7.25.2010

Penny Pinchin

I've been seeing the big coupon hype for awhile now but I have to admit, I'm one of those people that would rather just pay full price for something rather than dig through racks and racks of the leftovers to find a great deal. Garage sales? No, thank you. I like to think my time is worth something. It isn't that I'm "too good" to use other peoples junk, I just don't want to take the time to find the bargain. Lazy? Maybe. True? Yes.
I have over 70 blogs in my Google Reader and several of the ladies use coupons. It seems that there is a science to "couponing" and again, I do not have the time nor energy to completely dive-in. However, I am not too lazy to push the print button a few times a week in order to save some dough. So I inched my way across the line and started printing coupons. Using them was a different story. I was very intimidated and hadn't a clue how to go about it. I mean, throwing a diaper coupon down at the end of my pile of groceries was no big deal but using 20+ coupons during one shopping trip scared me. I didn't know the rules and didn't want to be embarrassed at the checkout line.
I finally waited until one of my days off during the week so that Wal-mart wasn't swamped and headed in with my pile of coupons. I've read enough to know the main rule: "If you wouldn't buy it before you had the coupon, you don't need to buy it now." Another good one along the same line, "It isn't a bargain if you don't need it." I really tried to stick to my normal shopping but substituted a few things here and there in order to use the coupon. (I normally buy Prego spaghetti sauce but had a coupon for Newmans Own. I normally buy Huggies wipes but bought Pampers with the coupon.)
A lot of people say that you can't just do it half the time and it only works if you stock up when things are on sale. Such as, when you can get mustard for $.25, buy 5 of them and then not buy mustard again for a year. I can see the benefit of that but again, that would take a lot of planning and organization. I'm not into all that so I just do what I can.
(I saved $15 on this trip.)
Here are a few of the coupons in my pile right now. I have:
  • $1.50 off any Febreze
  • FREE Gain Dish Soap
  • $1.00 off Charmin
  • $.75 off BallPark Franks
  • $2.00 off Huggies Wipes
That is around $6 off my next Wal-mart trip (if I buy all of those items.) I don't have a big fancy filing system or spend hours driving all over town to find the best deal but I've probably been saving $50 or so a month just from the 10 minutes a week I spend looking/printing coupons. That is worth it, right?

Here are my resources.

  1. http://www.coupons.com/, http://www.smartsource.com/, and http://www.redplum.com/ are the 3 main coupon sites. They update randomly with coupons and you can normally only print the same coupon once.
  2. http://www.forthemommas.com/ is a site I added to my Google Reader. It is a lady that actually goes out and looks for all the great deals and puts them all on this site. I've gotten a lot of free samples, free photobooks, free magnets, $9.99 Crocs, %50 secret coupon code for Gap, ect. She must spend HOURS looking for all this stuff. I know there are other sites very similar to this, this is just the one that I found and have liked. Most of them find the same deals so all of these sites are very similar.

I'm not even close to knowing all there is not know and I will never be one of those people that get $100 worth of groceries for free. I will never drive from store-to-store to hit up all the best sales but every little bit helps, right? I think so too.

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