Wednesday, March 16, 2011
This is who I have become, at least according to my children. I was introduced by a friend of mine into "extreme coupon-ing" a few months ago. Since we were trying to decrease our monthly expenses to save money for our new addition to the house I thought I would give it a try. What an eye opener! There are stores out there basically giving food away! It has become almost fun to grocery shop and see what kind of deals I can find.
Many people ask me "Can't I save more buying no-name brand stuff?" The answer to that is no. Off brand stuff is usually cheaper, but not that much cheaper. Let me give you a scenario. Kraft American Cheese slices are 2.49. The off brand is 1.99. At a certain store the Kraft goes on sale for 1.49. I have a $1.00 off coupon making them $.49. I bought several at this price today. I also got 8 oz Kraft grated cheese bags for $1.25 a piece- Kroger has a buy one get one free deal and I had a $1.00 off coupon. Today I saved $146! (I spent $112) We are lucky enough to live where most grocery store double coupons up to $.50 and triple up to $.35. This way of shopping is certainly more time consuming, because I have to match store ads up with my coupons and then make three separate trips to area grocery stores to get the deals at each specific store, but I am watching my food storage pantry fill up and I have sliced my grocery bill at least in half. I am beginning to learn what constitutes a "stock-up" price and buy a lot when the price is right. This week I bought BBQ sauce because they were on sale for 50 cents, and I had coupons for $2.00 off Country Time lemonade when I bought 2. The country time and kool aid canisters were on sale for $2, so it was free for every 2 bottles of BBQ sauce I bought, which were only a $1 total for both. 30 bottles of BBQ sauce and 15 canisters (8 quarts) of Country Time and Kool Aid for $17.50 is a good deal to me!
The other deals happen at the drugstores in our area, Walgreens and CVS. They offer deals that include "register rewareds" (coupons to spend on your next shopping order). For example: buy 2 Herbal Essences and receive $2.97 towards your next purchase. They are on sale 2 for $6. I have a coupon for $1.00 off 2, making it 2 for $5. I spend my $5 and they give me $2.97 back, basically making them 2 for $2. I then do a seperate transaction, purchasing 2 right guard deoderants. THey are on sale for $1.99, and they are giving $1.99 back in register rewards....and I have a buy one get one free coupon. I use my previous $2.97 reward, and my coupons to get 4 deoderants for $1.03 and they give me $3.98 to spend on my next order. Do you see the way this works?
Anyway, I have to keep myself reigned in, because it is easy to go overboard, printing multiple coupons from multiple computers and spending 20 hours a week planning shopping trips, like the people you see on the TV show "Extreme Couponing". But in a just a few hours, I find I can save my family a ton of money and have a little fun doing it. It's a win-win!