- This topic has 9 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated May 2, 2007 at 11:56 pm by .
- May 2, 2007 at 11:56 pm #251927Guest
This will be a long one but here goes.
I will start by saying that several stores in my area double coupons. But even
if they didn’t I would still be able to reduce my savings substantially.
– The 1st thing I did was take a class from, Faye Prosser, someone who had been
doing it for several years and has mastered it (imo). if you live in eastern nc
i would highly recommend it, if not i would recommend getting her book (the only
thing i get out of recommending her is feeling great that i may have been able
to help someone cut their grocery bill in half just as she helped me).
– after i took her class i priced all the components to put together my own
binder (thought i would save some money) and found that i would save money
buying hers based on cost for the materials @ wal-mart & staples. not counting
my time. so i went ahead and bought one with a strap, which is a huge benefit
when you have little ones.
– i then started buying 2 papers each Sunday. You may be thinking “why 2”?
Well, this way if a store is running a bogo (buy one get on free) sale i have a
coupon to use on each item. in my area this is no big deal since the stores who
run bogo really ring each item @ 50% off. So for example, if the item is BOGO @
$4.00 (they will ring @ $2 each) and I have a $1.00 coupon I would end up paying
only $1 for each. Now I get the Sun. paper delivered (for $1.25/wk.) and then
if the coupons are great I go to Walgreens or the Dollar store (the sell it for
$1) and buy 1, 2 or 3 more, depending how many coupons I want of the “great
– I have also taken on the mindset of “if it’s on sale and I have a coupon I
buy it even if I don’t NEED it”. This applies mostly to non-perishables and
some items that can be frozen (i.e. hot dogs, cheeses, sandwich meat, etc.). My
1st 2 months after the class I spent building a stock pile. I bought a small
freezer (which I paid full price for, I’ll never do that again. You can often
find these for sale on craigslist or @ your local appliance repair center. Many
on our yahoo group, including Faye, have bought used deep freezers and are very
happy.) One of the biggest reasons many of us pay way to much for things is
because we find ourselves having to “run” to the store to pick something up that
we need and don’t have. Well, I don’t know about everyone else, but once I get
there I would end up picking up other things so I didn’t have to get them later.
With this approach, chances are the items you’re getting are not on sale. it
has been a year since i’ve had to do the dreaded “run” to the store. where do i
store my stock pile you ask? we got a used cabinet (one of those white ones
that you often see @ wal-mart or k-mart in the furniture section) from a friend
and keep it in the garage. i store things that are not sensitive to extreme
hot/cold in that cabinet. i then cleaned out a closet that had way too many
linens in it (how many blankets and sheet sets did i really need lol) and i use
that for excess. you can add some shelves to a closet if they aren’t already
there. since i am the primary person (actually the only person lol) in my
household that does the grocery shopping i generally know what we have and
need. i do keep a list on the fridge that we update when we see that we only
have one left of something so i know it has to be replaced (as of right now my
list has 3 items on it). I then replace it when it’s on sale and i have a
coupon. if the item doesn’t meet both criteria’s it doesn’t get bought until
then (of course there are some exceptions such as milk, eggs, bread and vinegar
[which is used for laundry]). that’s really all i can think of that would fall
under the exception rule.
– also, if it’s free i buy it!!! even if we don’t use it. my feeling is
someone can. there are many families, food banks, homeless shelters, churches,
etc. that are always in need. a few things that i have not paid for in the past
year are: toothpaste (colgate, crest, aquafresh), toothbrushes (reach &
colgate), body wash (suave), shampoo (suave, l’oreal vive), deodorant (degree,
secret, ban), flavored rice (uncle ben’s, zatarain’s, success), tabasco sauce,
relish, ketchup, mustard, kellogg’s cereal, kraft cheese, etc., etc., etc. last
year we were able to donate hundreds of dollars worth of food/non-food items to
– another thing, is you can use a “store” coupon with a “manufacturer” coupon
on the same item @ most grocery & pharmacy stores. for example, if walgreens
has a “store” coupon in their weekly flyer for $1 off Kellogg’s protein flavored
water and you have a $1 off “manufacturer” coupon for the same item they WILL
let you use both @ the same time. The grocery stores in my area allow the same
thing (check with your local store @ customer service they will be able to give
you their “rules”). When you are asking, also ask if they will accept
competitor coupons. We have a store locally (Harris Teeter) that will allow us
to use Food Lion coupons. This week Harris Teeter had Deli ham on sale for 3.99
lb and they let us use a $2 fl coupon (you can’t buy pre-packed for that price
in most places). this saves me not only money but time and travel (@ today’s
gas prices that’s a big deal).
