I try to read a lot of newspapers. I read the New York Times and several other papers online and I subscribe to the print versions of the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and our local paper, The Orlando Sentinel. Of course, life often intervenes and prevents me from getting through all of my daily reading, but I rarely fail to find the time to go through every section of the Sentinel from cover to cover. Last week, I kept track of all of the money saving and money making benefits I found in my local paper. I suspect that if you take the time to invest in a subscription to your local paper, you will find the following benefits as well.
I believe that just about anyone reading this article already knows that on Sunday, local papers are full of money saving coupon inserts. Last Sunday, my Sentinel advertized $208 in coupon savings could be found in the paper that day. This week, there were more than $320 in coupon savings in the Sunday paper. Of course, you need to take the time to find the inserts and to clip the coupons but that is a small price to pay for even a fraction of those coupons! Just last week, I found a 50% off one item coupon that redeemed at Michael’s craft store to buy a $120 item. I saved $60 with that one coupon alone!
Coupons, however, do not just appear in coupon inserts. This past week, I also found two $5 grocery store coupons on stickers located on the front page of my paper (on Sunday and on Friday). There were also many coupons scattered throughout the paper every other day of the week. If you take the time to look, you will likely find more than enough coupons in one month to pay the cost of your yearly newspaper subscription.
Although you could check sale flyers for all of the stores in your area by going on-line, that would take you a long time and you would still probably miss some sales. Your Sunday paper will carry sale flyers for all of the major stores in your area, allowing you to review in the comfort of your own home the bargains that are available. I read every sale flyer each week and use the flyers to plan my shopping. Especially as we get closer to the Christmas season, sales flyers usually provide me with my shopping itinerary for the week to come.
There are a lot of things for sale in the classified advertisements of your local paper. Almost always, there are bargains to be found. When I was in college, a friend furnished his apartment for almost nothing by scouring the classifieds for bargains and aggressively checking out every listing that had potential.
Yard Sale Listings
My local paper also includes yard sale and thrift shop listings. It has been a while since I have had the time to go yard sale hopping on a Saturday morning but friends and I used to go to all of the yard sales in our town when we were in high school. It was great to be able to buy all of the cool stuff that the parents of recent high school graduates were selling, sometimes the week that our former classmates had headed off to college! If you watch Antiques Road Show on PBS you know that some yard sale finds can bring tremendous profit if you know what to buy!
If you are looking for a job, the Sunday paper is still the best place to look for local employment. Employers will post both their hiring needs and advertize any job fairs that they are planning. Even if you are unable to find the job that you want for the long term, the local employment ads are an easy resource for finding interim jobs that can keep you going until you find the right job.
My local paper prints many articles that help readers to save money. Today, for example, the travel section of my paper has a couple of articles devoted to the savings that are available for travelers who want to travel over the Christmas holidays or who want to take in a show in New York City. There was also an article that addressed how to shop intelligently for young children this holiday season. Many of the money saving steps that I take in my own day to day life, I first discovered in my local paper.
My local paper offers many give-away contests in any given month. Winners are usually given tickets to a local show or attraction or gift certificates to local restaurants. Entry in the contests is easy and can usually be done via the newspapers website.
Free and Budget Entertainment Listings
There are a lot of free shows and concerts that are advertised in my local paper. Also, many local art museums offer free admission from time to time, and I find out about those opportunities in my local paper. Local colleges also offer many free and reduced price music, education and sports programs that are highlighted in listings in my local paper.
It takes me up to two hours to read my local paper on Sunday and about 30 minutes every other day of the week. I enjoy that time, sitting in my chair, sipping my tea, and reading my paper. I am not spending money while I read, other than the pennies it costs each day to have my paper delivered, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself!
I am sure that each of my readers also has reasons to read the newspaper (perhaps even to better understand the issues of the day!) and I would love to heard what those reasons might be! Let us know what good reasons you have to read the paper or why you feel that it is better to simply rely on on-line resources!