Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Couponing...The Real Deal

I've been trying to convert all of my non-couponing friends and family to join me in the money saving. It is worth your time. You will save money. Seriously.

But I don't want to buy all the junk the coupons are for... My answer to that reason for not couponing is this. Don't buy food with coupons if you're convinced you don't want any of the food items. Buy all your household items (i.e. dish detergent, laundry detergent, paper goods, handsoap, etc.) and personal care items (hair care, body wash, toothbrushes, paste, and floss, medicine, etc.) with coupons, and keep an eye open for great sale pairings.

But I don't have time for this... You have time. I don't clip coupons weekly! Ever! I file my inserts. Literally, I may not even look at the inserts, but I'll put them up. I have a file box with hanging file folders. They're labeled by month. I have one folder for All You magazine, one for store coupons, and and one for catalinas. I put a piece of paper to divide the inserts by week, and I quickly scribble, I mean, label the piece of paper with the date. I chose a reputable site for coupon match-ups, and I only clip the coupons as I want to use them. This makes preptime quick and easy.

Ficticious Example: $/1 Softsoap bodywash SS 10/3-- I pull the SmartSource insert from 10/3, clip that particular coupon and place the insert back in my box. Takes all of 30 seconds or less. Really.

Sunday, I bought 4- 18 oz bottles of Softsoap Bodywash, 2- 18 oz bottles of Dial Bodywash, 1 tube of Crest ProHealth toothpaste, 1 tube of Colgate toothpaste, 1- 20ct bottle of Advil Liquigels, 1 Purex 3in1 laundry cloths, 1 pack of Halls Throat Lozenges, and a bag of Brach's Candycorn. Grand total: $5.75 Total preptime: 15-20 minutes. (Confession: I rarely ever bought bodywash before I started couponing. We used plain bar soap, but once I started couponing, I kept finding it for free or for much cheaper than the bar soap. We have enough to last a long time! In fact, Deron doesn't use anything but the Men's bodywashes I've purchased for him.)

This afternoon, I plan to make a run to Walgreens to purchase FREE toothbrushes since we found out one of the children had been "borrowing" Deron's (nice.). During this particular trip, I will have to purchase something (don't know what that something is just yet) in order to absorb the overages into the negative.

Now, let me say this. I've only been effectively couponing for a year, now. At first, I bought all kinds of things because they were good deals, and I learned firsthand that you can burnout quickly if you're trying to get every great deal that comes along. Let me tell ya...there will always be good deals! Always.

So, if you burn out, take a break. Put it away, and don't worry about it. I took off most of the month of August, and we were no worse for it. We had plenty put up in stockpile and plenty of food. We made quick purchases for dairy and a few sales, but for the most part, I took off.

I've learned how to purchase things that we like and use for a fraction of the cost. As far as food items go, I, frequently, receive store coupons for $3/ $10 produce or frozen foods. There are, also, lots of yogurt and other dairy, juice, and most importantly, coffee creamer coupons.

My point is this: Couponing will save you money, and I wish I had done it sooner.

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