Yes, I clip coupons. You start by admitting it, right? :)
I haven't written much about it here, but it has become one of my weekly activities. For a while I was spending a lot, too much, time reading others' blogs about the latest and greatest deals and I was killing myself trying to follow the plans to get some of these deals. I was seeing decent results on our grocery bill and at the pharmacies, but not what I wanted to warrant the time, and sometimes I found myself disappointed when things wouldn't go as planned.
Recently, I've cut back my time keeping up with others deals and I'm really trying to focus on what works best for us. I don't have a newspaper subscription. I only buy the paper about once a month, and I print a lot of coupons off the computer. I now clip the coupons when I get them and carry them with me, instead of digging through inserts a million times and not having a coupon when I need it. I buy what we use. I try not to get something just because it's a good deal. If we don't need it, we don't need it. Even though it's tough sometimes, and doesn't happen often, I allow myself to buy an item even if it's not on sale or I don't have a coupon. It's too restrictive otherwise. I feel like I'm beginning to find my groove with the whole thing. It's fun and it's practical...two of my favorite things.
Couponing has come up several times recently in conversations with friends. Partly due to the show on TLC, Extreme Couponing, and partly because it's beneficial to individuals and families that are looking to cut expenses. Let me just say, those featured on TLC's show are exactly what the title proclaims, extreme. That level of couponing isn't healthy, in my opinion. Nor is it fair to others trying to care for their families.
That said, there are a few things I will "stockpile". Most of these things center around our weekly Sunday spaghetti meal (pasta, canned tomatoes, pasta sauce), a few other food items (soup, boxed meals i.e. Zatarains - Will's favorite) and personal hygiene/health items (toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, deodorant).
This is what I recently stockpiled through deal scenarios I created myself, because it worked for us....
*not pictured: a 12 pk of toilet paper
Using coupons and rewards earned on previous purchases, I spent $15.79 out of pocket for all that you see above (and the tp). The total retail of these items is $82.98. That's 81% savings. I also earned $9 in rewards to use in the coming weeks. So it's like getting everything for $6.79.
This got me really excited. I saved a lot, I did what was good for us, and I won't have to buy these items for a while. Now realize, this is not a common occurrence, saving 81%. Every penny saved, is a penny saved. I'm proud of the times I save 23%, and 48%, and even 5%. It all counts in our family.
So, I just wanted to share my success and say, use coupons, but do so in a way that is right for you.
Happy wheeling and dealing,