a little variation in the products that they carry. Remember to use coupons there when possible. Yes, the Dollar Tree, where everything is only one dollar, actually takes manufacturer coupons! I love to use BIC coupons there to get FREE pens and white out! FUN!

Many people don't think they could possibly get a deal on school supplies at their local drug stores. Yes, typically, these are some of the most expensive places to shop, but once you calculate in sales, manufacturer coupons, store coupons, and the stores' rewards programs, you will get many supplies totally FREE!

Think beyond September. Don't stop buying once you have purchased all of the items on your children's back-to-school list. School supplies make awesome Christmas gifts!

I like to buy a 15 cent folder, then put inside a 10 cent single-subject notebook, a box of 50 cent crayons, a package of 77 cent markers, and a pack of 77 cent colored pencils. I wrap this all together and give one to each of my children and grandchildren. I like to get extras to have on hand for those last minute gifts that are always needed. The total cost is just over two bucks, and kids love these gifts!

Don't forget to buy extras to give away to charities too. You can donate school supplies to your local school, church, or neighbor. And pick up extras to pack in a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child this year.

Get a copy of my e-book, Christmas with Strategic Shopping - the Twelve Months of Christmas, for only $3.99! It's available on my website,

Don't forget to email me at [email protected] to schedule a Strategic Shopping Class. I am scheduling both public and private classes.



Summer family fun doesn't have to break the bank


Everyone wants to have a fun-filled summer, but you don't have to pay those high costs to have it. Break out your calendar and fill it up with super cheap and even totally FREE family fun this summer.

• FREE MOVIES every Tuesday in July and August at St. Lawrence-FDR Hawkins Point Visitors Center:

21 Hawkins Point Road Massena, NY 13662

call: 315-764-0226, ext 302, or in NYS, 800-262-NYPA (6972)

Times and list of movies will be announced on their website soon.

• SUPER CHEAP MOVIES - Regal Movie Theater in the Salmon Run Mall is offering $1.00 movie admissions every Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the summer. Check their website for the times and a list of summertime movies being shown this year.

• FREE BOWLING - Kids Bowl Free is a program that is offering two free games of bowling per day for children across America.

• FREE FISHING - Free Fishing Weekend in New York State this year is June 28-29, 2014

• FREE SHIP WATCHING - Admission to the Eisenhower Locks in Massena is totally free. Check their website for the ships' schedule, then pack a lunch, spend the day watching ships go through the locks, and picnic in their little park all for free.

• FREE SUMMERTIME READING PROGRAMS - Public libraries in St. Lawrence County and across the country will be hosting fun reading programs, arts and crafts days, and even ice cream socials. Check out local libraries for a list of events.

• FREE & CHEAP COMMUNITY EVENTS - Visit our communities’ calendars of events for family focused fun, like parades and free concerts. For a list of free and cheap family events in St. Lawrence County this summer visit these websites.

Enjoy a fun-filled and frugal summer!

Learn more about frugal living at



Holidays like Easter can be expensive, so plan


Are you getting ready for Easter yet?

Holidays can be super expensive. I remember when it would take a full week's grocery money just to pay for our holiday dinner! Yikes!

One of the main goals in Strategic Shopping is to simply have a plan.

Make a holiday list. Write out your exact plans for Easter.

- Are you making Easter baskets?

- Are you going to have an egg hunt?

- Do you want new Easter clothes?

- Do you want to send some Easter cards?

- Are you hosting a holiday dinner?

Once you know what you would like to accomplish during the holidays, then you can prepare for them.

It's not too early to stock up for Easter.

Many stores have been offering super deals on candy for weeks. When you match up the store sales, store coupons, manufacturer coupons, and the store rewards programs, you will be able to get your Easter candy at rock-bottom prices, or even for free!

Make sure you have a holiday box in your pantry. Pick up non-perishable items off from your Easter dinner grocery list and keep them altogether in your pantry.

Even if you can't find an amazing deal on the groceries you need, by purchasing them little by little, you will take the bite out of buying them all at once.

Have a happy and frugal holiday!

Learn more about Strategic Shopping at




No magic formula to save during sales


One of the main keys to Strategic Shopping is simply shopping the sales.

That's it. No hoops to jump through. No magic formulas to learn.

Shopping the sales is THE most important thing that you can do. It will easily cut your budget in half, and then some.

It sounds easy enough, doesn't it. Shop the sales. Easy, right?

Well, it isn't always the easiest thing to do. We need a whole new mindset in order to apply this strategy.

