Monday, February 21, 2011

My tale of coupons....

I know I've neglected the blog and I can't promise this is an end to it because I'm a busy lady BUT I might try to do better. Now that all of that is out of the way...

I've been couponing. Yes me. I never thought I would for many reasons. First of which was TIME. I didn't have TIME to clip and organize. Then there was money. I didn't want to spend MONEY on buying a Sunday paper just to save a few bucks. I never thought I would actually USE the coupons in the paper. I would flip through the coupons and think "I'll never use that". Then a lady by the name of Coupon Mama held a 'so much more than couponing' class in my area. She had a great testimony and had wonderful tips on how to use coupons so I went. I enjoyed the class, learned a good bit, and had a good time. I went, I left, I conquered...NOT. I did learn a TON of information and I left with the know how and the want to but my want to fizzled out. So I continued to spend money for essential items at full price and on occasion I would see a deal posted by Coupon Mama that I would go and grab. Then I realized that I was wasting money. I was spending at least $100 a week in groceries and probably $75 a week on things like toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, soap, tooth paste ect. So I got serious. My husband works hard for our family. Why wasn't I working as hard to SAVE that money that he works for. Or at least save as much of it as possible. We've always joked that his job was to bring the money in and mine was to spend it. That really hasn't changed BUT we added TWO words. .. His job is to bring the money in and mine is to spend IT WISELY!

In January 2011 I started buying a Sunday paper. I have since began to PAY for...a few papers a week because there are some GREAT deals to be had. Some weeks are fantastic and some are not but its all worth it. There is a new show on TLC called extreme couponing and if you've seen the show then you know that YES they do a great job at saving money BUT they also have too much stuff and don't really do coupons in a good way. They selfishly clear shelves leaving nothing for the next person then they take things home to their basement where things waste away and don't get used. I have NO WHERE NEAR that expertise in couponing BUT I do have a few extras and once I get a nice 'stockpile' for my own family I share things with others who may need them. One may ask...who needs that much of one certain item but my dears...when its free or nearly free why wouldn't you pick it up for a rainy day? No one is guaranteed to have a job tomorrow...and my hubby is no exception. Who would feed the 5 mouths in my house if he lost his job? Prices are high and they are only getting higher so coupons and stockpiles it is for my family.

Here are a few pictures of my trips from this weekend. Harris Teeter doubles coupons up to .99 on a daily basis BUT sometimes they have SUPER doubles which is what is going on now. They will double any coupon (unless it says do not double) up to 1.98 making a $1 coupon $2 and $1.50 coupon $3 and so on. So through a few different websites that show deals I make a list of things that I need that are ON SALE AND THAT I HAVE A COUPON FOR. Too much? Don't worry. Coupon Mama makes a weekly list of deals from different stores. Still don't get it? You can always sign up for The Grocery Game and get 4 weeks free, use those 4 weeks to get yourself started then cancel OR don't cancel will still save more than the money you spend on it. Once you get the hang of it stop paying for the service. After buying papers and paying for grocery game I spend about $5 a week. This weekend alone I SAVED around $180. My total before coupon/VIC savings on 4 different trips was around $250 and I spent a mere $70. Now on a normal week I usually spend around $20 for a $80 - $90 order. Ok so you STILL don't think you eat that stuff. Do you brush your teeth? I get free toothpaste, toothbrushes, and dental floss. Do you wear deodorant? I get that free. Do you wipe your tail after using the bathroom? I get that cheap. I may not have bought some of things I get now BEFORE coupons BUT now I can substitute things. Normally I would have gone to Aldi for snacks for the kids and spent $1 but now I can get different snacks for .50 or I may not have bought a Wanchia Ferry dinner BUT I can use that for dinner instead of something else I would have bought. Don't be brand MONEY conscience!

Those are from this past weekend. Here are a few from past trips.

So there it is. My reason for couponing. I can shop. I can save. I can share. (Coupon Mama) Couponing can open up many ways to start a conversation and who knows where that conversation may lead! A complete stranger may ask you a question and about coupons and you can turn it into a witnessing tool! I can feed my kids and tend to our household needs without breaking the bank AND I can use the money I WOULD have spent on more important things! Not to mention being able to share goodies with people in need! BEEF...ITS WHATS FOR DINNER (and coupons paid for it)!