Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Now that I'm a stay-at-home-ish, I feel it's my responsibility to save a little money where I can. So for the last few months (starting even while we were in STL), I've been trying my hand at "couponing." After watching videos like this lady,

(some of her great tips here)

and reading blogs like dealseakingmom and iheartpublix (for our local grocery store), I'm slowly learning this art.

I wanted to share some of my recent accomplishments; check it out:

2 boxes of Nature Valley granola bars (regularly about $3.50/each)
4 boxes playtex tampons (guys if you're reading, don't freak out, haha :) regularly about $5/ea)
Total: 8.08!!

How did I do it? It's like magic :) Okay seriously, Nature Valley was on sale for 2 for $4, I had two $.50 coupons. Platex on sale for $3.99, plus $1 off in store coupon for each, and 4 $2off manufacturer's coupons. YES!!

Our local grocery store has weekly Buy One Get One Free deals, which is like couponing jackpot. Here's a recent deal:
6 boxes Healthy Harvest pasta (normally $2/each)
6 boxes various Kelloggs cereal (normally $4/each)
Total: $6!!

From the "bogo" sale, each item is now half off. Then I had a healthy harvest coupon $5 off when you buy 5 boxes, 4 $.50 off Kelloggs coupon, and $5 off 5 boxes of Kelloggs coupon.

CVS (along with Walgreens) gives CVS bucks back with some sales (called ECB's). Here's a great deal I just got:
1 big box of Huggies diapers (normally $25/each)
2 Desitin tubes (normally $3.50/each)

Diapers on sale for $20, Desitin 2/$5, and get $10 back when you spend $25 on baby items. Then two .75 desitin coupons, one $3.50 Huggies coupon, and voila! Now I have $10 in CVS bucks, and if I can just keep rolling them over in more CVS bucks, I don't have to spend anymore money but keep getting more products! Check it out, this is my proudest transaction:

2 Nivea body wash (normally $6/each)
1 box Cheerios (normally $3/each)4 tubes Lysol disinfectant wipes (normally $2.50/each)
Total: FREE!

Here's how: $4 off $20 CVS store coupon, Nivea was on sale $5, and get $5 in CVS bucks back (limit 1), Cheerios on sale for $1.88, buy 4 tubes Lysol wipes for $10, get $5 back in CVS bucks. Nivea coupon $4 off 2, Cheerios coupon $.50, $1 off 2 Lysol wipes. Finally my $10 CVS bucks from last time. And it's TRULY free because I got a total of $10 CVS bucks BACK, so I have as much CVS bucks as I started with, and can keep using it on more purchases :) LOVE it!

But don't get me wrong, couponing is HARD. I couldn't spend this time trying to figure it out if I was also working full time. But after a year of perfecting it, hopefully it will be a lot easier and I'll be able to keep it up next year.

If you're interested in doing this yourself, here's what I'm doing:

First, I subscribed to a few of my favorite couponing blogs and get their emails daily: CommonSenseWithMoney, DealSeekingMom, and iHeartPublix (I'm sure there's a store-specific blog for your local store if you just look). iHeartPublix posts the weekly ads with the coupon matchups and deal ideas, which is incredibly helpful, as do the other blogs with CVS, Walgreens, Target, and other national chains.

Second, I need to get the coupons. You can get them from the Sunday paper and online. I've realized that I need to get the Sunday coupons each week, no matter what I can use that week or not. The reason is because in a month, there can be a killer sale on a product that you need that coupon from a month ago, and if you didn't get it then, you won't be able to get it now. Which is what is driving me crazy. This is why you need to have an organization system, which I'm not good at, and am still figuring out. I also am annoyed with the idea of spending money on a few Sunday papers just to get coupons for the sake of saving money... sheesh. But I just read this article which is a GREAT article for beginners, I wish I had found this a while ago. He has some really good ideas of taking a walk to his local coffee shops and taking the inserts from the papers that people have read and left behind, asked for inserts from friends who get the paper and don't use the coupons, and asked a local convenient store clerk to save the left over inserts that would otherwise been thrown away. I'm gonna have to start getting a system down like this, because I've realized if you really want to save, you want multiple inserts so you can stock up.

Finally, you need an organization system. Like I said, I'm not great with this, but am learning from others' strategies :) Right now, I try to take a special coupon-only trip once a week if I can so I have all the deals in my head and I can keep track of them easier. I try to do this later at night when the stores aren't very busy so I don't feel so uncomfortable holding up the line when I, or the cashiers get confused with all my coupons and deals. Then I organize my coupons in an accordion file, and just take them out and clip them when I need them. This step, for me, is still in process :) But I'm getting better! Most of the blogs I find have their own tips of how to get organized, because like I said before, it's not as easy as it sounds...

Wow, that was a long post about something that's probably pretty boring to most of you. But to those of you who are interested in couponing because you're in the midst of it, or would like to start, hopefully it was a little helpful. And if you have any tips for me on the stuff I'm a little weak on, please share! I know I'll never be as extreme as the lady in that video, but hopefully John and I can start to see some savings in our monthly grocery bill... wish me luck!
What I bought today, cost $9

1 comment:

  1. Kelly, Great blog! I love your couponing tips, and you have a gift for photography. It's fab!! Blessings to you, John, and William. We're praying this continues to be a year filled with wonderful blessings! Deb