Generally speaking, Americans want what they want when they want it. It doesn't typically matter whether or not it's on sale.

We can't afford to shop that way.

Here's the deal. Instead of saying, "Hey, I feel like having steak tonight," say, "What's on sale this week?"

Meals are prepared around the sales. So, if that happens to be chicken instead of steak, then guess what? Supper will be chicken.

But, don't stop there. Never find a great sale and buy enough just for supper!

Buy enough chicken until chicken will be going back on sale. Since there are only three basic meats that the stores cycle - beef, chicken, and pork, you can generally count on it going back on sale within three weeks.

(You will want to keep track of the things you buy to see when they hit their rock-bottom prices.)

Once you start doing this it won't take long to build up your pantry and freezer. With a stocked-up kitchen you will have more freedom in selecting your meals.

Learn to shop the sales, then you can start preparing meals from both the sales and your stockpile.

Start small. Add shopping the sales to your normal, weekly shopping, and work your way up to just shopping the sales.

Learn more about Strategic Shopping at




Valentine's Day doesn't have to be a budget-buster


It's February and that means it's time to celebrate Valentine's Day. Love, romance, chocolate, flowers, and a lot of money seem to go along with February 14th.

I have some good news though! Valentine's Day doesn't have to eat your entire paycheck this year!

Treat this day just like you would treat any other shopping day. Be strategic. Have a plan. Know what you want. Find out how to get it at the best price.

One of the biggest mistakes love birds make is waiting too long before making their purchases.

Don't do that! Start preparing now!

What do you plan on buying this year?

• Chocolate? Check out the local drug stores. They are offering all kinds of deals on chocolate right now. Add in some coupons, and you will get some awesome chocolate deals.

• Flowers? Have you ever noticed that flower prices tend to go sky high on Valentine's Day? If your pre-order your bouquets, then you can get $10 off at You can either order online, or call them, but be sure and use the coupon code: If you order FTD Valentine's day flowers early you save $10 with coupon code SAVETEN.

• Dinner? Don't be ashamed to treat your date out to a nice dinner, while saving a few bucks! Places like the Norwood Lobster House and the Potsdam Ponderosa offer printable coupons right on their websites. You can get a free appetizer coupon when you sign up for The Texas Roadhouse's e-newsletter. Check your restaurant's website to see what they have to offer. Another option to save on dinner is to check out's website. You can purchase gift certificates at rock-bottom prices.

Don't let Valentine's Day break your budget this year. Take a few moments right now and prepare!

~Candy Foote~


Shop now for next Christmas and save a bundle


How are you doing on your Christmas shopping?

Yes, you heard me right – Christmas shopping.

Don't groan!

Christmas is never over – it's always coming.

Remember last month when you were making all kinds of promises to yourself concerning next Christmas?

I'm not waiting until the last minute next year!

I'm going to get organized and be more prepared next year!

I'm sticking to a budget and not going into debt anymore!

On an on you made promises throughout the month of December. The problem is once Christmas passed, you totally forgot, or possibly just didn't care anymore about all of those promises.

Don't forget what I said earlier, Christmas is never over – it's always coming.

January, February, and March are three of the best months to do your Christmas shopping.

These months are excellent for a few reasons.

There's a huge variety of things on the clearance racks this time of year.

Many of those clearance items are the same type of wintry things you plan on buying when Christmas comes back around.

These same items will be at their top prices in October, November, and December, but are at their rock-bottom prices right now.

Shopping now instead of later will save you 70 to 90 percent on your Christmas shopping.

I know it's painful, but take a moment and think about how much you typically spend on Christmas gifts, decorations, wrapping paper, etc.

Now, take 90 percent off from that and picture all of that money in your savings account. When you stop crying, make a concrete decision that this year is going to be different.

This Christmas is going to be filled with all kinds of good and fun stuff without the stress and without breaking the bank.

Make a list of those things you buy every year, then buy them when they hit their rock-bottom prices.

Don't wait! Get started this week.

Merry Christmas and happy shopping!

Check out my newest book, 'Christmas with Strategic Shopping – The Twelve Months of Christmas' over at

~Candy Foote~


New year offers chance for planning shopping goals


I love the beginning of a new year. It feels like a fresh, new start, doesn't it? I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but I am a huge fan of goals and steps of action to reach those goals.

