Monday, February 21, 2011

A Beginner Couponer

I've decided to start couponing for a couple of different reasons.  First of all, since Chris is still unemployed, I can do better on the grocery budget.  We have cut back, but there is always room for improvement :)  Secondly is that since I'm staying home with Emmalyn, my "job" should be saving as much on groceries (and anywhere else in the budget) as I can.  All of it comes down to being wise with whatever money (as much or as little) we do have.

*Disclaimer - I won't be one of "those" couponers that has toilet paper stockpiled for 40 years. I won't buy things I don't need, even if they're free.  I may get creative with some things I get free, but I will use them! :)  For instance, my hair has an attitude and doesn't do well with generic/cheap shampoo and products, so there won't be much of a stockpile of those sorts unless my husband can use it.

I went to a "house party" where Deal Detecting Diva (DDD) gave us some great tips and showed us a few different coupon organizing methods... She's awesome! :)  I would highly recommend following her blog.  And if you have a few girlfriends that are interested in couponing, she can come to your house (for a super tiny "fee") and give you all kinds of info :)  DDD finds deals at Dillons, Target, Walgreen, Homeland (the only Homeland in KS is in Haysville, but they double $1 coupons to $2, so I'm thinking about making a trip every once in a while), and Apple Market, and posts them for all. Then I just go through and decide what deals I want to snag, copy and paste it into a Word document, clip my coupons, and I have my grocery list done! (DDD suggests carrying a copy of the store coupon policy with you).

My organization method is similar, but not exactly what DDD suggests.  I have a three-ring binder that I've hole punched my coupon books and put in source (RedPlum, SmartSource, and P&G) and date order.  I can easily flip through it to refresh my memory or to find a certain coupon.  So far I've been on two couponing trips.  Dillons and Target.  

This is my Dillons loot and breakdown (Dillons doubles coupons up to $1 every day):

3 Colgates - Free - on sale for $.98 each, three $.50 coupons doubled to $1.00.

2 Ragus - $2.58 - on sale for $1.79 each, coupon for "$.75 off 2", which went up to $1 off.
(I normally don't buy jar marinara sauce, but I use it for a certain recipe, so we're good :) 

Razor - Free - on sale for $5.99 - cut coupon for $2 off, loaded e-coupon onto Dillons card for $4 off.  [DDD never buys cartridge refills.  She always gets a better deal on the whole razor]

2 Jimmy Deans sausage chubs - $5.98 - on sale for $3.49 each, coupon for "$.50 off 2", doubled to $1 off.  The most expensive items, but when they are normally $4.99 each, I think this was a good deal.
TOTAL (before tax): $8.56

Target loot and breakdown: Target takes 1 manufactures coupon + 1 Target coupon each item (also known as "stacking").  I'm only posting the things that I set out to buy. The husband came with me and we left with more things than were on the list. *dislike* ;)

2 Bertolli - $1.34 - on sale for $1.94 each. "$1.50 off 2" manf. coupon + "$1 off 2" Target coupon

Gain Fabric Sheets - $1.34 - coupon for $3 off

Mother's Milk Tea - $3.99 - not a great deal, but had a $1 off coupon, and it's a better price than Whole Foods.

Vaseline Men's Lotion - $.99 - $1 off manf. coupon + $1 off Target coupon.

Up&Up Formula - $10.89 - $1 off coupon.  Not a good deal, but I suppose a dollar is a dollar :)

TOTAL (before tax): $18.55

Couponing used to intimidate me, but with every trip and dollar saved, it makes me more excited to keep doing it!

What are you doing these days to watch your dollars?

Sunday, February 13, 2011


This was a month ago or so, and she still isn't laughing at everything, but every once in a while, random things will make her laugh (like the aspirator :)