Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Eating my words...coupons

I'm not quite ready to take it all back, but I might be changing my feelings on couponing.

For the most part, the coupons in stores are not for things my family buys. We don't eat convenience foods. And with my goal of minimizing preservatives in our foods this year, that means fewer and fewer premade foods. There are a few things that we do get like cereals and cleaners that have coupons, but it was never really worth my effort to save a few dollars.

A few weeks ago, a friend turned me on to a deal at the store where the entire dinner was $1 after coupons. That was just a crazy cheap deal, so I decided I'd give this coupon game a try. I don't get the Sunday paper, so I'm having to rely on printables online.

For my southern friends, Southern Savers takes care of all this matchy dealy stuff and it's free. I know there are other websites that charge but I don't want to pay money to save money!

I tried the coupon thing last week with moderate success. There just wasn't a whole lot our family would use. This week, again, not a lot but huge savings. I spent $15 pre-tax and saved $33!

This is the point where the wheels in my head start turning. D is going to his family reunion in July. We are trying to find a way to save money for his trip. My plan is to put this couponing to the ultimate test. I want to see if I can save in three months of couponing enough money to buy a plane ticket from Atlanta to Seattle. Heck, even if I don't make it, just having 3/4 of the ticket paid for with coupons would be a bonus!

Each week, I plan to write myself a check (and cash it!) for my grocery savings. In to an envelope that money goes. I'll be keeping a running total if I can figure out how to do a ticker...


Do you think I can do it?

6 comments:

  1. ABSOLUTELY! We saved over $1600 last year in coupons and we don't use a lot of premade items either. You can do it! There are often coupons for cereal, baking items (flour, sugar, yeast), frozen veggies,yogurt, & sometimes fresh fruit. I've gotten free milk, free eggs, free yogurt, etc! Have fun!

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  2. Oh, and I forgot to mention stuff like shampoo, deoderant, soap, cleaning supplies, paper supplies, the list goes on and on! I am excited to hear how you do! We end up getting more than a week's worth of groceries free a month! I take FOREVER in line but it's worth it!

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  3. Neat concept! Can't wait to see how much you save!

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  4. I've been a skeptic about couponing too. First of all there's the add/overwhelm/perfectionist reasons and then our area food IS often more expensive, but the biggest challenge is we are trying to buy as much whole foods organic and local. I think to do it I'd have to coupon swap and buy coupons off people and become a serious couponer. Have you seen http://organicdeals.blogspot.com/? I have to get a lot of other stuff worked on before i take on that endeavor. Things we have done that are a little easier (for me) are to buy a 1/4 cow 1/2 lamb, and our eggs from local farmers, order through Frontier coop buy from a natural foods coop that orders once a month, and buy bulk nuts and dried fruit and split with others. I'm not saving much but I think I've been breaking even for what we had been paying for non-organic foods and added some really good quality things to our diet. Love to see how this works for you since you seem to be looking for non-processed food, too. I had looked at a blog of the coupon goddess who gets tons for pennies of candy, soaps, junk etc and donates them to the troops and or shelters- which is great. She buys a lot of things that we just don't want. I checked her blog out and dismissed it because I figured no one could find deals like that here.... then the local paper featured her (she lives near us and shops at the same stores, lol). I had to eat my words and looked a little into it all. I never knew all that couponing could involve.

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  5. Best of luck in getting that ticket!

    I just opened registration for Polka Dot Pretties Flirty Apron Swap. Hope you can join!

    Shawnee
    http://flirtyapronswap.blogspot.com

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  6. I am SO glad to hear this. You're the second person this month to say this, the second person whose opinions I highly respected. I have never been able to make coupons work for exactly these reasons -- they're not things my family eats, they're not brands we use, they're not reasonably priced items. Yeah, you get lucky now and then, but after you factor in the cost of the newspapers and the time going to the store for the paper that we don't normally buy, they weren't worth it.

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Thanks and have a great day!