Yes, Flyers please…

No doubt my neighbourhood’s mailboxes look much like mailboxes almost anywhere.  Some are white, some are black, some are wooden, some look like art objects.  More and more mailboxes in my area have a little sign on them that says “no flyers please”.

Honestly, I feel bad for these people.  Do they have any idea of the pleasure they’re denying themselves?

Man, I love flyers! I can’t wait for them to arrive on Friday evening. I get excited about it, so do my girls. You can be assured that someone will say over Friday night dinner “hey, it’s flyer night!”  Yep, flyer night is a huge deal in our household.

I spread them out on the coffee table, get my little grocery scratch pad and a pen, and start making notes. Ooooo, toilet paper is $4.99 at this store. I write it down.  A few flyers later, a similar product is $4.49.  First one gets scratched off and replaced with a better deal.  Ground beef on sale at my favourite store – I start planning our menu for the week to include a few good deals.

Since I don’t have a car, sometimes picking up the deals at various stores literally takes hours. I pack up my little grocery bundle buggy, and head down the street. If it’s full, I have to come home and unload, then head out again.  Think of the money I save on gym memberships just walking all over the neighbourhood all day!

I totally get why people don’t want flyers or junk mail.  I’m not a fan of junk mail, but I think I’d need therapy if somebody didn’t deliver the flyers. There’s the environmental concern – more paper, more waste. I get it. Yep, there are flyers available online.  The problem is, they’re not available in a timely manner, when the sales are actually starting, nor is it the same tactile experience as leafing through them on the coffee table, with a mug of hot chocolate.

When there’s a super good deal on, you almost have to be there Friday night, otherwise, there won’t be any more when you show up sometime on Saturday.

Since I got religion on managing my budget in January, I haven’t been tempted by anything offered in the flyers that I can’t eat, or that we haven’t identified a need for.  Sure, I’ll still look at the shoes, handbags and fancy house stuff offered up for sale.  Unless we can’t function as a family without it, I’m merely window shopping from my sofa. Pretty safe place to do it from.

The grocery store flyers usually stick around for a few days, while the rest usually get recycled Friday night. I pour over them a few times and make sure I haven’t missed any hidden gems. I can walk to five major grocery stores from my home, and take a bus a short distance to a sixth.

Some may find this a bit silly, but I consider flyers to be an investment in my education as a consumer.  Hey, I spend about $550 every month at the grocery store. I need to know where I’m going to get the best bang for my buck.  Four litres of milk ranges from $3.99 to $5.29 within a few blocks.  I like to know where to get it for $3.99. Eggs range from $2.17 a dozen to $2.89. I want to know if a store is offering a two day sale at $1.89 when I should show up and pick up a couple dozen.

To me, the flyers are a gift to make it possible for me to stock up on things my family needs and save a few bucks doing it. I really, really appreciate that. I’m on a mission to be the best household money manager I can possibly be, and if I can save a few bucks every week, I’m certainly going to try and do it.

You won’t see “no flyers please” on my mailbox.  To my environmentally conscious neighbours – I’m sorry if that offends. I promise to recycle them. I just can’t imagine how dreadful Friday night would be without them.

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