Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sometimes You Get Lucky

      A creative approach to couponing that is helpful & stress free, is to search your local store's sale paper or online database, so you cans compare store prices and to ensure that you are getting the most of your product at the cheapest amount. Sometimes you get lucky and have a coupon for an item that is already on sale! This means you are getting the name brand item at its lowest price possible!
       As I flipped through Family Dollar & Dollar General sale paper, I realized that two of their sale items, also had  a coupon in the past Sunday's paper. Note: It is best to purchase your Birmingham, Mobile Press Register or local newspaper on Sunday's at Dollar Tree. Regardless of how much the newspaper company may charge for you to purchase a Sunday paper at the kiosk, Dollar Tree sells their newspaper for only $1. Below is a breakdown of the items I purchased from Family Dollar & Dollar Tree. Always remember that couponing is a stress-free hobby that allows you the opportunity to save.

Retail Value $37.17 ~ Paid $23.92 ~ Saved $13.36

Tide $5 on sale - $2 coupon = $3 per item (Family Dollar)
Dr. Pepper 10 - FREE with a coupon inserted in Sunday paper up to $1.99 value
Scott Paper Towel 9pk $5 on sale - $1 coupon = $4 per item (Dollar General)

Buy One Get One (BOGO)

Today, I ventured out to Publix in Tuscaloosa, AL, to purchase a few items for the Thanksgiving holidays. I was surprised to see so many items I needed for Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) until I lit up like a Christmas Tree :) In the shopping spree, I only purchased BOGO items, which in turn is good, if not, better than finding the perfect coupon for the items you use!

The steps I took in selecting the items I needed were visiting Publix website at publix.com. On this site, it allows you to create a printable grocery list. The icons are labeled 'BOGO' and 'Weekly Ads'. As I scrolled through the sale items, I simply put a star by the items I am interested in purchasing. BOGO are a great way to increase your stockpile (items stored in a cool dry place for future use), but only purchase items that you or your family will use! There is no need to purchase cat food, if you don't have a cat, lol! Below is a photo of the items I purchased, along with my total savings.

Paid $27.94 ~ Saved $24.26 (Publix)

Items Purchased:
Cool Whip Topping
Elbow Macaroni
Spaghetti Noodles
Publix Brand Sweet Tea
Sargento Mild & Sharp Shredded Cheese
Publix Brand Small Chocolate Milk
Publix Brand 2% 1/2 gallon milk
Aunt Jemia Pancake Syrup
A-1 Steak Sauce
Pam Cooking Spray

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Use of Multiple Coupons & Multiple Transactions

Today was the first time I used more than four coupons on a purchase. I checked couponmom.com, which is a well-known site that breaks down each stores weekly sales with the coupons from previous weekly circulars. I absolutely love this site!!

After I checked couponmom.com and matched the weekly sales with the coupons I had collected from previous weeks'. I went to WalMart to purchase the items I needed (most items were on sale). Upon my arrival I realized several coupons could only be used for one transaction, so this was my first trip to have to purchase items divided into two transactions - in order to purchase the amount of a particular item I wanted, while following WalMart's coupon rules :)

Tip of the day: The best way to organize your coupons is to get a large binder, baseball card holders (can be purchased at Target for really cheap) and dividers. Categorize each divider and place your coupons in the baseball card holder under the appropriate section. You'll find it useful the more you coupon to have a large category and break it down into sub-categories, for example PERSONAL ----> Body Wash or Toothpaste.

My couponing experience is beginning to become a way of life! The more coupons you use the more you save! Below is my photo of 20 items purchased for $23.50 over $20 in savings!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Couponing Works for Me!!

Today was a great day for me to finally see my Extra Care Bucks (ECB) put to use! This week CVS had Kingsford Charcoal on sale for $4.99. Because I have done so well  using my coupons on items that earn ECB, I was able to purchase the charcoal for $0.45 with a savings of $6.49.

