Thursday, April 8, 2010

my very first adventure as a "coupon lady"

This past month I have been focusing a lot of time on our family budget. It is something I know that I have needed to do for a long time. Notice I said needed, not wanted. I hate the "B" word. It makes me hyperventilate a little bit. I automatically want to rebel against it. It's been on my heart to be a better steward of our/daves hard earned money. He works really, really hard. And I want to tell our money where to go, and know where it is going, instead of wondering where it went.

Part of doing a budget is knowing what the estimated percentages of expenses are for our family. For example, how much should a family of 3 spend monthly on groceries? Well, as it turns out, we spend probably more than what we should. Go figure.

So, I've started couponing. It's been a learning experience and surprisingly fun! My original attitude towards couponing was this:

  • I don't eat the processed foods that the coupons are for.
  • I don't know how to get the savings that I hear about on all sorts of blogs-it seemed very confusing to me. I didn't know all the lingo like "catalina" "register rewards" "BOGO" etc.
  • I thought that I shouldn't have to drive all over town-I thought I deserved convenience over frugality.

What I think about couponing now.

  • Holy cow, it's fun! It's the thrill of the hunt feeling!
  • I educated myself-and it's all a learning process. I bought a book and frequent the krazy coupon lady blog.
  • I've been humbled and know that I don't deserve anything. I've have definitely had a change in my attitude and in my heart.
  • And....I do use the things that there are coupons for. Coupons are not just for "processed" foods. You can buy all kinds of things with coupons!
  • It does take time. But I think it's worth it.

Yesterday was my first couponing shopping experience. It took some preparation. I went to Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Safeway, and Winco, Asian World, and Costco. It was a long day-but soooo worth it. I ended up spending around $200.00 but my savings were close to $90!!! (with coupons, club cards, and in store sales)

Some of my good buys included:

2 Gillette Fusion Razors for 3.99 ea. -They were on sale for $7.99 and I had 2/$4 off coupon.

2 Crest toothpastes (reg. size) for $0.25 ea.

Clorox wipes for $1.99 (I don't know if this was a great deal, but it was significantly cheaper than regular price-and these are great to have on hand with a potty training boy in the house!)

Packaged crab meat for $0.99 regularly $4.49! I bought 6. I had to do 3 separate transactions.

Kraft macaroni & cheese for $0.50

Purex laundry detergent for $2.99

10# bag of potatoes for $0.99

and I earned a free coffee (any size) from starbucks at safeway.

I have more coupons to use today! I will let you know my deals later on!

If this sounds like something that you want to do and you don't know how to start-here is how I got started.

1. Get a subscription to the Pinch. This is a free circular-that comes on Wednesdays and Sundays. It has all the coupons and ads in it. It is part of the Spokesman review. Call their circulation desk to get sign up.

2. Get a subscription to the Sunday paper. I get papers on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. This gives me a total of 3 times the coupons! Since there are coupons in the Wednesday and Sunday papers.

3. Search the blog world for tips. My favorite blog is Krazy Coupon lady. From there you can blog hop.

4. Get club cards to every store that offers them. They will save you money as well as get exclusive offers. They may take up a lot of space in your wallet or on your keychain. But that's ok. It's worth it.

5. Spend some time studying the ads-compare prices. Find out what is a good price for the things you normally buy.

6. The key to saving money is to find what is on sale and find a coupon for that product-find 2 if you can! For example: This week Walgreens has a $10 off Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips in their weekly ad. The Sunday paper also has a $10 off manufacturer coupon-so (hopefully!) I can combine both coupons and get this product for $20 off-probably very cheap if not free.

  • I do not save money by using .10 or .05 cents off coupons. The key is to use your coupons for what is on sale. Use multiple coupons and you can build a stockpile of items.


  1. you are SO much braver than me! maybe i need a heart change, too ~ i loathe coupons and running to 10 different stores. although, i've never really done it so i guess i can't hate something i haven't tried. LOL! haha

    anyway, i might just get inspired one of these days ... maybe. ♥

  2. Good for you!!

    I am so proud of you! I just read through your 3 posts on couponing. You are off to a great start! I remember being in the same place that you were not that long ago. And I agree with everything you've said here. Yes it takes some time and effort--but whatever you put into it (learning the ropes, clipping coupons, etc...) you will reap a reward in. I've been couponing for a year and a half and it's been a process. I am finally now to the point where I have a great stockpile-but it's taken me some time to figure out how to do that within my monthly budget.
    If you are interested, I could send you the link to the free excel spreadsheet savings tracker that I got from a blog in January. It's meant for the couponer and it will show you your running savings each month--what you've saved in coupons and in-store specials. It's really easy to use and I've found it very motivating to keep me on track. My sis Mary is using it too.

    Keep up the good work!

    P.s. I LOVE the Krazy Coupon Ladies too! :)



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