I’ve never watched the extreme couponing show on tv. I knew I never saved big money with coupons in the grocery store, but I was intrigued. People are saving lots of money.
I asked myself two question:
How does it work? Can it work for me?
Here’s what I found out.
You must use a coupon in conjunction with a major store sale.
Yes, it can work for me.
That’s the basic explanation, but couponing isn’t simple. It’s a complicated labyrinth of store flyers, $1.00 squares of coupon, and TIME. Yes, couponing takes time. I do believe that the more you do it, the better and quicker you get; however, I’m still slow.
The only grocery stores I have in my area are Super Wal-Mart and Hannaford. Neither run great promotional sales. My coupons will only take me so far there, but I do have a CVS in my town. CVS runs crazy weekly specials.
I googled how to coupon and I watched videos, read lots and lots, and decided to focus on one store. CVS.
I love that store now.
I’ve been at this for a few weeks and my savings are growing each week. I spend Sunday going through the coupons that come in the Sunday paper and clipping them. I put them in a binder filled with plastic card sheets. They are the sheets used to hold baseball cards. My son graciously gave me a few. He doesn’t collect baseball cards, but he does have fifty-million Star Wars cards. After my coupons are in the binder, I go online and search the most recent CVS flyer. You can enter your zip code, so you get the appropriate flyer.
Here’s my book.
Nothing fancy. I’m sure it could be more organized, but this IS organized for me.
My son asked me the other day if all the time I spent on coupons is worth it. I told him I wasn’t sure, but I was going to find out. So Monday morning, armed with coupons, two kids, and a plan of attack, I walked into CVS.
I opened my coupon book right on top of my cart. Then I pulled out my detailed list and a calculator. That’s how I shopped. My son trailed behind me with an extra cart. People gave me funny looks. I smiled and waved.
I walked out with this bounty.
I paid $28.74 for all of this.
I thought that was pretty good. Every item was on sale. I did not have a coupon for the water, but the water was on sale for $2.22 a case and that’s a good deal. We don’t drink our tap water because it’s nasty and will kill you.
The Oral B Floss I got for free. The Dawn dish soap I got for free. Everything else was very discounted.
I also received $9 in xtra bucks to use on my next purchase. In CVS language that’s a free $9 for my next shopping trip. Gotta love it!
So here’s what I learned.
- Give yourself time to figure things out.
- Don’t buy beyond your budget even if it’s a good deal. Work with what money you have.
- Pick one store and become familiar with the card system and sales in that store.
- Learn to buy name brands. I know this goes against the thrifty grain, but name brands go on sale and manufacturers put out coupons only for name brands.
- Don’t be loyal to a brand. Be flexible. If something is free or only pennies, that makes it easier to enjoy other brands.
- Have some fun! Treat yourself to a discounted bag of M&M’s. (I passed up that sale this week thank you very much. *pats own back*)
- Show your husband your haul and receipt. He’ll be pretty amazed.
After I paid and we were walking to the car, my son said, “I can’t believe all this only cost us twenty-eight dollars.”
I still have lots to learn, but I knew my time spent clipping coupons on Sunday night was worth it on this Monday Morning.
What about you? Have you tried couponing??
** On a side note – if you accumulate too much stuff, there are women’s shelters all over our land who take abused women and children and offer them a new beginning. they are always looking for these products. They’d be more than happy to help lighten your load and you’ll get to be a blessing to some women in need.