Sunday, August 21, 2011

Get Your Coupon Game Face on!

Not only can you be frugal with your home decor...the latest craze as you all know is couponing.  It took some convincing, but once I came on board..I was amazed at the savings that I was able to make at the grocery stores and drug stores.  I'm hooked. Totally. A. Nut. About. It.  Everytime we go to the grocery store and I drag hub along to help out...the first thing I do when I get my cart is put my glasses on....what?  it's a 40 something thing to have reading glasses and well...remember?  I'm 50 something!  He has that I know you are about to drive me nuts face on, but I'm along for the ride.  Anyhoo...I have my shopping list and my coupons are in my coupon holder waiting to be used.  Everything is already organized before I ever enter the grocery store.  To go randomly into a store with no plan is a huge mistake.  Don't ever do that!  Sometimes I even write out my grocery list by aisle.  I have our local Publix memorized in my mind.

Here's my Saturday morning ritual before anyone gets up.
 This is me...no makeup...pj's still on....and I'm checking out the local ads.  GAME FACE ON!!  We have a very small town...so it's either Walmart, Harvey's or Publix.  I can get the most out of couponing from Publix, but I usually do a meat buy at Harvey's.  Walmart comes in 3rd place...I will say that their frozen veggies and things can be cheaper, but for the most part....there are plenty of coupons for frozen foods out there to keep you in a grocery store like Publix for those items.
 These 2 things are VERY important to me!  I will commit myself somewhere if these are ever lost!!  The Couponizer I found on line.  LOVE IT.  Inside are pockets categorized to hold all of my coupons.  It's a very easy system that I've used for a long time.  The other organizer (blue thingy) is what I actually take to do my shopping.  It contains all the coupons I plan to use that day.  I never leave home without my couponizer holder, just in case there's a deal that I see and I can check my stash to see if I have a coupon for that item.  Here's a peek inside....

I know the last pic is hard to see.  It's inside the coupon organizer that I store the coupons I'm actually going to use that day.  I have it categorized out by stores I use coupons in.  Publix, Harvey's, CVS, Rite Aid, Target, etc.  Did you know that Harvey's and most of the drug stores have "cards" that you sign up for to receive additional discounts??  You might want to check into that next time you are shopping at one of those places.

Once a month I have to toss expired coupons.  Always keep in mind that expired coupons are good for 6 more months for military families.  If you know anyone or a place to drop these off...please do!  This Saturday was sort of a catch up for me.  Mid-August and I still had not tossed those coupons out.  The worst thing to happen is to have an expired coupon and try to use it.  It can throw your whole coupon experience off!!

This is my coupon basket.  No one better touch this!!  This is where all the coupons go from the newspapers until I find the time to take a look at what coupons I want.  I'm not an extreme couponer...I only clip what I need or use.  There's just not enough time for me to be that extreme couponer that you've heard about.  If you have the time and are DONATING those items you don't use....it's a good thing.  To become a hoarder with it...is just not my cup of tea.

Publix Baby Club.  I'm a member.  I joined through my grandchildren.  I get newsletters that I pass on and valuable coupons.  There are LOTS of freebies on the initial sign up.  Not just baby stuff....things you would use in your home.  Also, you'll receive great coupons for your baby/grandchildren and there are also many coupons to use in Publix.  For instance, the last newsletter I received had $'s off produce, dairy and deli.  You better believe I used them!  So, if you have a Publix near you...I encourage you to sign up for these valuable coupons!
So, here's my toss of expired coupons.  Not so bad?  I didn't need them...so I didn't use them.  Simple as that.


This is what you are looking for in your Sunday newspapers.  P&G does not have one in the Sunday papers every week.  When they do...it's a good deal and you may want to purchase several papers if you find coupons that are valuable to you.  There's also Smart Source and Red Plum.  These are in your Sunday paper every week.  On a holiday weekend, you will find there are no coupon inserts.

This is how it all begins!  This came with my Couponizer.  It categorizes and matches the inside of the book.  Simply clip your coupons and the same order it is laid out is the same order it is inside.  EASY!

This is how it ends!  All my coupons that I have clipped are on the categorizer and ready to be placed in my Couponizer!!

Next step is finding the deals.  I always look on line at a great site.  www.southernsavers.com  She is great.  She has the deals of most of the grocery stores and has actually attached printable coupons for the grocery items.  What you haven't clipped or you don't have a coupon for, she normally has a link to hook you up with coupons on line.  A tip for newbies...when you print a coupon on line...remember to always hit the back button for a second coupon.  Each computer can generate 2 coupons of that item.  If you have more than one computer...then it's 2 coupons per computer and yes, I'm jealous if you do!!

I put together my weekly menu by what is on sale.  I go back and forth between our 2 local grocery stores here and every week I get the best deals possible.  I make certain I have a coupon tagged to as many items as possible.  Publix and Harvey's always have store printable coupons for some of their items.  Check out your local grocery store inserts!    If you have a manufacturer coupon for the very same item...this is called "stacking"....you are using 2 coupons on that item. The store generated coupon and the manufacturer coupon means a great savings!!  Also, our Publix takes competitor coupons.  If Harvey's has a coupon...I can use it at Publix.  Nice!  Ask your grocery store if they honor competitor coupons.  When you have BOGO (buy one get one) deals...this is when you really want to use your coupon.  You can actually use a mfg. coupon on both items...the Buy one...and the Get one (freebie)...you are saving money on something that is costing you nothing!  This is why it is important to print at least 2 coupons per item when possible!!  If you buy several Sunday papers...you are buying several coupons of the same item.

While you certainly have to plan ahead and it does take some time to clip, sort and put together your list, it's so worth it.  I'm not one of those extreme couponers that stays up all night and buys $600 worth of groceries for $6....I would probably have a heart attack if I ever did that....but I do save our family money Every. Single. Week.  Coupons are dollars!!

My son decided to tag along with Hannah and I yesterday....he wants to coupon, but he says (ahem) that he just doesn't have the time.  He would love for me to do it for him, but no can do!  I didn't save my receipt from my shopping trip yesterday...but I spent around $145 and saved around $58.  I've done better...but I'll take the $58 in my pocket any day! 

So...get your coupon face on....there's so many sites on line to help you.  I've mentioned one, but there are so many more and you better believe I've added as many as I can handle to my favorites list on line.  I check them all out.  Also, www.coupon.com updates once a month and you can print these coupons every day.  They only allow you to print 2 from each computer, but often enough these sites are updated and will show you how to get more coupons with different zip codes!

There's so much more to tell about couponing.  I'm certain I'll be back to share more with you, for now......I hope this has helped!!


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