It all began as a child, way back in the 80's, when I went shopping with my mother. I would wander around the grocery store, getting lost more often than not. I would go back and forth across the store, looking down every aisle until I found her. If that didn't work, I would go to the front doors and look for her car, making sure she hadn't left me. As always and much to my relief, my mother had not left me at Newman's grocery store. Then I would mosey over to the service desk and have my mother paged. Because you know, I simply could not find her. It's a wonder after years of my doing this, she didn't just leave me one day and fly off to her freedom. I was cute, I am sure someone would have adopted me.
Where was I? Oh yes, coupons. By the time she was finally able to check out, her buggy would be full of groceries. FULL I tell you! We would be rung up, my mother handing over a stack of coupons, and if everything worked out alright, we'd leave having only spent about $20. Or less. A FULL BUGGY! $20! OMG! I WANT those days back!
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, my brother-in-law Jake, is spending a weekend with us and decides to watch Extreme Couponing. I had seen this show before and had been mildly inspired, but I soon forgot about it. But this weekend, it kind of stuck. I had been thinking a lot and praying a little about our financial situation. In recent months we had already began to take measures to cut back, tighten the purse strings, stop eating out, stop leaving the house at all, to save money. I was again looking at my job prospects. (Which with no formal secondary education and 15 years of being a house wife, is all McDonald's here I come!)
A few days after Jake left, I was having another sleepless night and decided to watch some more of the show. The more I watched the more I thought, you know, I can do this myself. If nothing else I can save little bit of money, right? As I do in my mind, I kind of "thought prayed" and remembered that we get these pink free shopping papers every Saturday. I went out side to see if there were any and I kid you not, there were coupons scattered up and down over the sidewalk and grass. I ran around at 4 am in the freezing cold, gathering them all up along with the 4 or 5 other shopping papers lying around and took them inside. Lo and behold the shopping papers come with the Sunday paper coupon inserts! It was like a sign from God and a coupon gold mine all at once. Thus, my coupon frenzy was born.
*Clip Clip Clip*
I clipped and organized my coupons until sunrise. I had this cute lil red coupon purse thing that I found at Goodwill a year or so ago and put my coupons into it. After my first shopping trip, that thing had to go. I really needed a zippered 3 ring binder. But we'll get to that.
I then googled couponing and landed here. This kind of set me on my way. It gave general and good advice, suggesting things I had not thought of, especially the part of letting go of brand loyalty and changing your thinking. Later, I discovered Hip2save.com and Diva Desirae. I tend to lean toward Collin over at Hip2Save, but they are both pretty good. Also I am beginning to look at Krazy Coupon Lady. Between all these sites, you have the help you need to start couponing yourself. Also if you use Facebook, you can "Like" Hip2Save and Diva Desirae, plus look up couponing groups for your own area. Ex. I am part of IowaCouponers on Facebook.
I scored my first awesome deal from a post made by Diva Desirae. She posted that Coastal.com would send you a free pair of glasses if you entered a coupon code upon check out. After doing some research I decided to try it out. Totally worked! I got a free pair of glasses for about $15 shipping! I wasn't just taking advantage either, I needed new glasses, as the coating had scratched off my current pair and was making my vision a lil foggy in one eye. I figure I saved us about $200.
My next deal, I put together at Target. Mike and I had just stopped drinking soda and was on a kick of drinking Sobe Lifewater. Good stuff! Target had a sale, of get 10 for $10 get a $5 gift card back, making them 10 for $5. We bought them a couple other things and a toddler toy for his niece, Olivia. Target stacks coupons. Meaning if you have a Manufacturer's Coupon (MFC) and a Target coupon for the same item, you can use both. This is stacking. The toy I bought was originally priced at $19.99 but was on sale for $15.19. I had an MFC for $5 off and a Target cpn for $5 off. Stacked it made the toy all of $5.19. Then I rolled over my $5 Target gift card and paid a total of $0.80 for the toy! ($0.19+tax)
Then it was time for me to get my zippered coupon binder together. This is one of those little blessings that God has provided along the way. I began shopping around for said binder and even on clearance at WalMart, they were $10-$12. Too expensive. I kept looking around and one Sunday, Mike offered to go thrifting with me. We went to Goodwill on the west side of town. After looking around a very frustratingly crowded store, Mike and I found one! $2.99 baby! I got some baseball card inserts and put it all together. This is the result:
Pretty neat, huh?
Another shopping trip I had, sealed the deal for me. (As if the previous hadn't already. Heh)
Mike is a very patient and kind man when it comes to shopping with me. It helps that he is a rare breed of man that actually likes to go shopping. He and I went out intending to hit Walgreens and Target. Which we did. We went to Walgreens first, because I wanted to try to score some free cereal and look over the vitamins that were on sale. I did not find the free cereal, but I found some vitamins on clearance which I also had a $3 off cpn. The reg. $9.99 vitamins were on clearance for $6.99. This isn't a bad deal at all. However, as I looked them over, I wanted to wait and see what Target had to offer. So I did. Mike and I left and went over to Target.
Good deals were had at Target. I don't remember them all, but here is a picture.
Oh yes! Those toothbrushes ended up being $0.10 each! (This picture did not include the food items also purchased this trip. It's important to remember when I tell you the total on down.)
After Target, not finding the vitamins and still wanting to score the free cereal, Mike and I headed over to the other Walgreens, close to our duplex. (He is so patient to consent to my request.)
At the 2nd Walgreens, I still do not find the free cereal, so I go in search of the clearanced vitamins. When I spot them I nearly break out in tears. I turned to Mike and said, "Mike! Look! Do you see that?" It was God, it had to be. At this store, the clearance price was $4.99, making them $2 a bottle after my $3 cpn! I got $20 worth of vitamins for all of $4!
We raced home! I had to look over my receipts and see what my savings were. I checked them once, I couldn't believe it and I think I checked them again. I had brought home $90 worth of products and only paid $40 total! WOWZA
I tell you people, I am a couponer for life! And make no mistake, God is guiding me the whole way.
Here are some other deals I have scored:
Scored these at Target. They were on clearance for $2.24 each. I had a Target cpn for $1 off one and a Target cpn for $3 off two. Making them $1.24 for one and $0.74 for two. I am set to cover my grey's for the rest of the year!
This deal was crazy. I had printed off a $10 off any Norelco shaver and was waiting for a good sale or something to crop up. I had come across this one on Hip2save about it being around $15 at WalMart. So I go have a look see and picked it up. It was sitting in a different spot, so I wanted to make sure of the price and when I self scanned it, it came up $3! Holy Cow! $3? Really? So I dropped it in my buggy. When I got to the check out, the lady at the register had the same reaction and called over a manager. She was said, "$3? I should get myself one!" I then showed her my coupon and asked her if it was okay to use. She said sure! Folks, I got this for FREE +$7 overage on my total. Basically, Norelco paid me $7 to take this out of the store!
Be sure and watch your details on your coupons! The coupon I had for these was $1.50 off one with no size restrictions. They were $1.98 each at WalMart, making these $0.48 each!
Ok, I'll stop raving about my coupon habit now. I hope y'all enjoyed it!