• A blog about a smidgen of time each day and the hope you spend it with me

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Save a Little Save a Lot

All I have to write is that you guys are AWESOME! A few days ago I posted a request. I was asking you to share your penny pinching tricks of the trade. You all came through big time!

Secondly I want go thank you for all your good wishes. My whole family is safe and sound, but many many others on long island and in the surrounding areas were and are not so lucky. There are still people that have not been able to go home and others have no home to go back to. Please continue to pray for them.


Now lets begin.


Coupons

...the basic weapon in every bargain hunter and grocery shopper arsenal

Becca from Everyday Life  "I always use coupons just wish there was a class around me to teach me how to do it better"

Beth from Day by Day With Beth Marie 
"I use coupons. There are several on line places to get coupons. Coupons.com is the best I think"

Sarah from No Hope? Know Hope! "I love a good sale...in fact I hate buying anything that's not on sale. We do a lot of couponing...and go to free events."

Lets face it coupons are a very very good thing. I am just a novice when it comes to couponing, but Iknow first hand what a difference they make. Sites like coupon.com and smartsource.com make it easier to get and print out coupons any day of the week in addition to the Sunday inserts in newspapers.

Now what if your favorite brands are never ever listed in those inserts? I had the same problem. But there is still a way to get coupons for those things.

 On the backs of every product there is usually a telephone number of the company.I started calling these companies and told them how much I like their product and asked if they mailed out coupons...they did!In fact the way they had it set up was that every six weeks I could call back and they would send more to me.


This is how I get coupons for my dog's dog food and my favorite brand of ethnic foods. Now, not every brand will send coupons but it is certainly worth a try. Many are toll free numbers!

 I don't pretend to be an  "Extreme Couponer" I did however recently shop for Thanksgiving and the week's groceries which also included a turkey for the charity. The total came up to 170+. after I gave the cashier my coupons and my store card the total was 97 dollars...a savings of 73 dollars! I also got gas points from my local stop and shop too.

I am not the most organized person in the world, but keeping coupons organized is a must! On TV some seriously hard core couponers (and I have seen a few people in my neck of the woods)walk into the stores with those huge binders. I am nowhere near that level, but I do carry around this...
It's small enough to carry around everywhere.                                     


How to start

Its very easy to go out there on Sunday morning and buy 6 newspapers and start cutting away and think that your going to save thousands, but the fact of the matter is that chances are you won't be able to use a large majority of them.

 
Just buy one or two newspapers. Also the weekend before a big holiday there will not be any coupons in newspapers

don't as tempting as it may seem don't cut out those coupons just yet.

Date the top of the inserts and either wait for the circulars  or go onto the websites of the stores you go to frequently

Circle or click on the items that are of interest to you. Then look in your coupons to see if there are any for the items that already on sale. This is where you will save even more.

Go to some coupon websites and click away and print out the coupons that you want. The plus to visiting these web sites is that the coupons are usually worth a bit more because the manufacturers know you are using your own paper and ink so they have to make it worth your while.

Call your supermarkets and find out their coupon policies. Do they double coupons? My local supermarket doubles up to a dollar. That means they will take that 50 cent coupon and double it so you will get a dollar off, but if your coupon says 75 cents they will only take off one dollar...still a good deal. There are times during the year that they will triple the coupons and that's when I do a happy dance. They won't advertise it in huge print but usually somewhere in front of the circular they will advertise it.


Laundry Detergent

I was a slave to my brand of Detergent.. I thought nothing of plopping down 20+ dollars on my brand 150 oz.

I often wondered why people would bother to buy the 50 oz bottle. It seemed so small and would have to come back often to buy more. Yep, the 150 oz was better....until

Very often stores place the Other brands on sale. Brands that are not as popular but are not no frills either.I would pass these sales by because...sheeze its only 50 oz! Then... I realized That they were asking 2.50 and even less for those smaller bottles. If I bought 3 I would have my 150 0z and paid only 7.50 ( a far cry from the double digits!) And if I have coupons the savings are even better.

Sneaky Supermarkets

There are so many times that you think you are getting a great deal when you are not. Supermarkets will try every trick in the book to get you to buy. Look at the sale item. look at the amount in the package see if it is truly better to buy the bigger amount compared to the smaller packaged one. whip out that calculator and figure it out. You'd be surprised how those few extra seconds can save you in cash.

Another thing supermarkets will do is place about to expire items on sale. now this is good if you are buying one and using it right a way, but if you are buying a few to put away in  your pantry make sure you check the expiration dates. I made that mistake last year with mustard and had to throw quite a few away.


Now you have made your grocery list.

