Total price before coupons and deals: $76
Total price after deals + coupons: $29
Savings: $47, 61 % saved
This is a very different post than the ones I usually write about but someone asked me to maybe post about how I coupon so I thought Id put a little something out there! First I must say I am no expert and I do not claim to even come close to an extreme couponer. But I do really enjoy couponing and I tend to save a nice little bundle on some great products.
The first thing I do is go out after Mass on Sunday to walmart. My husband drops me off and I run in and get some yummy donuts for the kids and my hunny and myself then I go over and pick up 2 Sunday newspapers. Yes, I buy 2, not 1, not 30 (like the extreme couponers do). Maybe one day Ill go up to 4 newspapers but for now 2 is good.
Next thing I do is hold on to old photo albums or binders that people have given me or ones Ive come across at goodwill or on sale I use baseball card protective sheets that I found at Staples for $3.99 for 9 sheets which is already alot. I got 2 packs to start off with. Make sure youre getting the ones for baseball cards. I heard someone say to get business card sheets because they were on sale but that was such a hassle trying to fold the coupons in crazy origami shapes just to fit them in those small slots...this actually turned me off couponing and I thought I could never do it. I also tried the little accordion folder pocket book and this was stressful because I had to search through them all to see what I had. I then tried photo album sheets which were great at first but then I realized that the sticky part started to teart the coupons if I wasnt careful. But now I use a my baseball card protective sheets and I LOVE COUPONING!!!! Everything is laid out nice and smooth bright and pretty. I am very visual, so seeing the whole coupon is for some reason very important to me. I also include some loose leaf paper and some encouraging pretty papers with Bible scriptures, notes from the Catechism and pictures Ive drawn (I know I know Im totally a 5th grader). :) So its not just a couponing binder but my home organizer/journal. I am not a type A personality so when say "organizer" I mean it loosely.
Ok...now...at this point I go to couponmom.com (which is free to sign up) to find out what deals are at what stores and which coupons correspond with those deals! This website was a coupon life saver for me. Now I dont just use it alone but it helped me get an idea of how deals + coupons work together and the different stores coupon codes. I do not print out coupons, I only use coupons out of the newspaper and sometimes the coupons from the magazine subscription AllYou that my dear mom got for me for Christmas! But the magazine is not a necessity but it is fun!
It is also great to know the kinds of deals that your local stores have. For instance Harris Teeter has a great Buy 2 get 3 free deal when you have their VIC card which is free. The 2 that youre paying for are usually higher priced then other stores but theyre giving you 3 free items so when you average it out you are still saving and you can use coupons on those as well. Even if you only have 2 coupons it will average out less than if you didnt have any coupons at all. Thay also have lots of buy one get one free deals which are always great! They print Catalina coupons from their register after your purchase and they are usually related to what you usually buy so you can hold on to those and use them again!
Then there is Target!!! They have AWESOME clearance deals that you can couple with coupons and save BIG! For instance today I found a Maybeline nail polish on clearance for $1.48 which is usually around $2.99. I had a coupon for $1 off from the newspaper so I scored a roughly $3 nail polish for $ .48 cents! Target also has store coupons that you can print off their website that you can souple with your manufacture (newspaper) coupon. And they have Catalina coupons!!
There are also lots of other things to know like coupling your newspaper coupns with the Catalina coupons from the store and printable coupns but honestly I like things to be as simple as possible untill I feel ready for the next step and I am not there yet and Im fine with that for now. But if you are then there are lots more ways to save.
Another thing couponing has helped me with is restlessness from the day to day, the sense of sometimes feeling overwhelmed as a stay at home mom and also it is an awesome hobby! I like to have a goal in mind like heading out to save on diapers and wipes and while Im at the store Ill give the kids (and myself) a donut and walk up and down the aisles and look for deals that maybe werent advertised that will couple with my coupons! That is fun for everyone. And then when your husband comes home its fun for him because your all fresh and excited and not grumpy and tired, well maybe a little ;) but theres an overall glow from saving money and finding some great deals!! And my kids have their own little couponing folders where they put pictures from the newspaper inserts that they cut out in. I also give them expired coupons and my daughter especially will sit for well over 1/2 an hour just organizing them the way she likes them. The kids enjoy cutting with safety scissors which is a great way for them to work on their fine motor skills, a hidden school lesson for the homeschooling moms out there :)
Well I hope this was somewhat enjoyable! Maybe next time Ill post pics of my home organizer and coupon binder!