After purchasing my charcoal, I went to Winn Dixie to sign up for a rewards card. * NOTE: Winn~Dixie has meat on sale weekly, BOGO. I was able to purchase 8 items for $12.39 with a $6.55 savings. I did not use any coupons on this trip, I only purchased items that were BOGO and a pack of water. Couponing saves you money,but you are also able to catch deals at our local grocery stores and drug stores when you purchase BOGO items.

Just a quick update on my trip today! (Photos Listed Below) ---- HAPPY SHOPPING!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Becoming Comfortable With Other Brands

I am stepping outside of my box and using other brands on sale at the stores of my choice. I wouldn't say, I am a brand loyal person, however, when you grow up with a product, you have the tendency to compare brands. This is my second week of couponing and I must say I have really impressed myself. I have saved a total of $32.08 on $82.17 worth of groceries at Publix and $49.02 on $74.36 worth of groceries at CVS for the w/e 6/25/11.

The most important tip I learned this week is to pay close attention to the coupon limit you're allowed. Although I had three coupons for Cologate toothpaste, CVS only allowed a limit of 2 coupons that could be used. However, I over-thought my shopping and purchased 3 tubes because I had 3 coupons, but spent roughly $1.50 that I didn't have to (note to self: pay attention to the coupon limit per sale item). There are great sites like couponmom.com  I would suggest many first time couponers / bloggers to use. The site allows you to watch tutorials and dig deeper into the art of couponing :)

Attached are my weekly deals and items I have began to stockpile. Stockpiling is when you purchase items in advance that are on sale, but also items you use. Find a space within your home to put all of your stockpile items. My stockpile is located on two shelves in my pantry, others may have a spare bedroom, garage or kitchen drawer they use, but it's totally up to you, the shopper :)



The Fears of Grocery Shopping

Ok, so this is my FIRST week to COUPON & I am extremely nervous. I have a million things running through my head, "Will I remember everything I learned in class?" This is the first time I have ever been so nervous about something so minor. The first store I chose to experiment with was PUBLIX, thank God, I went during the time of day where I was 1 of 3 people in the store :) To prepare for my first mini grocery trip, I checked the Sunday circulars for coupons, went online and viewed each selected stores' coupon policy as well as their sale paper and compared them to my coupon binder filled with coupons I had recently collected.

Tip 1: Make sure to have your coupon binder organized so that you can find your coupons easily.
Couponing does not take all day to collect the items you need, just time and patience once you begin to understand how it really works. Yes, I spent hours on top of hours trying to figure out, "Is this really worth the hassle," but later realized it's short and straight to the point if you know what you're doing.

Tip 2: Choose only the stores you would like to purchase your items.
My problem with beginning couponing was thinking about all the stores and their sales instead of focusing on the store I was shopping at for the day / week.

Tip 3: Set a Budget and stick to it!
I am very price conscious so I set a budget and roll with it. If I went over a few dollars, cool, but I wasn't too worried.

Conclusion: Applying all the tips I learned from couponing class (not included in this article) assured me that this is definitely a hobby that has to be practiced before entering for the TLC show, "Extreme Couponing" - lol. My first grocery spree as a "couponer" I saved $18.54 at Publix & $38.99 at CVS (photos of items attached).

Have A Wonderful Week & Remember, "Saving Leads to Prosperity"

My Road To Couponing

I have been unemployed for the past 6 months and thought it would be great to save money on my everyday necessities and groceries. I had been watching a show on TLC called "Extreme Couponing" and thought to myself this is a wonderful hobby and a great way to save moolah $$$$ :)

One day my mom and I were searching for a wedding venue and the conference manager began telling me how he and his wife-to-be had taken a couponing class and were seeing great results in a short period of time. As anxious as I was to sign-up, my mom was glad also due to the class savings her money on MY weekly grocery bill-lol. I contacted the teacher for the class and gathered my things to begin "Couponing 101". Upon my arrival, I was a bit weary that I was taking this whole couponing to the extreme, but I later realized, "There's nothing wrong with having a budget and cutting back if possible." I learned so much information at my first class until that's ALL I would talk about to my family was  "COUPONS". As I set out to be the best I could be, I asked my dad to gathering coupons from his Sunday circular so I could begin with a bang.