Monday, January 28, 2013

coupon season is in swing

I have tried using coupons numerous times and get so frustrated I quit not long into the process.
I'm trying it again.
Lately, I'm managing to stick with a few things.
Like I'm still drinking green tea and eating my oatmeal mixed with an egg and fruit.
On a wee bit of a detour here, I tried so hard to sell my breakfast to big kids today and they weren't buying. Brock was always my oatmeal eater and he wouldn't touch it.
They really don't know what they're missing.
I eat it on my way to work in the car if I'm running out of time before I leave the house at 5:30 a.m.
And they won't even try it!
Back to coupons.
If you're like me, you make a whole hearted effort to clip those buggers. They end up sitting in some kind of organization tool and then you're digging through them and trying to match them up with the weekly ads to get the most bang for the buck. Pretty soon they're all expiring or floating loose in a crumpled heap in the bottom of your purse.
Not long after that you sigh and say, "what's the point?"
A while back I somehow managed to sign up for emails from coupon mom. They kept showing up in my email box and my fingers would wander straight to the delete button. I even thought of unsubscribing to the email. I'm so glad I didn't.
I've also friended Dave Ramsey, the money guy, on FB and even if I still haven't made it to his site to really start something concrete like a plan .... his little things that show up on my wall are starting to nag me.
So, 2013 is the season of saving ... or something like that.
Coupon Mom has made this little leg of the journey so simple. Mind you, there are probably people out there who are the extreme couponers and pretty much have the grocery store paying them for shopping. That's not me. I think this is Week 2. Itty bitty baby steps. I'm so excited, though, that I just have to share with you what I have found!!
First start at her front page. You can probably nose around and see what it's all about without a username. I don't really know what you can't access without it. Probably printable coupons.

I've started purchasing several newspapers on Sunday ... just for the coupons. I didn't even read the funnies which is quite unbelievable!
If you're brand new to this, like I was, start with the How to Coupon tab.

On that page she has several instructional videos that are well worth watching. I'm not doing drugstores yet. I'm just so thrilled with the whole grocery store deal that I'm only talking about that part with you. The method she uses for seeing which stores have what deals and which coupons from which day are applicable to the sale item is so simple!!
I did notice today that there will be an oops occasionally. Just keep your eyes open. For example, this week Fry's (and other stores as well) have Colgate toothpaste on sale. Coupon Mom says that the coupon in the paper will make that item free. Not so. The coupon is for a more expensive brand of toothpaste. The toothbrush was free ... not the toothpaste. For the most part ... it works.

This is the best part ever as far as I'm concerned. In her video she shows you how to leave the coupons they way they come in the paper or the mail. Date the front cover of them and tuck them into a shoe box or somewhere. Her site (unless I haven't found it yet) only has Fry's and Safeway for Arizona stores. I'm a shopper of the regular grocer and haven't made it to the Whole Foods type of market quite yet. I just looked and am highly disappointed that she has no Alaska grocery stores. I don't know if Fred Meyer and Carrs have the same ads every week as the rest of us. Might be worth a check. As for Arizona, Albertson's and Bashas are missing off her list, but it doesn't take long to see if two stores have any deals.
She also has links to printable coupons. I did need to load a coupon printing something or another on my computer, but it only took a few seconds. In fact, when I ran to Fry's today I as rather peeved to add something to the cart for which I didn't have a coupon when I knew I could have found one somewhere.
Oh, yeah! I also tuck my grocery store ads into the box until next Wednesday's ads come out. I did stop at the store on Monday with coupons that I harvested from Sunday's paper. The same item will probably show up in another store or ad at some later date, but I really wanted the 49 cent deoderant on Monday.

I know. I know. To some of you who are really good at this type of thing, this should have all been free today. I'm thrilled that I walked out paying $35.82 instead of $99.29! Granted, I did buy a few things that I otherwise would not have purchased just because I had a coupon and the item was on sale. It might just be the way my kids get a few treats they otherwise wouldn't get around here!
Because I was a bookkeeper for a number of years, the number cruncher in me is going to keep track of how much money I save this year on my grocery receipts.
Unfortunately, sometimes life gets incredibly crazy busy and there isn't even time to get to the store for a gallon of milk let alone make a list. I know that. I'm hoping that time will be my friend and I can keep it up. The deal finding itself is fast and easy using the tools she has on the site. It's the stick to it glue that sort of loses it's tackiness sometimes.

If you decide to give it a go, let me know how it goes.
If you are already doing a bang up job of saving money at the grocery store and have some hints or tips to share .... I would love to hear them!

Happy clipping!

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