   Circled the sale items

       and circled a few extra for you to stockpile away

  You have cut out corresponding coupons and are now ready to go. Don't be disappointed if you just have a few coupons with you..Its OK remember you have circled sale items so you are saving either way. Coupons are like gravy.

A good idea would be to swap with friends that use coupons. They may have coupons you need and you may have some for them.

sales circulars? check

coupons paper clipped together? check

Store card ready? check check

calculator? check check checkity check

It's time to concentrate! make sure whatever you are getting is on sale and you are not picking up the wrong size or item that is NOT on sale.

Also check out other stores like Walmart and Target They take regular and web coupons and sometimes their price might be a better deal than the supermarkets.

OK, so you are finally at the store with coupons in hand and you make a bee line for that one item that is a great deal and THE SHELVES ARE BARE!!!

      "%#*&^%!!!#@$%%^&*&$#%"   you shout as you shake your fists to through the air...Don't worry. Just remember to get a rain check at the customer service desk. They will give you a slip and that enables you to come back and purchase that item when they restock and you will be able to get the sale price even though the sale may be over.

One book that was a great help to me was a book that I downloaded to my kindle for free from a cool app called "Free stuff times" there they give you a list of books that are free that day on amazon. The book is titled "Confessions of a Coupon Fashionista" by Charmaine Gerber and it is awesome for someone just starting to coupon. It gave me some great information.I checked and it was no longer free but it was only 2.99.

 Tomorrow...

            Stockpiling and when to buy...This will make it possible to always have a stocked pantry!!!

17 comments:

  1. thank you so much for this it really helped

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    1. You are welcome Becca, I hope it helps

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  2. I'm not too good a couponing. Thanks for these tips. I should try to get this mastered.

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    1. Im still in "learning mode" but I hope it helps! Good luck!

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  3. I have not thought of calling the company...makes sense though. You have many great tips here. Glad to know that you are Ok

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    1. Hi Kim. I'm so glad you like the tips!

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  4. I have written letters to companies, telling them how great their certain product is and guess what? They send me a small bottle (or whatever) of that product.
    Coupons, to me, are not a good idea. I am not much of a consumer, and the knockoff brands are still cheaper after the coupons. I see successful coupon people, but they have a huge pantry.

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    1. hi Anthony, yes sometimes it is better to buy the store brand.

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  5. I'm not that great at couponing but I do scan the coupon section of our newspaper and pull out the ones I know I'll use . . I have to avoid cutting out the ones that I "might" use.

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    1. Tyrean, I can totally relate! At first I would cut out everything. All I did was make a big mess. Now I cut out only stuff that I can use or better yet double up with sales from the store

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  6. All very interesting and practical! The thing is, in order to get the most from the coupons, you must remember to bring them to the store. Then if you remember to bring them to the store, you must remember to take them out of your purse or pocket at the checkout. This is why this senior is left with tons of expired coupons all the time! Suggestions?

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    1. LOL! Ginny you are so funny! But yes believe it or not I had the same problem. I now make a list and take the circular with me with the coupons paperclipped to it that way I make sure I wont forget

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  7. I always mistakenly thought coupons weren't worth it. That's a fail on my part.

    Stay safe, and blessings to you.
    xoRobyn

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    1. Hi Robin, I used to think the same until I started to save 50 dollars and more everyweek by using coupons in combination with weekly sales offers

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  8. I wish we had couponing here where I am, but alas we don't sometimes the stores will have some coupons for wine but it doesn't happen offen and it really sucks.......

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  9. I found your post and the replies very interesting. A funny thing that happened to me is that I used to be the coupon person then my husband for some unknown reason started taking over with the coupon responsibility. He uses every angle he knows from on line coupons, to paper clippings, to coupon books to getting rain checks. He seems to be having so much fun with it and that is OK with me.
    Joanne, in response to your reply on my Thanksgiving post, my dinning room is in no way large enough to accommodate 27 people. I had other tables set up and one on the terrace as it was about 80 degrees here in TX. Many of the families that were here were children and grand-children of very good friends of our who no longer live in our area.

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  10. I love couponing! I have a 3-ring binder with baseball card pages and dividers for categories. I save about 30 bucks a trip to the grocery store, and we donate at least $100 in food monthly. I've also gotten free Xmas calendars from Vistaprint and Shutterbug. We don't eat out unless we have a coupon. It's a lifestyle that makes us feel like better stewards or what God has given us.

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I LOVE comments...I think I'm addicted to them! they are like chips...oooo chips....or chocolate....yum...chocolate. Or like......can ya tell I'm dieting? Please leave me a comment so that I can keep my mind off of snacks!!!