Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Extreme Couponing?

If you follow me on Facebook, then you know I like to share deals. I was talking with a friend last week and she told us that when she goes to the commissary, she spends about $50 every two weeks by couponing. I am pretty sure my jaw dropped because I could not fathom how she feeds a family of 3 for that little. She started explaining how she coupons, she even had a small audience of other ladies asking questions. She directed us to this blog, The Krazy Coupon Lady, and told us to read the beginners guide. 

Now I have been couponing, but it hasn't been very extreme. I clip coupons from the Sunday paper and print them from the internet, but only for items (and brands) I use. Then I just made sure to use the coupons at the commissary before they expired. I would save as much as $20 a visit, but I was still spending at least $200 for my family of 3. 

Apparently I am doing it wrong. 

So I read through the beginners guide, made my binder, and printed out my shopping lists. My first stop was Walgreens. I went on Monday, I spent $24 but I saved 48%. My mind was blown. Just by using coupons on sale items, I came out with some amazing deals. And it was deals on stuff that I use! I ended up with 3 Digiorno pizzas, 2 creamers, laundry detergent, 2 18 packs of hair ties, 2 containers of almonds, 2 packages of turkey bacon, and 3 12 packs of soda.

Today I ventured out super early to Farm Fresh with my couponing jedi-master because on Wednesdays they double coupons up to $1.00. I had my grocery list of match-ups and my binder in tow. We spent about an hour there, I spent $38 and saved 44%! She did better than I did, she saved over 50%. She even shared a few of her coupons with me :)  I was pretty excited because I walked away with a few free items, I had no clue you could actually legitimately get groceries for free! 

I don't plan on becoming one of those extreme couponers. I don't have room in this rental to have a massive stockpile. I am specific on certain items I will use. For example, I will not compromise on my toilet paper or cat litter. I am brand loyal on those. Also certain cleaning supplies. But I am also having a more open mind about certain items. I still want to eat healthy, but having frozen pizzas or hamburger helper around for those nights when you get home and have like no time to make dinner. So instead of spending the money on fast food, I have options at home. 

One of the things I have learned is you have to shop at different stores to get the most out of your coupon matchups. I am lucky, I am a stay at home mother and my daughter has no problem hopping in & out of the car at 3 different stores. I have the time to shop at 2 or 3 different places in a week. All the stores are in close proximity so its not like I'm spending that much extra money on gas. I know alot of people don't have the opportunity to go to multiple stores each week. They have jobs, a busy schedule with their kids, etc. Since I am in the position to shop around, I owe it to my savings account to do it!

My plan for the money we save is......umm well, save it. We will be getting out of the military in 1 year, 3 months, and 8 days (not that I'm counting at all) and who knows where we will be. While we do have some money put away, it would be nice to keep adding to that fund. I am going to keep a spreadsheet throughout the year so I can see how much I've saved!

If you are interested in couponing, definitely check out the beginners guide over at The Krazy Coupon Lady. She has lots of tips, videos, and free downloads to make your own binder. 


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