4.25.2011

Not-So-Extreme Couponing

I don't know about you, but it seems like for us, there's always too much money going out and never enough money coming in.
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!

18 comments:

Tammie said...

sigh. i miss publix and all its BOGOS. they also have really good store brands.

i would love some of your couponing links. i clip from the paper and i print of some online ones but not many.

as a kid i used to be embarrassed by coupons but no more. the way i see it is if i were to find $1 folded up in my newspaper, then id surely keep it. so if there is $1 coupon off of something i would normally buy anyway, why should i feel ashamed by it? a buck is a buck. :)

April said...

Yes, please share your links...inquiring minds want to know! I really need to coupon more...one of my dearest friends is sold on it and she saves all kinds of money! I think you did really well on your grocery purchases!

Frogs in my formula said...

Ok, did my husband put you up to this post? Ever since he heard about extreme couponing he's been obsessing about it and trying to get me on board. We have a printer, and after reading this post I see he may have a point. Wow!

Hair Bows & Guitar Picks said...

I have just started the coupon thin too....I also have a good friend who is teaching me and I will try posting some of my deals on my blog too :)

Steph said...

I'm in!! Share please. :)

I do pretty good most times too, but always always am looking for more tips, links etc.

Saturday I got a jumbo pack of Pampers, 2 bags of Chewy Werther's candies, 2 chocolate covered Peeps and 3 rolls of Scotch tape for $3.41. :)

shortmama said...

Im a couponer too and I love it!! I have no shame in handing over my stack of coupons for savings!

Share your links with me please so if I dont already have them on my list I can add them and if I have some that you dont I will pass those on to you too!

The Lovely One said...

I have a friend on FB who also shares her deals, and I'm always amazed by what she can do! I think those extreme couponers have issues (I really 563 things of deodorant, thank you very much!), but I would love to save some money!

Amy said...

I don't do much in regards to couponing (I live in Canada, and tend to use 'member' cards some of the major stores have), but I have scored pretty good on dried goods from time to time, and had a pretty amazing pantry built up (pasta, canned goods, etc), and let me tell you, has it saved my butt this year with being broke. We still have enough food in the pantry to last another month (give or take), and we've become very careful when shopping (usually save about 30% each shopping trip), and have totally taken advantage of the freezer (crockpots FULL of spaghetti sauce, and freezing it).

Awesome post, thank you for sharing!

Trac~ said...

Looks like you and I definitely had the same idea yesterday for our posts. Yes, please share the links you have - including (if your friend will allow it) his Facebook information - I would love to follow him as well. My email address is: tranderson@fulbright.com I will gladly share with you any and all tips of mine as well. Glad to have someone else "new" besides myself, to start this with. You definitely got a lot of great deals this past weekend and from the looks of your comments, we are not alone in our newfound way of thinking! :) xoxoxo

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I so wish I could be an extreme couponer. I have neither the time nor the energy. I do coupon and aim to save more than I spend, which I usually do.

blueviolet said...

I absolutely love the idea, but as you said, it takes time and I just don't have it right now. :(

Katertot said...

I'm a couponer, and a shop-a-holic. I get a rush from getting a great bargain!

Amy said...

Share with me please. It might be the only way that we keep eating. LOL

The Girl Next Door said...

When I was in law school, my car got broken into and I was most depressed that they stole my COUPON BOOK! I've never had time to be a serious couponer but I used to be pretty good. My MIL was awesome - I swear they ate nearly free. I can still see her, sitting at the kitchen table with all the circulars (before the Internet) with her giant shoe box, list and COUPONS!
Kudos to you!

lvankuiken said...

I need to start couponing! Please, share your links!

Alicia said...

Ya see, this is something that I totally need to invest more time in. I'm always reading about all the money people save by using coupons!! You did great!!

Brandy@YDK said...

wow that's so great!!! i need to be a better couponer!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

It's a great idea. It does take time to shop but well worth it. I don't do much of it anymore but I have a few friends that I follow who are so good at it. They pay almost nothing for so many items.
I pretty much do one coupon day about every six weeks and the bonus is when the item is on sale.
I love the dollar coupons off the internet. Best of luck to you.