I keep hearing about this Couponing Craze. I’ve seen stories on talk shows about it. My friends have made posts about it on Facebook. I have even read blogs about Couponing. The first time I saw something about Couponing was on a talk show. I was so amazed with the ability that these ladies had to save money and use the coupons appropriately. My first thought about all of this was, wow, that is very time consuming. I’m not sure that I have the necessary time to put toward couponing.
After reading through a couponing blog I thought, well I am home on my maternity leave now, so maybe this would be the perfect opportunity to give couponing a go. Right now I’m kind of kicking myself for not trying it at the beginning of my leave, as I will be returning to work shortly. I really like how the blog I read suggested starting out slowly. So often people dive head first into something and quickly become overwhelmed. I admit I’m guilty of doing something like this frequently.
From what I understand the basic secret to couponing is to look at multiple stores for their weekly sales. You should only purchase items that are on sale and use coupons to purchase these items. If possible use both store coupons and a manufactures coupons to purchase these sale items. This way you are receiving 3 different discounts on the items. Keep a stock pile of the sale/coupon items you purchase so that you don’t run out of the items before they are on sale again. Keeping a stock pile of the items alleviates the need to purchase items when they are not on sale because you have run out of them.
As suggested I looked through the sale ads. We tend to shop at Meijer and Target most often. I decided to stick with just the ads for these 2 stores for now. I wrote down the sale items that we use, along with their prices from the ads. Then, I visited some couponing websites in search of coupons. Searching for the coupons was the most time consuming part of the process. There are several sites out there, but I had to register for them. After registering, I was able to look through them and choose which coupons to clip. Next, I looked for coupons that I could use on the sale items I had written down on my list. Finally, I wrote out our specific lists for each store. On each list I wrote down the sale/coupon items we were going to purchase including their sale price and what the price would be after using the coupon. I also paper clipped the coupons to the list. We had a few items that we were out of. They were not on sale and we did not have coupons for them. There were also some items that I had coupons for and they were not on sale. I noticed in the Meijer ad that it was double coupons week, which meant that coupons worth up to $0.50 would be doubled. I added these items to my list.
I was only able to find 1 coupon for items we use that were on sale at Target. It was for $2.00 off of paper towel. The paper towel was on sale for $14.99. The non-sale price for the paper towel is $17.30. I saved a total of $4.40 on the paper towel.
I found 3 coupons that matched up with sale items in the Meijer ad. Pasta sauce was on sale for 2 for $4.00. When not on sale the sauce costs $2.78 for 1 or $5.56 for 2. I had a coupon for $1.00 of 4. I saved a total of $4.12. Fruit cups were on sale for 2 for $4.00. Non-Sale price for fruit cups is $2.39 for 1 or $4.78 for 2. I had a coupon for $0.60 off when you buy 3. I save a total of $1.77. Pasta was on sale for $1.59 a box. Non-Sale price is $2.39 a box. My coupon was $1.00 off of 4 boxes. My total savings was $4.23. I had coupons for 3 other items that we use, but these items were not on sale. Because Meijer had double coupons this week I choose to purchase these items. I saved a total of $2.80 with these coupons.
At first I was a little disappointed in what we saved verses what we actually spent. I thought we would have saved more, but I had to remind myself that this is the first time I have done this. Also, I don’t have a stock pile of coupons yet, therefore I didn’t have many to select from. We got the Meijer ad in the mail on Thursday. I did look at the dates that the sales began and ended at the top of the ad. I began making my list and gathering coupons when we got the ad. I looked at the Target ad on line on Thursday as well. I neglected to look at beginning and end of the sale items in this ad. When we were shopping at Target on Sunday I realized that their new ad comes out on Sunday, which meant that the list of items I had created was useless! This is why I was only able to purchase 1 that was on sale and that I had a coupon for from Target.
What I learned from this experience:
1. Check add flyers to see when sales end
2. Sales on store brand products may cost less than name brands even with coupons
Total Savings this week: