The Adventure this week started out kind of stinky! I sat down on Sunday to go through the coupons and ads from the paper and sadly learned that my coupons were missing! What’s up with that?! I only purchase the darn paper to get coupons and they were not included this week? Needless to say, I was super BUMMED! Despite the fact that a small hitch was thrown into my routine, I still managed to pick myself up and carry on with business as usual.
I have established the following Couponing ‘Pattern’ for myself. On Sunday, I clip the coupons that come with the Sunday paper. I add them to my computer data base and file them in envelopes by expiration date. Next, I look through the new ads that come out on Sunday (These usually consist of Target, Walgreens, and CVS). I look at the ads near my computer (When I come across items my family uses I am able to quickly check my coupon data base for a coupon that matches with the item). If I find a matching coupon I circle the item in the ad (I circle the items so I am able to quickly locate it should I need to while shopping) and get the coupon out of its envelope.
I also create a written list of items to purchase from each store (This helps to keep me on track and remember exactly what I am purchasing from each place). On my list I write the store name, the item to be purchased, the sale price, the coupon value, and the item price after applying the coupon. At the bottom I figure an estimated total of what I will spend at the store.
After going through an ad I put my list along with the coupons to be used in my small coupon file.
I keep individual store cards (Like CVS and Marsh) in this file as well (This way everything is together).
The Meijer ad is usually emailed to me on Wednesday. While browsing the ad on line I am able to create a shopping list by clicking on the item (I like to do this because I am able to simply print the list out after creating it and add my coupons to it rather than writing everything!) I add the list and coupons to my small coupon file behind the Meijer tab.
Marsh updates their ads on Thursday (along with Meijer and Kroger). They come in the mail. I scope out the Marsh deals, match my coupons, and create my list on Thursday. Thursday is also my shopping day. It seems to be less busy so I am able to get in and out of the stores more quickly and the selection isn’t depleted. Also, I have eliminated a ‘chore’ from my weekend list of things to do. I have to add the disclaimer here that I have been able to do all of this couponing stuff (searching for coupons, creating lists, and shopping) while home on maternity leave. I fully intend on maintaining this routine once I return to work, but I am also keeping in mind that the schedule may have to be altered (I really hope it doesn’t , but I’m also trying to be realistic).
CVS Savings: $20.44
Marsh Savings: $13.56
Meijer Savings: $26.29
Target Savings: $19.54
Total Saving (all 4 stores): $79.83 Total Spent (all 4 stores): $153.64
What I learned:
1. Coupons are not always included in the Sunday paper
2. If you bring your own bags to CVS you can purchase a Green Bag Tag for $1.00. You earn .25 each time you use the bag. So the tag pays for its self in 4 trips. You earn money after that!