Saturday, July 20, 2013

This Coupon Girl: How I Do It

So I mentioned why I coupon but how did I get started? First thing is first, I have to be honest. It takes time, dedication and organization. But a little of those three things go a long way!

Second of all, you need something to organize your coupons with. Some people have binders and that is fine. That is kind of too much for me but by all means, I love seeing a girl with a binder because I know she is serious too! I have an accordion type file folder where I organize my coupons in a way that makes sense to me. Dry foods, breakfast foods, snacks, paper goods, baby stuff etc.

Third step, stock up on all the coupons you can. How do you get them? Newspaper, the grocery store, magazines, internet etc. Cut out all that you think you will use or might use if you get a good enough deal on. You might find that the store you shop at always puts certain items on sale and there are always coupons but you don't use that item. I would still buy it (if a great deal!) and give it away. I have brought bags to our church food pantry as well as pack up these things to give to families in need during the holidays. All that to say, don't shy away from not buying something that you won't use but that you could buy for next to nothing.  Someone else can use it and it is a blessing to give those things away.

Fourth step, choose your grocery store and I would choose one that has good sales. I used to do my shopping at my sweet Publix  before we moved to TX (it will forever be my favorite store and best at deals!) but now I shop at Randalls. Kroger is also another great grocery store and Super Target can be great too. Unfortunately, I don't really have experience with many others but I know there are more out there! Choose a store based on their sales, BOGO (buy one get one free) deals, their STORE coupons and their coupon policy. By that I mean, do they double and/or triple their coupons?

Fifth step (and my favorite). I really am a nerd, get their weekly ad and sit down with a notepad and pencil. Look through the things they have on sale and write down anything that you know you have a coupon for. Write down the sale price listed in the ad, subtract the value of your coupon and voila, you have your new price! You will have to decide if the new price is a deal or not. There are deals I say no to because it isn't low enough. If I am about to buy something that I do not need at that time, it better be for little to nothing! Also check your store ad for store coupons to cut out. Read below to see why.

How do you get the biggest bang for your buck? Find a product on sale and have a manufacturers coupon (it will say on it somewhere) AND a store coupon for it as well. Stores will take one of each but not two of the same towards the same item. For example: Colgate Optic White (my favorite toothpaste) is on sale for $2.99 versus $4.99 at its regular price. Then I have a manufacturer's coupon for .50 for this same toothpaste and that .50 coupon turns into $1.00 because Randalls doubles coupons .50 and below and triples coupons .30 and below. So now the toothpaste is $1.99. The kicker is when I also have a store coupon for $1.00 off this same product which will then make my favorite toothpaste .99. DEAL! I just saved $4 on that item.

You may think $4 isn't a lot or worth all of this and you would be right. But it is when you save this kind of money on a majority of the items you buy because remember, you no longer have to buy many things full price because you are only buying them on sale. Well, when you start saving 60%-80% of your grocery bill because most of the items you buy are on sale now, that is when you see your grocery bill stretched. And saving in groceries (and I mean it all: stuff is expensive!, paper goods, beauty stuff, groceries) means you have extra to spend elsewhere. And don't forget, you are now making meals based off of what you have, so feeding your family just got frugal too. Your little savings can add up in a big way. I know for a fact:)

I recently went shopping and bought all of this for $11 with a few coupons and saved 66%. I should have spent at least $33. These are just a few of the deals I bought that day.  And yes, I eat Frosted Mini Wheat and Nature Valley Bars like they are going out of style. I didn't need the rest of the things but guess what? Garcia will have 2 boxes of treats ready when she runs out, the Rosemary Salted Premium Rounds will no doubt be used with the next dip I make and the Dark Chocolate Brownie mix will be used for the meal that I bring next Wednesday for friends who just had a sweet little baby. 

Hopefully, if you know me and now know that I do this, you won't judge me for being a nerd or too thrifty. It is fun and I believe that if I do well with what God has entrusted me to then He will entrust me to more, whatever that may be:) So if we are already friends and you didn't know about this secret obsession, just now think of me as your "money savvy and fabulous;))"  friend.

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The Taliaferro Family said...

I love coupons! You definitely seem better at using them though. Great tips!

Lili J said...

Thanks for the great tips! I am really trying to be better at this! Ok...question- so does Randall's double the manufacturers coupons automatically when they scan them or is that something you have to check for. I am seriously excited about couponing now and really want to get better at it! :) I shop at Rabdalls and Krogers the most.

Lisa Mayeux Welch said...

Glad y'all found it to be helpful! Randall's doubles and triples at register and have found that most stores do so as well. Excited that you are inspired!

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