Many people wonder what the difference is between resolutions and goals. Well, the Candy Foote definition goes something like this:

Resolutions are promises or resolutions we declare for the year. We feel determined and even frustrated. (The frustration comes from all of the failure that has accompanied these resolutions in the past.) The problem is that resolutions get lost somewhere in January or February.

Goals, however, come with a plan of action. Goals in themselves are really no different from resolutions. You must have a plan of action!

I keep my life on my calendar, and this includes my goals. I set aside time for my goals. After I have written out a list of goals I want to accomplish within the new year, I break them down month-by-month, then week-by-week. Some things are broken down as far as day-by-day.

I don't just put it onto my calendar, but I have a plan to accomplish these goals.

Strategic Shopping is always a goal on my New Year's list. Like everything else, it doesn't just happen.

Stores make it easy to plan out strategic shopping strategies. You just have to know their cycles and systems.

You have probably noticed that the best time to buy anything to do with Christmas is after Christmas, but did you know that there are certain things being spotlighted each day and month?

For example, Dec. 26 is National Candy Cane Day. (Isn't that odd? I would have thought Dec. 25 would be National Candy Cane Day!)

January is National Oatmeal Month, National Beef Month, National Meat Month, National Tea Month, and National Soup Month.

With this foreknowledge, I am able to watch for corresponding coupons before hand. The stores will be marking these items down to rock-bottom prices, and when I add in my coupons, I will get super cheap, free items, or even paid to shop!

I want to help you to meet all of your Strategic Shopping goals for 2014. As a mother of 12, I have learned quite a few shopping tricks out of pure necessity!

Email me at [email protected] to schedule your own personal Strategic Shopping class, and check out my e-book on my website

Let me help you to put more in your cart while keeping more in your wallet in 2014.

~Candy Foote~


December poses shopping challenges


It's December and that equals a lot of sales and deals. Actually, there are so many sales and deals that it can be downright overwhelming -- even if you are a strategic shopper!

Here are a few tips to help you stick to your budget and keep your sanity throughout the holiday season.

- Don't try to get every deal in town. Yes, I know it's an awesome price, but it is just too overwhelming to try to get everything. Believe me, there will be more deals coming, so don't stress over missing out on a few of them.

- Don't buy on impulse. You already know this, but are you paying any attention to it? If you happen to find something in the store that you just have to have, then walk around the store with it for a little while. Take time to think about it before you actually purchase it.

- You really don't have to buy a gift for everyone that you know. If you feel the need to give something, remember that a simple Christmas card is often good enough.

- You don't have to fix a meal big enough to open a restaurant. I know that you always fix certain things, but just remember that since you are the one who made this plan, you are the one who can change it.

- Simple gifts work fine. Grab a coffee cup from a dollar store and fill it up with chocolates. It's simple, frugal, and fun!

- Don't overdo on wrapping paper. Every gift doesn't have to be wrapped. Ribbon and bows can be just as pretty as paper. One year I ran out of paper, but instead of running to the store, I ran to the kitchen. I wrapped the rest of my gifts with aluminum foil. These gifts look so festive under the tree with the Christmas lights bouncing off from them. Think outside of the box - or paper as the case may be. :)

Take time to actually enjoy this time of year.

Schedule a private Strategic Shopping class and learn how to become a Strategic Shopper! Email me at [email protected] for details.

~Candy Foote~

 Meat bargains are out there, if you look


Everyone wants to know how they can save on meat. If you aren't careful, meat can quickly destroy your budget!

I have put together some ways to help you save in that area:

• The stores will have a different meat on sale each week. Typically, meat is on a three week cycle, since there are basically three major meats – beef, pork, and chicken. Stock up to get you through until the next sale.

• Look for store coupons on meat. Check their websites, Facebook pages and fliers.

• Email different meat companies and ask if they will mail you some coupons.

• Locate a small time local butcher and play “Let's Make a Deal.”

• Many times bulk stores, like BJ's and Sam's Club have meat for the best price in town. You will have to purchase it in bulk. (That works well for my mega family though.)

• Your local grocery store is always marking down meat. They don't want to have to throw it away when the expiration date is getting close, so they simply mark it down to rock-bottom prices.

• Buy boneless hams and have the deli slice it into sandwich meat. The slicing is free, the ham is way tastier than the actual deli meat and the price is way cheaper.

• Meat sales are seasonal. It's hard to beat 49 cents a pound for meat, but at Thanksgiving time, you can pick up turkeys at that price – and even cheaper sometimes, so be sure and stock up!

