My misconceptions were that coupons were only for products that were:
- too expensive to begin with...or
- sugar-y, junky foods we shouldn't eat anyway, cheap or not
But after hearing Anne's spiel for the 2nd time at last month's Common Mama Meeting, my mind was drastically changed. Our topic of conversation for March was meal planning and with most of us seriously watching our pennies these days, I asked Anne to share about her couponing hobby. I did not know what I was in for! She came prepared with sale fliers, receipts from the grocery store....her coupon binder! The thing that caught my eye were the receipts...a receipt from the grocery store so long you could wrap a decent sized gift with totaling $30?!?! What??!!
After the visuals, I was ready to try again.
Here's what motivated me and what I learned:
- You can print coupons off the Internet...what?? I never knew that! this makes it very easy to find coupons for products I already use or want to try
- Coupons are NOT just for junk-food. Actually, just this morning I came across a link for $80 in coupons for natural and organic foods: Check it out here
- Target will take up to 2 coupons per item...combining a Target Store Coupon and a Manufacture Coupon can lead to some seriously cheap stuff!
Example: Monopoly was on sale for $7 (at target)
I had a $3 Target coupon for any game AND a $2 coupon from Milton Bradley Company
$7-$3-$2=$2 (yep, 2 bucks)
- There are TONS of websites out there to help you find deals (I'll list some in a sec)
- I was currently spending about $250 every two weeks at the grocery store and another $100 at Target for household items and it's always depressed me, but I just thought that's as cheap as I could do it
- http://www.saveathomemommy.com/ (she has a great site with updates all the time of good deals out there, she also goes over some couponing lingo and strategies of how to be a smart shopper)
- http://www.coupons.com/ (print your q's here)
- http://www.couponmom.com/ (I've watched her appear on the Today Show for years and always thought she was amazing for getting such good deals, but I never thought regular girls could do it!)
- http://www.target.com/ (scroll all the way down to the bottom and read the find print. there's a link to all their coupons you can print.)
So today, one month later, I am please to say I have saved approximately $200+. My last two trips to the grocer's totalled only $160. (that's for 2-weeks of groceries). One of my favorite trips to the store this last few weeks was this:
4 boxes of cereal (name brand)
3 boxes of Tuna Helper
2 packages of Duracell batteries
Total after sales and coupons: $8.60!
These days, instead of grumbling when I see that someone hasn't changed the empty roll of toilet paper, I happily go to our bathroom closet to retrieve a roll from one of my two jumbo packs purchased for $4.50 each. I'm learning to stock up on sale/coupons items that won't expire. I now own enough boxes of cereal to last till June and enough tampons to last me till menopause. Listen ladies, just try it. The thrill of saving bucco bucks on boring stuff like paper towels and granola bars is more exhilarating then you'd think!
And Anne, I was wrong about you. You don't need to get out more, you're out plenty! Out saving a TON of money, that is! :) Sorry I doubted you!
How about you?? Do you use sales, coupons, or neither? And here's what I really want to know...what's a fair amount for a grocery bill for a family of 5? How much do you spend?