Monday, January 25, 2010

Couponing, is it really worth it???

Okay, so I decided that I would give couponing another try. Years ago I used coupons all the time, but got really lazy with them because I couldn't find a reasonable system for organizing them and keeping up with what I actually had, and by the time I had a grocery list with the item on it, that I had a coupon for, I either couldn't find the coupon or worse yet it was expired!! AAHH! What is the point! Are coupons out there just to drive us crazy? HHMM, I'm beginning to wonder. What if it is a ploy by the liberals to try to make all of us fiscal conservatives go mad? It just might work!

Anyway, I digress. I had heard of the "coupon mom"'s website, and ran across a book she's written in the bookstore the other day. The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bill in Half. In HALF??!!?? Without going insane?? I wasn't so sure, but being a sucker for a book, and having a perpetually teachable spirit, I couldn't help but wonder if this woman could make a believer out of me, teach me something useful, and help me to save a good deal of money every week.

Here's what I've found since almost finishing her book, and perusing alot of what the internet has to offer on the subject (mind blowing in and of itself!).

  1. A better way to organize my coupons so that I can find them when I need them. I'm using the "binder" method laid out on website. (Did I mention that I might know why she's K*R*A*Z*Y???) Anyway, the system seems to be more organized than the little coupon holder accordion type thingys I've tried in the past.
  2. You can spend entirely TOO much time trying to find online coupons for sale items on your grocery list!!! See, that seems to be the catch, you need to stack coupons with items that are on sale. If you can stack a "manufacturer's coupon" with a "store coupon" with an item that's on sale, then you have hit the couponer's jackpot.

Tonight, I spent several hours working on the organization of my new "little" system. I printed and cut out dozens of coupons from the internet for items we use every week or regularly, and especially for items that are on sale this week. After strewing them out all over the bed, at about the time he was ready to turn in for the evening, I heard my dear husband mutter under his breath (rather loudly) JUST SPEND THE MONEY!!!

But, being the diligent, keeper at home that I am, I am determined to give this the best effort I can. I've got my binder all ready to go. My first stop will be CVS tomorrow. Assuming they actually have everything in stock that is on sale, and for which I have coupons, I have figured up that my grocery/household items will come up to an approximate sale price worth of $64.00, for which - after using my coupons and receiving my Extra Bucks back (which is like Monopoly money that can then be respent at CVS), I will spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $ 33.00. Hey!!! That actually IS a savings of almost half!!!

Maybe this will work after all! The biggest part of it all, I hope, is behind me. Setting up the notebook, finding some coupons to get started with (I'll continue on with just my Sunday coupons now), I think really was the hardest part. So, now that that is done, hopefully things will move along more smoothly on this try. I plan to keep it up for at least a month, weigh the time that it takes to do it against what I feel my time is worth, and see how it pans out. I'm trying to keep an open mind, and I'll try to keep you updated as I go along.

Seriously though, ya'll pray for me, because if I get to that CVS tomorrow and all this stuff I spent time cutting coupons out for is sold out, you will likely hear my screams from wherever it is you may be. :o)

Abiding in His abundant provision, and hoping for a good shopping trip tomorrow.


Debra said...

I will be listening either for the scream of frustration 0r the woo-hoo of joy for the money saved. Very curious if this works, if you can keep it going for a month, and how much time you spend doing it in proportion to the money saved. Keep a good record and let us know..... tell Todd that Craig expressed the same sentiment he did so great minds must really think alike :).....

Kristin said...

If this works you can teach me. I use some coupons but don't have time to run to every store and I use so many store brands that they usually seem to be cheaper than the brand name with a coupon. So maybe it won't help me after all. Hope it works for you and you save bunches!

Lori McGuire said...

Yes Debra, they are both indeed great minds for sure!!

Kristin: I know what you mean. I've felt the same way. I'd dilligently cut out my coupon, take it to the store and then realize I could get the same thing in another brand cheaper. ARGH!!! (That's my frustrated - Charlie Brown noise.)

But, I think I am beginning to see how this works.

I also know what you mean about running around to other stores. I don't have the time, the desire, the energy, the strength, fill-in-the-blank! The only reason I have to do CVS separately is for the Extra Bucks. So, I have used it and made a great shopping trip a number of times.

As for running to dozens of other grocery stores, no. I do the majority of my getting at Wal-Mart. The best thing about Wal-Mart that lots of people don't realize is that they will price match the sale prices of anything any other store carries, as long as you bring the ad with you. Then, ad a coupon, and now you've saved a lot of money for sure. Sometimes the other stores sale price is only 10 cents less than Wal-mart's usual price or something which would seem like not worth the trouble, but if you can add a good coupon to that - now you're saving some money.

I'll let you gals know how it goes.

Robin said...

I can't wait to hear all about it. See you Friday!

Lori McGuire said...

Hey Robin:
So glad to see you checking in. Hope you like the update!

I'm so proud of all you and your family are doing to bring your finances under God's control and provision! Thank you for sharing this very personal part of your life with me.

Look forward to seeing you, as always!

Stephanie said...

have you visited great site!

Lori McGuire said...

Hey Stephanie:
Haven't seen that one, but I'll go check it out!