You can attend one of my Strategic Shopping classes. For a schedule of upcoming classes, or to schedule a private class right in your own home, visit my website,

You can also email me at [email protected] to schedule your own private class.

~Candy Foote~


Strategic shopping is about having a plan


Many people think that couponing IS strategic shopping when in reality it is just a part of it.

Strategic shopping is having about having a plan. It's about knowing when to buy the things on your list.

Using coupons can save you big time though.

If you are going to take the time to use coupons, then be sure that you are getting coupons that your family will actually use.

One way that I do that is by emailing the companies of the products that I use. I just say, My mega family, which includes 12 children, loves your products (or would like to try your products). Could you possibly send me some coupons? Thank you for your time.

Now before you get scared, don't worry. You don't have to have 12 children! This works with small families too. :)

Companies love to hear from their customers and you will love getting great coupons for items your family uses right in your mailbox!

Be sure and attend one of my Strategic Shopping classes! For a schedule of upcoming classes, or to schedule a private class right in your own home, visit my website:

You can also email me at [email protected].



'Man stores' offer coupons, too


My father and husband would always listen politely while I shared all of my strategic shopping deals, but they were just being that . . . polite.

They didn’t care much about how I got super cheap items, free stuff, or even paid to shop. (Well, except for the part that my hubby had more money in his pocket!)

I finally found a way to get them on the coupon bandwagon. Tool coupons! Yup, that’s all it took!

When they found out that Harbor Freight offered its best deals through coupons, they were hooked! Then when they found out the other man stores offered coupons along with other strategic shopping deals, they jumped on board.

Practically any deal that you can find at Harbor Freight requires a coupon, but don’t worry because you can find these coupons everywhere. The newspaper almost always has Harbor Freight coupons. You can find them in magazines, through their e-newsletter, on their website, and on their Facebook page. I love their free item coupons and hubby loves their 20% and 25% off any item coupons.

Harbor Freight isn’t the only place offering great deals. Sign up for Lowe’s and Home Depot’s e-newsletters and you will get exclusive deals and coupons right in your inbox. They will also beat a competitor’s price by 10%. (A store must be in the same town in order to be considered a true competitor.)

If you own a vehicle then you won’t want to miss out on all of the coupons and deals that the auto parts stores offer. A few months ago, my husband was happy to use a $10 off a $50 order at Advanced Auto.

Auto Zone, Advance Auto, AAA coupons and deals are everywhere and they include way more than a quarter off of a bag of chips.

Learn more about strategic shopping at




Supermarkets offer coupons online


If you have a local Price Chopper, then you will want to be sure and utilize their e-coupon program.

Price Chopper offers new coupons, both manufacturer and store, every week beginning on Sunday.

Many of these coupons offer ***HOT***HOT***HOT*** deals, but the coupons are limited, so you will not want to wait too long to jump online and upload these coupons.

This is how it works:

Go to Price Chopper's website and sign up for their FREE online account.

You will link your AdvantEdge card to this account.

Every Sunday when they add new coupons, just sign into your account, then click on the e-coupons. You will be given a selection of manufacturer and store coupons.

The manufacturer e-coupons can NOT be doubled and if you have uploaded them to your card, the store computer will deduct those first. You will want to be careful when choosing these because if you have a regular paper manufacturer coupon that is valued higher, or can be doubled to get a better deal, then you wouldn't be able to use it since the e-coupon has been selected.

The store e-coupons, like any other store coupon, will NOT be doubled, BUT it can be stacked with a manufacturer coupon if you have one.

The BEST part is that Price Chopper will often offer FREE item coupons!

These coupons do not require any other purchase, so they are really totally FREE!

You just simply click the SAVE button under the coupons that you want, and when the clerk swipes your AdvantEdge card, the computer will automatically deduct your coupons.

One week, Price Chopper was giving away:

one can of StarKist tuna fish

one 2 liter bottle of Polar soda or seltzer

one bottle of Arm & Hammer laundry detergent

Hurry over and upload your coupons NOW so that you don't miss out on these great deals!

Coupons work, and not just for junk food


The other day I asked my FaceBook and Twitter friends what was keeping them from using coupons.

“There aren’t coupons for anything except junk food.”

“I can’t print coupons off from the internet so I miss out on the good coupons.”

“I can’t afford the Sunday paper.”

“It’s too much work!”

“I don’t have time.”

Coupons conjure up different thoughts for different people. Other comments I’ve heard are:

“They are a waste of time.”

“I don’t need to save pennies and quarters.”

