Monday, May 2, 2011

not-so-extreme couponing

Since about the 1st of the year I have been making a really big push to do my part in helping us save money.

I kept hearing all this hype about how people save hundred’s of dollars at the store by using coupons and to be honest, I thought it was a bunch of crap.  How in the world is that even possible?

So I tried it. And failed miserably at first.  The reason for my failure? I was so overwhelmed and disorganized that it wasn’t working.

I decided to regroup and get a newspaper subscription.

Then I did a little bit of research and found out that there are a LOT of people in the blog world who matchup coupons with what is on sale at pretty much every store you can imagine.  They take all of the stress out of the whole thing, they even link to printable coupons.

All I do is cut the coupons and look at the matchup’s after I make our menu for 2 weeks. I do take in to consideration catelina deals that offer coupons for cash back when you buy certain products, our local grocery store does these a lot.

I take out only the coupons I am going to be using and paperclip them together with my list.  I do take my little coupon holder with me, just in case, but I normally don’t deviate from my list. (helps me stay on budget and not buy Oreos)

I am that girl that will split up her transaction to get the most savings, so if I buy some toothpaste and earn $3 back, I buy that first and apply the $3 to my next transaction.  If I don’t do that, I forget about the cash back and it expires.

Typically I save what I spend, which is between $50 and $70 every two weeks on groceries.  Drugstore couponing is a whollleeee different ballgame, but I do the best at CVS – I usually walk out of there paying only tax (or slightly more) with cash back. It’s pretty freaking awesome.

My secret though is to only buy what I need, will use, and what I have room for. Just because something is free doesn’t mean I need to get it – especially because we do not have the space to store 1,000 tubes of toothpaste or 50 boxes of cereal.  I do have enough body wash, razors, toothpaste and toothbrushes to last us a good while – all of the extras I get I donate to a missions trip my sister is going on.

If you “coupon” (so weird that people use that as a verb these days), what are your secrets? Favorite sites? Organization tips?

I have heard, many times, that people don’t think it is worth it – and I didn’t ever think it was either until I HAD to start cutting back. To me, it is worth the hour a week I spend preparing. I equate it making about $50 an hour, since that is how much I am saving each time I shop. Hoping to get better and more efficient at it, but I feel like this is a good start!



Kakunaa said...

You make a good case! I may have to hit you up for suggestions!

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

I've almost sold me. I especially like the fact that you're only buying what you need...those people that have stockpiles make me nervous!

alison said...

You rock! I love hearing what you do, and realizing we do nearly the same things! :) I always worry that I'm overthinking things or putting too much time and energy into it, but you're right, $50 a week is awesome!

p.s. coups heading your way today!

Martine said...

I don't coupon... I wish I could figure it all out, but where would I find the time????

Good job!

AwkwardMoments said...

it took me a yr to figure out what worked best for me. I only buiiy what we need/will use in 2 -4 weeks. No stockpiling here. I do save 50%. I love couponing Good job

drew2008 said...

HI! I found your blog reading Jen's and I am a couponer too! But, sometimes I do get things I don't use if it's free and I donate it to a food bank or women's shelter.

Hope you post more about your coupon adventures!