Friday, January 28, 2011

Maybe this will work.....

First I have to say the word "couponing" is NOT a real word but I like it, so hey there it is......just had to start there. So my plan is to keep this lil blog for my friends/family that want to know what I do to save money on groceries and household products. I am not a expert, I have learned the ways of savvy shopping and couponing from other sites. It has taken me some time to find the right websites. The site that you want to visit most for your helpful tips is probably one that reviews sales for stores that you live close to. For example; my sweet Sister in Law and I were talking about how to coupon over the Thanksgiving holiday. Her grocery stores are different from mine for the most part. We do both have a Walgreens and a Walmart, although we live hundreds of miles from each other. Nationwide chains seem to run the same sales across the country, with a few exceptions. Some grocery stores go by different names depending on where you live. For example; Kroger is widely known across the country. In my area, Kroger goes by the name Frys.
In the Ozarks of Missouri Kroger goes by the name Dillons. If you have a Kroger affiliate in your area you are blessed. Kroger stores typically run killer sales and you will fall in love.
If you do not have a Kroger store in your area do NOT lose heart. You CAN still save big bucks, I promise. Learning how takes time and patience and I have very little of both :)

Please ask me any questions that you have.....leave them in the comment section or find me on Facebook. I will get back to you as often as my pink punks allow me.....they tend to dominate my time and I am so thankful for all 4 of them.

For now......let me break down what I did today in my grocery shopping, how I went about gathering the coupons (since I think this will be the number one question) and how I executed my plan. The goal is to beat the stores at their own game, it's time that you got the MOST for your hard earned money and perhaps you are then able to pass on the blessing to others.

As a side note; I must add that if you want to save big you need to be flexible when it comes to brands. I often get better deals on name brand products than with the generic option. It does require that I am NOT name brand loyal.

Here is what I did today and in preparation for my shopping trip today.

Planning is the key!
On Saturday-I begin by checking here

If I think that the coupons in Sunday's paper will be of value to me I buy several newspapers...

On Sunday-I buy 4-10 newspapers at depending on how useful the coupons are for my family. You can buy the Sunday paper at other stores, but I pick Dollar Tree because the paper is only $1.
I then organize my coupons in a homemade to follow, hopefully tomorrow.

On Tuesday- (because stores typically run their deals/sales ads from Wed-Wed weekly)
I go to some amazing websites that walk me through the weekly sales at my stores and match those sales with current coupons. Make a list........I am serious. Without a list I get so overwhelmed, add a crying 3 year old to that and.....well.......I may cry too.

On Wednesday-(If I had enough time on Tuesday to complete my list on Tuesday)
I am ready to shop till I drop, kinda........almost. It's better to go without the children, that is just a fact peeps ;)

So that was a run down of what I did last week and it definitely worked for me. I was able to save over $200 using coupons and matching them to local ads.

I began at Walgreens today (it seems there is one on every corner across the country)
I happened to notice while sitting in the Parent Pick-up line at school (scrolling online using my phone) a big sale at Walgreens on Dixie Paper Plates and Chex Mix. I just happened to have coupons for both.

Here is the way I scored a deal at Walgreens:
I purchased 6 packages of Dixie paper plates (45 ct) on sale 2 for $3
I purchased 6 bags of Chex Mix on sale for 1.33 each

I used 6 $1 off coupons for the Dixie Paper plates
I used 6 $1 off coupons for the Chex mix

So my total after coupons was $3 for 6 packages of plates and $1.98 for 6 bags of Chex Mix. (+tax.......gotta love Uncle Sam)
I scored 12 products for under $5!! Not too bad :)

Hang tough here friends, one of the keys to saving often includes multiple stores, rest assured you do NOT have to go to all of them in one day.

I then went to my local Kroger (aka:Frys)
I had my list in my binder ready to attack......I mean shop. My bad!
Frys has a Mega Sale going on this week and when I see that I get out my binder and dig through all of my coupons to match those MEGA deals.

I won't go through them all, because I ended up buying $200 worth of groceries for $80 and I am afraid it would get boring for you.

FRYS/KROGER: I matched up my mega 10 items (and yes, you MUST buy 10 qualifying items to get the deal listed)

I bought:
3 New York Garlic Bread Boxes (frozen food section) $1.99 each
3 Mama Bella boxes of garlic bread (see I am not brand loyal :) $1.99 each
4 Kruselaz boxes of pancake mix (it would be cheaper to make my own, but I don't) $1.49 each

I then used the following coupons I had gathered last week from a coupon booklet at a different local grocery store......

I used the following coupons:
3 Coupons- $1 New York Garlic Bread
3 Coupons- $1 Mama Bella Garlic Bread
4 Coupons (found on the blinkie machines in the same aisle) $1 Kruselaz pancake mix

So here are my before and after prices:

Before Coupons my total for those 10 items (only using the sales price for this week) $17.90
After using my coupons matched with my sale items my total (not including tax) is $7.90

I did 3 sets of the Mega 10 items match ups, every single item I bought had a coupon and that made for mega savings :)

I do realize that a family cannot live on garlic bread and pancake mix......well, my girls might like that but it would not fly for my hubby who is a meat and potatoes kinda dude. Plus, that would not be healthy.

I say that to lead to my final BIG TIP for saving $$$$$$$............

Here's the word.......say it over and over again until you get used to the idea........

then say it again.... the word of the day is STOCKPILE........really it is......STOCKPILE!!!!

You will love it or learn to eventually. When you buy items or get them for free it is wonderful right? So you then want to use multiple coupons and get as many items as you can for that cheapo price.........right? I think so. For example I have not bought toilet paper since September.
I found a Blinkie (you know those lil blinking coupon machines in the grocery aisle) for $2.00 off one 12 count package of Cottonelle TP! I then matched that coupon with a great sale.......
12 count packages of Cottonelle were on sale for $4.99, each time I bought one package my store gave me a Catalina for $2 on my next shopping order(Catalina=those annoying coupons that you are handed when the cashier gives you your receipt)

Here is what I did:
I bought the Cottonelle on sale for $4.99
I used my $2.00 coupon from the blinkie machine.
Then I got my FREE $2.00 Catalina Coupon for any purchase in the store.

So my first TP buy cost me $2.99 outta my pocket.....then I "rolled" that Catalina and bought several.....LOTS.......of TP.........CHEAPO!!

The next time I went for my cheapo TP I used my $2.00 Catalina WITH my $2.00 blinkie coupon. Scoring me a 12 pk of Cottonelle TP for the wee price of 99 PENNIES!! NO JOKE!
When I bought that package at 99 cents I then got another $2.00 Catalina.......and continued "rolling" those babies for more TP on the cheap!!
For the record, 4 little girls use a whooooooollllleeee lotta TP! Or we could TP someones house......hummmm......ideas!! I bought so many packages.....we are down to our last 2 packs of 12 now.....and I am hoping for another steal of a deal on TP soon.

Okay.........your eyes are getting sleepy from all of this mumbo jumbo coupon business.
It sounds complicated at first, but once you get a system it becomes routine; like doing the laundry. Ummmm okay..........bad example. I don't want anything to do with laundry routines.

More to come tomorrow........I might even show you our stockpile. Maybe ???
Stay tuned.
PS. Check out You won't regret it, you can find your very own stores in your area and score some deals too :)

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