After investigating some of the websites I have posted for stores mentioned in this blog, I have come to find there is a great value (most of the time) in subscribing (via mail or email) to your favorite stores. As I discussed in the used store post, Half Price Books offers a wonderful coupon subscription service. They gave me a $5 off a $20 purchase coupon to start with, and it seems there will be more good deals coming my way via email or mail. I some how got on Kohl's list as well so I receive emails for their promotions. Be sure to watch out for the email overload if you subscribe to too many stores, I know some people who have an email account just for that purpose. Other big stores, like Best Buy and Borders, run great rewards programs through their stores for free...you can only be benefited from this service! All you have to do is ask to sign up at the check out. After my husband and I bought our new TV we received $15 in gift cards from Best Buy. In addition, sometimes I use the coupons from subscribing to a local craft store to treat myself, so try to look for stores that you might stay away from because its not a "need". If there is a great local store in your town that you love, see if they have a website for promotions and such. There is nothing like giving to your local economy.
However, it is important to note the difference in how these coupons are used. I do not go into Half Price Books to buy a $5 book I need and then look for $15 more of books so I can use to coupon "to get a deal". This is how people sometimes end up hoarding things, because it was a "great deal". Its important to maintain the big picture when using coupons and rewards programs...make sure its something you would have bought without it.
On a separate note, I know I should not personally subscribe to clothing store ads or coupons simply due to the fact I still spend money on clothes like there is no tomorrow. Remember, if it isn't a "need"... (thats about how far I get when I am looking at that swim suit and think how cute it would look on me, and I never hear it again). Basically, as a shopper, know your weaknesses, know thyself! :) I bring my husband along sometimes because I know he will rush me through the store so I don't buy things I don't need.