– i would suggest finding a “partner” too share your finds/savings with if you
don’t have a group such as ours in your area. you’re family members won’t quite
understand your excitement. that is until you are able to finally convince dh
to come along with you. i did this about 4 months into my adventure and he was
SHOCKED. Needless to say he never says a thing about me going to the store or
how much “extra” I buy. Our savings has allowed us to free up a good bit of
money and turn our 10+ year debt free plan into a 4 year debt free plan (then I
discovered another group to help me really develop a budget) and now it is a 2
year debt free plan.
– The 1st month or so you won’t feel like you’re saving all that much. It’s
because you are new @ it and building your stock pile. When you got married,
was it easy or did you learn more about each other with each passing
day/month/year? If your a mom, did you feel like you knew exactly what to do
when you had your 1st baby? Just STICK to it.
– Shop around. Don’t just shop @ one store (they run sales on different things
for a reason). Especially those that claim they have everyday low prices or will
price match but have 30 different rules that you don’t know about. Low prices
based on what? Their own measuring stick? Like I said before, we spend about
5% of our budget @ Wal-Mart. Not shopping there has saved us a lot because I am
able to take advantage of store “sales” which are often better prices and don’t
have to worry about dh wandering to the fishing department and finding a pole he
can’t live w/out. or my dd begging for the newest toy that she sees on the end
cap. or myself being tempted to buy the kids that cute new dress or checking to
see if there are any new shoes for my toddler (when she already had 4 pairs).
Plus they are not very coupon friendly, they will scrutinize the coupon and
challenge it when the “picture” doesn’t match the item you are getting. Even
though the coupon says “save x.xx on ANY xxx brand.
– The last thing I can think of is to register your store card @ their website.
I don’t know of many stores now-a-days that don’t have their own “savings” card.
Some that you can register are:
http://www.harristeeter.com – they will e-mail the weekly sales flyer to you with your
top 10 sale items based on your history. They also have “e-vic” specials each
week that are exclusive to customers registered on line.
http://www.foodlion.com – they will also e-mail the weekly specials to you. In
addition, the e-mail will contain 4-6 different “store” coupons.
http://www.lowesfood.com – they will e-mail you the sales flyer and sometimes special
http://www.bilo.com – will e-mail the sales flyer and coupon links.
2 side notes:
1 – I cut my coupons while watching TV. When I have more than 1 set I separate
them and put like sheets together so when I’m cutting I cut less. Today I had 3
sets of each and cut as if I only had 1.
2 – I sometimes order coupons from a very reliable source,
http://www.thecouponclippers.com. This is a lady out of Fla. that started this service
several years ago. She charges a small fee for the coupon, postage and a .50
handling fee. I just placed a $10 order and got 97 coupons that I WILL use.
You are able to order the quantity that you want and the indiv. coupon cost is
normally between .05 & .10. For example, I just bought 14 Duke’s mayo. (.90
value) coupons for $1.40 but I will now only pay .89 per jar (2.69 if it’s not
on sale. It often goes on sale BOGO which means they would be 1.35 each before
coupon and then -.45 after double coupon. YES, they will pay me to take them
home). I only order when I want a large quantity of specific coupons and don’t
want to buy 10+ papers every week. You can order coupons that were in a paper 6
weeks ago, 4 weeks ago, last week, etc. As long as she still has them
available. The only time she sells out is when there’s a coupon for a “free”
item such as a recent razor and cat food.
I hope you find this information helpful and not too overwhelming. Couponing
can be a lot of fun, just remember it takes time. I get a rush everytime I save
more than I spend, better money in my pocket than theirs. Your savings could go
towards eliminating debt, a family vacation, donations, a new car fund, kids
college, etc. The list can go on and on. Please feel free to ask any
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new. -2 Corinthians 5:17
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