Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Couponing 101

The #1 question I get is how do I get such great deals. There are a few ways that I get the best value for my dollar. Here's one of those ways - I wait for a store to have a sale like 10 for $10 on pasta. Then I match my coupons to those sales. Organization is key and YES I have one of those binders that "professional" couponers have as their business grows. lol! More about my binder later but back to my saving strategy. OK so pasta is on sale 10 for $10. I have 50 cents off of a box but because I shop where they double coupons, my coupons are now $1.00 off each box. Since they are 10 for $10 or $1 each and I have $1 off one box, they are now = FREE!
Basically I stock up on coupons waiting for the big sale and then get items for free!
Another way to save is to shop at stores that offer reward dollars or store dollars back. That is another great way to save big. Most drugstores have some sort of reward dollars back. CVS is my favorite! You can use manufacturers coupons, store coupons, and receive their rewards bucks to be used on your next purchase.
So back to my binder. It has 31 different dividers, one for each category and baseball card holders in each section to divide my coupons. This way I can see all of my coupons on each page. The cover is pictures of my family which is why I coupon to begin with. I love the idea of feeding my family for free and saving for family vacations. Couponing is also a game to me - to see what I can save! After all who doesn't want to eat for free?
My daughter was going through the circulars with me the other day. It is only a matter of time til she says coupon. lol!
P.S. - I send my expired coupons to the troops over seas, so collecting them is always worth it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hello Mr. Circular Man

Yesterday I was in coupon heaven! It was a couponers dream! Picture this - I was walking up a block noticing the white circular bags by the dozens on porch steps. My initial reaction was to grab and run, the latest 2011 couponers version of "ring and run". I gracefully walked past a pile and bent down by the knees picking one up as if bending from the knees would only make me temporarily shorter and not the neighborhood circular stealer. As I approached the end of the block and looked into the bag, I was happily surprised with a pack of coupons. Some of these circular bags only have circulars. This my friends was like hitting the coupon jackpot.

Having a quick plan in my head, I quickly turned around and went back. To my surprise there was the nicest guy cleaning the stoops (I imagine he was the super). He smiled, I smiled and here was my chance - SEIZE THE MOMENT DAWN!!!! was going through my head. The voice in my head became a screaming lunatic. I said to him so calmly, yet with sweaty palms "Are you throwing these away?" pointing to the white bags. He canvased the block and replied "take as many as you want" with his hand pointing to each stoop. I swear what I heard was "Sure take all of this free food, everyone else rather pay full price, they are all yours" I was in disbelief, after all I have walked past these white bags for years and never thought twice about it. Now they are like finding gold. Before he could change his mind, I grabbed every single one, took out the coupons and threw the rest away as he was about to do. Thanking him for giving me the coupons was nothing compared to me helping him collect them all, take what I needed and throw the rest away in the huge black garbage bag he had opened for the "garbage". He was so grateful for the help and I was grateful for the coupons. This was a win - win situation.

As if that wasn't the most amazing experience, I went to J's parents apartment to say hello and rave about my experience and they too were there with coupons for me!!!! They are amazing!!!! I am so blessed and grateful!

See everyone next Thursday!! Mr. Circular Man & my soon to be in-laws!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2nd Grade Math comes in Handy!

So when your teacher told you "You need to pay attention to this math lesson, you will definitely use it when you get older" she/he was serious! Thank goodness I paid attention rather then pass notes (which I did during Social Studies for sure). 25+ years later, it has paid off. LOL!!! Simple couponing refers back to 2nd grade math. Let me take you back a few years.

Word Problem
Part A: If a coupon says .25 cents off a liquid soap and a supermarket will triple it. How much is the coupon worth?
Part B: The store also has it on sale for 99 cents instead of 2.99. How much do you have to pay out of pocket? How much do you save from the original price?

Show your work:
.25 x 3 = .75 (what coupon is now worth)
.99 - .75 = .24 cents (what I would pay)
$2.99 - .24 = $2.75 (what I saved from the original price)

So .99-.75 is .24 cents. I PAY .24 cents instead of $2.99


See how second grade math works!!
Stay tuned for lesson #2

Monday, May 16, 2011

Savvy Saving!

Thinking of a name for this blog was fun! Rarely do I use coins since I just end up dumping my change purse into a big change pail when it gets too heavy. Recently my partner and I went to the store, each with a $20 bill in hand. Her total after coupons was 93 cents! She looked at me as if saying "now what? do I pay with a $20 knowing that you have change in your heavy bag?" I read her mind and dug into my bag for my change purse. It was then that I realized I had underestimated myself. Afterall why did we both have $20's - shouldn't I have challenged myself more and had us both carry $5 or maybe $10? It was then that I realized I can pay for food just using my change purse. I'll save my bills for trips and nice dinners out.
I have always used coupons and enjoyed the feeling of getting a great deal. Now it is pure joy to get something for free. Enjoying the preparation time is a big part of it. My passions include paper, dividers, color coded sections, compartments in binders, stickers, etc... COUPONING is right up my alley. My binder is a collection of all of my passions with coupons as an added bonus. Sitting down with a cup of coffee and going thru the circulars for the week is a relaxing time that I look forward too. Each week is different so it is as if I am opening gifts every week. The idea of what may be on sale verses what I have coupons for gets my heart beating fast. I am aware that it sounds silly to say but you will see. Try it once, save a whole bunch of money and then tell me you didn't get the same feeling. lol.
The more I look around, the more I see that younger singles, couples, families are couponing. It seems like the cool thing to do!! lol Getting started is the first step and trust me there are so many avenues in which to get coupons. Afterall there is a world to travel, passions to explore, and dreams to fulfill. Using coupons allows me to save money and fulfill those dreams!