Sunday, August 09, 2009

coupon savings for the non-coupon crazed shoppers....

Went to Giant today. Spent a few bucks. Met some people...
I do that a lot. People talk to me, and God know, I talk back....I can talk to just about anyone. (I have not figured out if this is good or not....but I meet some interesting folks...)

Anyhow......of course, Jonathan was my Sunday Helper, as is our Sunday Tradition. It's our "date". We spend time together, just he and I, and he works on his social skills AND helps me with the coupon matching. It's grueling, let me tell ya....

One of the the most frequent comments I hear when people see MY COUPON BOX is "Oh, I could never do that."

Uh, Yes you could....I am not the picture perfect example of organization and I DO IT. If I can do, so can you. One lady said she was so impressed that she remembered one $0.55 coupon, but that she couldn't "handle" all those coupons....I flat out asked her, "Are you rich? I am not so I coupon like this so I can eat like I am....." I explained to her my "system", which to tell the truth is an anti-system. It's the easy way out......It's the laziest possible system, I assure you. And it works for me.

1. I clip coupons from various sources (see below)
2. I match coupons to products that I want.
3. I often stockpile, buying an item BEFORE I NEED IT.
4. I continue to clip and stock up.

That is my system. It is soooooo easy. Trust me, it's me, my printer, some scissors, and a little bit of time. This helps me save between 50-85% off of my grocery bills. I get questions about what I buy, so I will answer those here:

I only like certain brands. What do you recommend?
I am not loyal to many brands. I am loyal to my money. There are GOBS of coupons that can offer you savings if you step outside your comfort zone a lil bit. I agree, some things are worth the extra $ (like Birdseye Corn, love that stuff!!) In those cases, I call the 800# that is on just about everything you buy, and I tell the nice customer service rep that I love their product and would like to get some free coupons so that I can keep buying it. This usually puts me on their mailing list so I get continuous goodies from companies that I prefer. You can also visit their websites. Both of these options mean you will be giving personal info out to companies. You can decide for yourself if that works for you. Each and every day, I have some goodie in my mail. I love the mail....

The coupon is only $0.50, how is THAT going to save me 50% off of my groceries?
Well, obviously the savings are individualized, depending on how much you spend and what you buy. I buy for a family of 5, and my monthly budget is between $125-200, depending on the season. And we eat VERY well. Coupons take a few cents off and it's a cumulative effect. You can maximize your savings by:

a) matching your coupons up to the store circular;
b) enrolling for a store loyalty card;
c) shopping at stores that DOUBLE and TRIPLE coupons (check for limitations)

It takes too much work. I am in a hurry. I don't want to do that all that.....
Well, I am like many shoppers: I have more time than I have money. I choose to do this because it's a REAL savings for us. The initial time investment might be a few hours, as you get your coupon box system to your liking. On a weekly basis, I spend maybe 45 minutes to 1 hour, clipping and organizing my coupon box. But the payoff is HUGE.
It might not work for you. But I cannot imagine shopping any other way. I cringe paying full price when I know I can get it cheaper. I mean, WHY pay more? That's just silly...

Coupons make me look cheap. I don't like looking poor.
Pardon me for being blunt, but no one cares about my coupons. Or how I look when I am shopping. In many parts of the country, people are hurting. They are looking to chop their costs and I get lots of compliments and admiring looks, not judgement. People WANT to save money. Especially nowadays. Being coupon savvy is all the rage.

Where do you get your coupons?
I have a bunch of sources. Right here on my blog, on the left side I linked up my favories bloggers who are EXPERTS at triming the food bills. These women are PhD's of coupon shopping!
Also you can visit the following:

Coupons is very popular

Coupons | Online Coupons - Smartsource makes it easy

Coupons, Deals, Tips, Savings & Contests - RedPlum: Home -another fine option.

Grocery Couponing & Deal Forum - A Full Cup - Coupons - Target specific coupons which you can "stack" with manufacturer's coupons! (we'll get to that later) Community
Food Lion
Quality Market
Tom Thumb

there are QUITE a few...Certainly you can find ONE :)

What do I need to print my own coupons? Is it difficult?
My husband likes to say it's like printing money, and it truly is. I go to each site, select the coupons I want and print them out. It could not be any easier. Seriously.....
Things you need to know:
a) you can USUALLY print two from each computer. (I have 3 printers networked in so I can print 6 of the same coupon sometimes.)
b) printing out coupons is a major ink sucker. Between my couponing and the kids' homeschooling work, we switched to a laser printer. (which I bought on clearance WITH a coupon)

Is it worth it?
My family would not be able to enjoy the bounty that we do without my coupons. Clever clipping, matching and frugal habits allow me to feed them abundantly. AND it leaves a lot left over for me to donate to our local Food Bank, so that I can help others in need.

Only you can decide for yourself if it's worth it. Are you looking to save money? Is there a little for month at the end of the check? Try couponing. The savings are what you make them!

In the coming days, I'll talk about "stacking" and how I get stuff for FREE..........


Berry Patch said...

Every time I read one of our posts on couponing, I just want to steal your brain for a bit. LOL What you spend in a month, is what I spend between 1-2 WEEKS for the same amount of people. Obviously, I'm not quite getting it right yet. But keep posting & I'll keep implementing as I can....Thanks for sharing!!!!

Linda said...

and for your southern readers (other than me, of course) you have

And don't forget as well...these are always helpful.

I'm totally with you on this - I save more now than I have ever saved. I'm still not the coupon queen you are, but I'm getting MUCH better.

SB said...

I am NOT the Coupon Queen. I just like to save $$.