Over the past 4-6 months I have been trying to be a more avid coupon user. I still am far from a pro when it comes to couponing, but I am impressed with my savings so far. I have watched Extreme Couponing in total amazement. Although, I think that most of the people that they feature are totally overboard and greedy. I just want to buy what we NEED... for damn near nothing. I don't need to wipe out shelves because I have the coupons to do so. I would not get items I have no use for just because I can get them free. I also don't need a whole basement stockpiled with a hundred of every item that we use either.
This past Monday I went into Stop & Shop after work, with my 2 year old in cart, list in hand, my coupon "organizer" and a separate envelope marked "This Trip". I have to snicker when I type "coupon organizer" because my organizer is anything but organized. I tried very hard to keep it straight, but the 13 tabbed sections just are not enough for me. I had to put two categories on each tab to sort "my way". I find myself fumbling for my coups in every aisle, clogging up the flow of traffic...basically being that customer I loathe. I am on the hunt for a bigger better organizer. In the meantime, I have sorted my coupons into 30 separate envelopes. I labeled them the way I know it will be easiest and quickest to locate what I am looking for. I stuffed all of the envelopes into the lame organizer I have now, just to hold them, but it is so jam packed I can't close it anymore, haha! I must dedicate some time this weekend to finding the best organizer for my couponing needs. Anyway, I got off track... I was going to brag about how much money I saved, haha! My order total came up to $298.68, my total savings by using my Stop & Shop card was $92.53, I used 28 manufacturer's coupons totaling $41.46, 9 of which were doubled for another $4.50 off, then a $5.00 "Personal Thanks" credit for purchasing 10 boxes of cake mix that were on sale for $1.00 (that I also had coupons for). After all deductions and tax added, my final order total came up to $158.63. Maybe not "Extreme" but quite a bit less than I typically spend at the grocery store. I also scored gas points! Not sure if gas points are all over the US, but Stop & Shop gives you 1 gas point for every dollar that you spend. For every 100 gas points you earn, you get .10 off each gallon of gas at their gas station. Every week Stop & Shop will have a list of particular items selected for earning gas points, if you buy "x" amount of any of "these" items you get 200 gas points, sometimes 300 points. I got 200 points for buying 7 cans of tomatoes for $1.00/each! I go through canned tomatoes like nobody's business, so this was an extra sweet deal for me. This past week they also gave 200 points if you bought any turkey. And as a super surprise, the turkey that I chose had a deal as well, it was $1.49/lb, but if you spent $25.00 you got it for .58/lb! So my 12.72 lb turkey was originally $18.95 and I got it for $7.38!! SA-WEET! Then they gave 300 points if you spent $50.00. So I racked up 700 points, plus the 159 for the dollars that I spent. 859 gas points earned so I saved .80/gallon on gas when I filled up my tank this week. Regular price for gas was $3.26/gallon, I got it for $2.46/gallon!! That is a significant savings! And I did this just by purchasing items I would have purchased anyway. Well, I typically would not have bought 10 boxes of cake mix, but with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up I'm sure I will have no problem using them up as gifts and as take alongs to people's houses for the holidays and our work Potluck.
Not bad, eh?!
I wanted to share some of my favorite coupon sites with everyone.
couponmom.com is great! I love this site because not only can you print out coupons here but my favorite feature is the tab for "Grocery Deals by State". You click on this, find your state and then click on one of the stores that are listed and it does a little coupon match up for you! It lists everything that is on sale at the store that week, and it tells you what coupons to use to get even more money off (even what week the coupon came out!) and then gives you a total price after coupon! I dare you to tell me that is not pure awesome-ness!
sundaycouponpreview.com is a money saver in itself for me. I subscribed for free and they send me 2-3 emails during the week with a preview of what coupons will be in Sunday's paper. I do not have the paper delivered simply because it is a waste of money for us. We read the news online and sometimes catch up on the morning or nightly news. I only buy the Sunday paper for the coupons (and my little guy like the "funnies" and sales papers). But there have been many times I have spent $3.50 for the paper and there was not one single coupon that I would use. That is $3.50 that could have been saved. So knowing ahead of time what coups will be in there lets me know if it is worth buying that week. If I will not be saving at least as much as I paid for the paper, no sense in me buying it.
coupondivas.com is another super site. Coupon matchups by store. Links to lots of printable coupon databases.
couponnetwork.com is where you can print Catalina coupons.
These three are printable coupon databases:
And also, many stores have coupons on their websites. Some stores will have a mixture of printable Manufacturer's coupons and store specific coupons that you can double up with Manufacturer's coupons. Check out the following:
Oh, and many products will give you a coupon just for liking them on Facebook. :)
As you may remember, as part of my savings strategy I have been depositing any change I have in my wallet, pockets, couch cushions, (random change I find when cleaning) in to my change jar. I also deposit whatever money I saved by using coupons into the jar. After 30 days I deposit all of it into my account at the bank. Me and the little man took a ride to the bank yesterday to do just that. I ran all my change through the CoinStar machine and took the receipt and the dollar bills that I had saved over to a teller. Yesterday's total deposit was $126.33. This is so exciting for me...the non saver! And it did not hurt to save any of the money either. I did not miss this money. Today, I transferred this money to my ING account and I will not touch it. This is going toward my Emergency Fund. We came home and I put my jar on the counter and noticed two pennies sitting there so I put them in the jar. I am on my way to saving more money for next month's deposit.
Hope to get EVERYONE on the couponing kick. Save some money, people!! It is a little time consuming, but well worth it.
Thanks for reading :)