Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Couponing....


Ok, so a post not involving pictures of my adorable child......haha. I have to admit I've been a slacker about taking pictures the past week. Someone is always running and dancing and won't sit still for a second. If you haven't seen them, I posted a few videos recently.... http://www.flickr.com/photos/94545647@N00/4292044738/

So anyway, I wanted to blog about couponing. I've really gotten into it recently basically as a way to keep more of my hard earned money!!!! All the expenses of life really add up. Some people wonder "how do you have time for that?" I am happy to report that it really does not take much time at all! Trust me, if it took up a lot of time, I would not be doing it!!!

I have always used coupons, but have recently learned some new tools that have really paid off!!! I started using some websites including http://www.southernsavers.com/ which provide the tools I need. They basically go through all the ads for the week and then match them up with what coupons are out there. There are links for coupons for many of the products.

I check out the website once or twice a week. Then we plan out what items we'll get on sale over the next week. We keep a running shopping list going on the fridge for thing as we run out. I simply add the products that we'll be getting to our lists.

"How do you have time to go to all those stores?, I don't have time to shop around"
I actually do not go to a lot of stores. Our main store is Publix- we love the way it is always organized, neat and clean and has great customer service. This is where we do our main grocery shopping. They double coupons up to 50cents (to make it an dollar off). They also have a lot of really great buy one get one free deals on many items that we buy often. We go to Publix once a week- either Friday night or Saturday/Sunday depending on how my work schedule is.

The only other stores we shop at regularly are CVS and Walgreens. I used to think that CVS was very expensive (and it is if you aren't only shopping the deals) but I've started working the ExtraCareBucks and now pay very little for shampoo, toothpaste, and diapers. There are plenty of resources on the internet about using ECB's. It is a little overwhelming at first, but worth "playing the game".

We only go to Walgreens to buy milk and newspapers on Sunday afternoon. Walgreens and CVS are right across the street from each other. No extra driving.

Maybe once a month I will go to Target to buy things that are cheaper there or to stock up on certain things we need that they don't sell at grocery stores.

"Most coupons seem to be for junk or things I can't use"
This can be true to an extent, but overall I think it just a myth. Who doesn't use shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, ect? Plus we buy plenty of granola bars, diapers, frozen veggies, yogurt, ect. There aren't any coupons for fresh fruits or veggies usually, so we just look for those on sale and buy what is on sale for the week.

So here's what I do:

1. Buy the sunday paper- I buy at least 2 at walgreens (they sell them for 88cents vs. 1.50 so it is almost buy one get one free).
Take out the coupon inserts. Then I usually will cut out all the coupons I might possibly use. This is something I do while we are watching TV or a movie. SO no added time. Sometimes I will do 2 weeks worth at a time.
2. Organize the coupons in my binder. This is a new addition to my couponing. I used to use a little tiny organizer, but I was having trouble keeping things organized. When Connor dumped them into the floor it was my last straw I went to Staples and bought a flexible 3-ring binder and some baseball card inserts.

As you can see each coupon (or multiples of coupons) has its own little pocket .They're organized by type of item (refrigerated, baby, cleaning products, ect).








3. Pull out the coupons I'll be using at the store and put them in the front pocket. I still take my binder to the store in case there are other deals I have missed on my list. Basically you hold on to your coupons till the items you buy are on sale. And remember that any coupons over 50 cents double at Publix (and many other grocery stores).



When things are a really good price- we stock up. That means that we currently have 12 12-packs of diet pepsi in our garage, but since i only paid about 90 cents per 12 pack we can find the space to store it. And, yes, I'll use it. I take 2 to work each day- so that means it will last till the next deal comes around. We usually buy about 6 or 7 jars of spaghetti sauce, 7 or 8 boxes of granola bars, ect. You need to buy enough to make it to the next sale, so you don't have to go out and buy anything full price. As for shampoo, toothpaste, ect, we stock up on those so that we never have to pay much and never have to run out and buy them last minute.
Also, we DO NOT buy anything unless we are going to be using it. Don't waste money buying something just because it is a "good deal".

I'll have to blog more about this later.....this is only the beginning!

1 comment:

brooke said...

I have a binder just like that! I love couponing now. It's like a challenge to pay as litte as I can for something. I recently got some coupons from CVS- any new or transferred RX get a $25 gift card. I got 2 of them. So I can get $50 in gift cards just to transfer to them and pay my normal $7 copay that I pay where ever I go.