4.25.2012

Making Couponing Work for You

I have been an on and off couponer for about 2 years now. I will faithfully clip coupons, watch sales and save a ton of money and then I will get lazy and forget about it for a week or two... Or until I have to go to the grocery store next. Then the bill gives me heart palpitations and I have to start clipping again.

So I have learned a couple of things to help save me time.

1) I use two websites: www.myfrugaladventures.com for my national stores and www.stretctchingabuckblog.com for my regional stores. There are a TON of sites out there but basically they just do the coupon matchups for you so you aren't searching constantly for coupons.

2) I don't cut out coupons anymore! That's right. I buy 2 newspapers on Sunday (check to make sure the correct inserts are in the papers before buying). Then I write the date on the front and file them in my file cabinet. After I make my grocery list, I ONLY clip the coupons I am going to need that week.


I am not an extreme couponer. Why? You may ask... because I care what my family eats. I don't care if I walk out of a store with a cart full of Ramen Noodles and Hamburger Helper for free if I haven't bought one fruit or veggie. As a matter of fact, I only buy things like Hamburger Helper because my brother-in-law is on an end of the world kick and I feel the need to stash just in case. LOL. But I try not to go overboard either. My kids love Pop Tarts, as you will see in a minute, and I am not going to deprive them of everything.

So this week was a rather "unhealthy" shopping trip. But I was pretty stocked up on everything so I just went for the really good deals. I usually am able to keep my budget at $100 a week. I can buy all my couponing foods, personal care, paper products, cleaners and diapers (!!!) for $50 and then my meat and veggies usually make up another $50. I do get my beef and eggs from a local farmer who has grass fed beef and free range eggs. I stock up on organic milk when it goes on sale but also can get awesome coupon deals on rice and almond milk which I buy a lot. Most of my veggies come from Trader Joes. They have great consistent deals on organic veggies and more natural snacks.

Here is what I bought for just over $30 between Target and Meijer:


  • 8 Boxes Kellogs Pop Tarts - Priced at $2.19 B3G1 At Target.
    Used (2) $1/3 coupons making them $1.39 each
  • Green Works Cleaning Wipes - Priced at $2.36 at Target
    Used (1) $1/1 coupon and (1) $1/1 Target mobile coupon making it $0.36
  • 2 Boxes Aquafresh Fresh N' Fruity Toothpaste - Priced at 2/$3 at Target
    Used (2) $1/1 coupons making them $0.50 each
  • Mossimo Scoop Neck T-Shirt - Priced at $6 at Target
    Used $3/1 Target coupon making it $3
  • 4 Packages Oscar Meyer Lunch Meat - Priced at $2.49 at Meijer and part of the Buy 8 get $8 off deal.
    Total came to $1.49 each.
  • 4 Packages Kraft Shredded Cheese - Priced at $2.49 at Meijer and part of the Buy 8 get $8 off deal.
    Total came to $1.49 each.
  • 1 8oz Block Kraft Cheddar Cheese - Priced at $2.49 at Meijer and part of the Buy 8 get $8 off deal.
    Total came to $1.49 each.
  • 2 Blocks Philaldelphia Cream Cheese - Priced at $1.99 at Meijer and part of the Buy 8 get $8 off deal.
    Total came to $0.99 each.
  • 4 Boxes Velvetta Skillet Meals (for my stash) - Priced at $1.99 at Meijer and part of the Buy 8 get $8 off deal.
    Also used (4) $0.50/1 coupons (which are doubled at Meijer) and (2) $0.50/2 Meijer coupons making them a $1.00 MONEYMAKER!
  • 1 Bag Kraft Homestyle Mac N Cheese (because I needed another item to make the 8) Priced at $1.99 at Meijer and part of the Buy 8 get $8 off deal.
    Total came to $0.99
  • 4 Boxes Whole Grain Barilla Pasta - Priced at 5/$5 at Meijer
    Used (4) $1/1 coupons making them FREE!

My total from both stores with tax was $31.88. Meat and cheese deals are hard to come by so stock up for a few weeks when you find them. Don't be afraid to freeze those babies! We were good on both so all of mine went straight to the freezer.
     
     
     
     








2 comments:

Jen said...

I go in phases with couponing too. Some weeks I am awesome, other weeks I come home with like 4 bags of stuff for $100 and I wonder WHY I even went without looking at the paper. I have been doing lot of grocery shopping at Target lately because I get 5% off with my Target Debit. Every little bit helps I guess. I need so start looking at these websites and being better about planning ahead. This post helped a lot...thanks honey!

Lindsey @ Running Down A Dream said...

Great deals! I need to start my couponing again - my stash is running low! Milk and fruits don't usually go on sale anyway and I buy my meats at Sam's!

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