I've clipped coupons here and there before, but never really been a committed, organized "couponer".
But the more I read about couponing, and the more I see about it on TV, the more interested I've become. One of my friends is a serious couponer, and often posts his deals on Facebook. Someone asked him how he does it, and he said "All it really takes is time and lots of printer ink."
So, finally, I decided to get on this bandwagon. I got a printer. I asked my couponing friend to add me to the email list he sends out weekly, in which he finds sales & combines them with coupons, and tells you where to find and/or print the coupons. I joined other coupon sites. I bought a coupon organizer & labelled it (I had a small one but I knew I'd need a big one for this!).
I have no aspirations of becoming a true Extreme Couponer. I have no interest, nor enough room, to store things like 75 bottles of mustard and 8745 rolls of toilet paper.
All I'm really going for here is a full pantry, full extra freezer, and a smaller grocery bill.
So this weekend, I did my first couponing shopping trips.
For the first one, I went to Publix. They have a lot of Buy One Get One Free deals, and when you combine those with coupons, you can get some really great bargains. At Publix I saved $51.49. I paid $73.56 for $125.05 in groceries.
Then on Saturday, I went to Winn Dixie, which also has a lot of BOGO deals. I can't find my receipt from Winn Dixie (and I'm so mad about that!) but I saved right around $47 and paid $56 for $103 in groceries. So all total this weekend I got almost $100 worth of free groceries. I think that's awesome for my first time!
Another thing I had to do was put aside any embarrassment I had about couponing. I always felt like people were judging or whatever, and I myself always teased my parents for using their senior citizens' discount wherever they went. Well, no more! I am doing something smart, to benefit my family, and I won't let anyone make me feel badly about that. I won't hesitate to go up to the service desk to ask questions or clarify policies (I did that at both stores this weekend). I will watch each coupon get scanned and make sure I get the money taken off as it should be. I will walk into a restaurant and use a coupon and not care what anyone thinks of it.
The funny thing is my kids think it's great, even the teenagers! They are totally impressed by what I've saved already. Elayna found a coupon on the floor at a store the other day and proudly brought it to me.
If you have any interest in couponing, let me know and I will share some links with you. It definitely takes time. Since I work part time, I'm literally considering this sort of a part-time job. The time I spend on this pays off, so it's worth it for me. You have to have a printer; the newspaper inserts are great but to save a good chunk of money, you need to use printable coupons as well. You also need to learn your stores' coupon policies. You can't rush through the store; you have to take your time and organize your coupons as you go, make sure you're getting the correct product, etc.
It's also a lot of fun, and a rush when I read my receipt and see all that money I've saved. It's fun to spend time online hunting down deals. It's fun to post them on Facebook and impress my couponing friends!
Good luck, happy couponing!