“Coupons mean you’re a cheapskate.”

“People who are using coupons are ripping off the stores causing the prices to go up.”

Everyone thinks something different when it comes to coupons. It’s even pronounced differently, but the bottom line is coupons are cold hard cash.

They are money. Best yet, they are tax-free money!

Actually, the organic food companies have really jumped onto the whole couponing bandwagon.

Websites like Earthbound Farms Organics, Organic Valley, and Mambo Sprouts are always rocking out coupons!

I even use coupons on milk, cheese, and eggs!

(Some of you are shopping at your local farmer’s markets this time of the year. Good for you! You may not be able to use coupons, but you can still do some strategic shopping and get top-quality food at rock-bottom prices! Shopping late in the day may limit your selection, but many farmers don’t want to haul everything back home, so you can haggle and get some great deals!)

Coupons are put out in limited quantities. Otherwise the manufacturers would go bankrupt. If you missed out on their coupons either in the paper or online, you can still save with coupons on produce and meat.

Go into your local supermarket and check out your meat and produce sections.

Supermarkets are filled to the brim with meat and produce.

The problem is this stuff doesn’t last long.

Since the stores don’t want to keep throwing all of this stuff away, they mark it way down by putting coupons on these items.

If your store stacks coupons, then you can add manufacturer coupons with these coupons to get ultimate savings.

(Ask the produce workers and butcher when they typically mark these items down. Ours are usually marked down in the late mornings.)

I don’t feed my family a lot of processed junk food. Most of our food is fresh or homemade, but we still save big with coupons.

Coupons work!

How to get magazine subscriptions for free


Normally I get my magazine subscription for free through websites like

Yes, free.

All Free Magazines

Totally free, not try me with the this free issue magazines, but totally free subscriptions! (Sometimes they require me to fill out a little survey which offers different items for sale. I just check no on all of these and then they put my free subscription through. Also, some of the subscriptions are online instead of actual in your mailbox type subscriptions. I prefer to get the actual magazine in the mail. Be sure and read before selecting.)

I do, however, pay for one magazine subscription and that is the ALLYou magazine.

This magazine is known as the coupon magazine because it is loaded with coupons that you can cut out, coupon codes, recipes, thrifty living ideas, and overall plans of action you can take to live the frugal lifestyle without feeling like you’re missing out on life!

Even though I do pay for this subscription, I certainly wouldn’t want to pay full price, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to either!

ALLYou is having a spectacular summertime sale. You can pick up a six month subscription to this magazine for only $1 per issue. That’s just six bucks!

Hurry and order your ALLYou subscription today!


 July, August great months to fill up
gift closet for pennies on the dollar


I love the deals that can be found during the months of July and August. I spend much of these months shopping and filling up the gift closet for pennies on the dollar.

This summer, I will be stocking up on razors that I will get either extremely cheap or free through the use of sales and coupons.

Patriotic flags and décor, and all kinds of summertime toys will be marked down to rock-bottom prices on the clearance racks.

Shop those clearance racks this summer, but don't buy too early.

Many clearance items will follow the pattern of 50% off, 75% off, and finally 90% off. Although both 50% and 75% off are great deals, 90% off is stock-up price!

And one of my all-time favorite deals just started this week – school sales! Watch for stores to offer free items when you make a small purchase in their store, like spend $5 get five additional items for free.

Watch for all of these deals and more this summer!

Best time to save? After the holiday is over


“Strategic Shoppers” never think a holiday is over.

No, we know that holidays are always coming!

The best time to buy for a specific holiday is when the holiday just ended for the year.

For example, the best time to buy American flags is right after the Fourth of July.

That way you can pick up all of your flags and patriotic décor for as low as a dime each!


Don't forget to check out the clearance racks


If you haven't checked out the clearance racks in a while, then you are missing out on some major savings.

Start by getting a new mindset. Clearance items aren't what they used to be.

It isn't just damaged and expired trash that they are trying to get rid of anymore.

Clearance racks are filled with all kinds of good things -- even socks and underwear!

The store just needs to move this stuff out. Normally they have ordered too much, or just simply don't have room for it.

The best part about clearance racks is that you can use coupons on these items making them super cheap, FREE, or sometimes, coupons even enable you to get paid to shop!

Don't throw Strategic Shopping out the window just because you can't stand the thought of using coupons!

The truth is making your purchases at the proper time is the most important part when it comes to saving.

Waiting for an item to go on sale can easily save you more than half the price.