Wednesday, February 02, 2011

coupons and saving money....

I've recently started couponing...This is my 3rd week. I kept saying all last year that I was going to start, but let's face it, I had NO extra time to coupon with working at Seacoast and photography full time! Kaz and I have been HUGE Wal-Mart shoppers since we moved back to Charleston 3 years ago. Honestly, because we live RIGHT BEHIND Wal-Mart. It's so easy to go there at any time during the day because it's so close! Our weekly budget has pretty consistently been $75 a week. I thought that was pretty good, BUT after talking to friends who have children and spend less than $50 a week I SOON realized we needed to make some changes! 

I talked to my friends Liz and Blythe about couponing because they both use Southern Savers and know more about coupons than I do! After talking to them, and spending about 6 hours on it the last 3 weeks I'm happy to say that I'm officially beginning to coupon AND I LOVE it! 
Ideally, I would like to get out budget down to around $40-$50 a week. There are some things we are not willing to sacrifice on, which are carrots[for juicing-about 10 pounds a week], other fruits, and at least 1 meat a week for Kaz. I'm not a big frozen foods person such a chicken tenders, nuggets, pizza rolls, etc so stuff like that doesn't interest me. BUT in the last 2 weeks I've been able to get SOME REALLY good stuff and have spent a total of $106 on groceries in the last 2 weeks. Thats a savings of $44 from our normal budget. Right now, I'm in the stocking up stage. I ONLY BUY what I know we will use...I don't buy just because it's a good deal. I'm sure it will take a couple more weeks of stocking up before I can get the $ to where I want it in a week, but that's ok. 
I'm doing all of my shopping at Publix! I had no idea how great of a store they were! Our Publix takes other store coupons and doubles coupons up to $.50. Each week I have gone to the same register...The cashier is a young guy and the bagger is an older man. I love that they know me now...This morning the older guy said, "Do you think you will do as well as you did last week?". I thought it was special that he remembered me AND HOW GOOD I did:)

DON'T WORRY....I'm not going to post EVERY week my grocery buys, BUT I will show you my last 2 weeks!

This week[Total bill $112, spent $59, SAVINGS of $53]...Angel Soft toilet paper, Palmolive dish soap, saltine crackers, Windex, 2 Lysol wipes, 4 cans rotel, 2 packs toll house cookie dough, Lipton soup, 2 packs Kraft shredded cheese, 3 packs of pasta, 2 packs hot dogs, 2 packs hotdog/hamburger buns, 2 boxes Ritz crackers, 2 boxes Tricuits, and 1 pack of Huggies diapers[for $5] :) OH AND 4lbs of Ribs...

The household stuff was what I was most excited about! 
 Last weeks bill[Bill $103, spent $47, SAVINGS of $56] 10lbs carrots, 2 packs of paper plates, 1 roll of Scott paper towels, 8 cans of tuna, 1 cantaloupe, 2 bags chex mix, 2 bags Doritos, 1 can Newman salsa, 2 bottles A1 sauce, 4 bottles Kraft bbq sauce, 6 cans Cambells Chunky soups, 2 containers of deli meat, 2 packs of Publix hummus, 2 lbs london broil, and 2 Reese cups. 

SO COUPONING is what I'm doing every tuesday afternoon, and going to Publix every Wed morning:) That's my new routine! Kaz and I buy the sunday paper to get Red Plum and Smart Source Coupons and then I go to the following websites to print other coupons:
Do you have any couponing tips?


Michelle said...

Great post! I've started using coupons too and it makes a huge difference in our budget. We aim for about $50 a week, but are blessed my parents give us beef for Christmas every year.
I like reading for tips :)
I am a new follower of your blog! Can't wait to read more.

Melissa Smith said...

If you shop at Publix, you MUST visit The lady that runs it lives near Atlanta, and she posts the upcoming weekly Publix ad (beginning Thursday) on Monday! She lists all the upcoming BOGO and sale items (by category), even going so far as to point out what "coupon gurus" would consider a "stock-up price" for a particular product (identified by marking that item with a green checkmark). Even more wonderful, under each listed BOGO (and most sale) items, she posts links to online coupons (store, manufacturer, competitor) available for those items, as well as points out which weekly SS or RP insert has a coupon for those items. She does this for all their green and yellow advantage fliers, too. And she has people who write in each week with unadvertised BOGO's and sale prices. I quite literally check her site a few times a day. I make my entire grocery list after consulting her site and use her links to print almost all of my coupons. It's a fantastic site! She also owns and All three wonderful resources for those jumping into the coupon world! Good luck!

Melissa Smith said...

Just read Michelle's comment - is AWESOME for tips. Another great site!

Rebekah said...

Monica said...

Hey girl! I know how you feel about coupons. I'm planning to do a blog post on coupons soon! I've been doing it for a little over a year and a half now and I love it! I honestly wouldn't be able to stay at home and work on my art if I didn't do it. It's easy to get a little overwhelmed with everything when you start following a lot of coupon blogs, so I would say to keep it simple and only follow two or three, and don't feel like you have to get every good deal. I struggled with that at first. Anyways, I think it is a great habit to learn to live frugally, especially with that little one coming! ;) We are about $30 budget a week, sometimes more, and sometimes less. This week and last I spent less than $20! But we are bare minimum and know we will spend more once the little one is here. :) We should coupon together sometime. I'll start sending you stuff I find now!

E.faeth.adopt. said...

i am glad to see a blog post on this very subject as I too have been VERY interested in learning the art of couponing.
We are in KY and do not have a Publix, I checked.

so, I wnet to your link for the Are these coupons that can be used anywhere? I am confussed how it works. Do coupons NOT need to come from your local store- rather they accept them from online printouts? Is it the name of the product that offers the coupon to ALL stores?

I need to start researching how this works. Any insight would be appreciated ; ]

Great post.