Category Archives: Couponing

Day 6: Saving Money Takes Time

Part of saving money is about making smart choices with shopping, cutting coupons, using coupons, and choosing the right store to get the deal at. It also can take a lot of time.

Last night I was able to make a trip to Target to get some pretty good deals. First of all, I have a fabulous husband that makes it possible. Going to the store with a pile full of coupons is better without a infant along. I admit, I have only tried it once so far. And it ended with him screaming in his car seat. So, my husband is happy to let me go to the store to do the shopping and he will stay home with our son.

Secondly, I was gone for 2 hours. Okay, I probably could have made it a shorter trip, but I got something to drink before I went shopping, I checked out the Christmas clearance, and browsed baby clothes. When I got down to the very specific list I had, it still took a fair amount of time. When using coupons you have to make sure that you find the specific item the coupon is for. Sometimes it is difficult to locate in the store. Sometimes I have to call my husband. For example,  I got a great deal on instant oatmeal. But I wasn’t sure what kind he liked. So before I bought 4 boxes of oatmeal I wanted to check. And then there’s the checkout. If you plan to go shopping with a pile full of coupons, you have to be patient. The coupons may not go through, the cashier may question if you actually purchased the item, or the coupon amount may be lowered if it is more than the value of the product. (hopefully not on the last item, because then you actually make money on that product.) All in all, I was gone 2 hours. Oh, I almost forgot, I had to go back to the store. With the pile of coupons I had, my highest value coupon for $5.99 was missed. So I went back to Target to get them to correct it. They did.

If you’re curious I got all of the above items, plus one more box of instant oatmeal (which my husband already took to work), for $31.82 after tax. The savings…$44.31. For those of you new to couponing, this is pretty good. But trust me, I have seen better. I continue to recommend savingaddiction.com. They are the couponing experts, I am just a student.

For all the deals on the products in the above picture, I suggest you check out totallytarget.com.

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Day 2 – I bought 8 newspapers

I bought 8 newspapers today. No, it’s not a typo. I bought 8 local newspapers today. It’s coupon insert day.

Every Sunday I buy newspapers for the coupon inserts. It’s part of the tasks needed to do be an excellent couponer. And this week, was a bonanza of coupons. The newspapers each had FIVE inserts. Normally there is 2 or 3. And normally, I would only buy 4 papers.

Why 4 you ask? As I have learned how to coupon from my expert friends, Lauren & Giselle at savingaddiction.com, you purchase as many papers each Sunday as you have members of your family. There are 3 of us, but I normally buy 4 papers because it’s an even number and fits with many of the sales offered.

What will I do with all these newspapers? First, I like to sit down and just look them over. It’s nice to know what offers are listed. I am already excited about a $1 best life butter. (Meijer often does a price drop that will make butter free for me.) But just because I have the coupon doesn’t mean I will use it. I store the coupon inserts in an accordion file, organized by date, for future reference. Then, when I need a coupon for a weekly matchup, whether this week or in weeks to come, I will be able to locate the coupon. Lauren & Giselle recommend a stash box, which you can learn about on their blog. However, I have not found it beneficial to cut out all the coupons I get every week. Maybe some day I will transition to the stash box, but not now.

How did I get them? Today, I had to purchase my newspapers at Walgreen’s.  The Grand Rapids Press, Metro Edition, is $2 per paper regardless of where you purchase it. However, I prefer to buy it at RiteAid. As a member of their wellness plus program I earn points. Since I have earned enough points over the last year, I have earned an automatic 10% off each item I purchase that is not on sale. Therefore, I can get my newspapers for $1.60. Except for today. I choose to sleep in this Sunday and when I went to buy my papers at RiteAid they were all out. I briefly panicked at the thought that I might not be able to find the desired newspapers in my area. But Walgreen’s came through. Lesson learned. If I want to be serious about saving I will have to be more disciplined.

Lastly, it does matter what paper you purchase. In our area the best paper to buy is the Grand Rapids Press Metro Edition. It has the most inserts. However, the gas stations right by my home do not carry the correct newspapers and are often missing the inserts that should be available. Be sure to purchase the paper from the largest city in your area if you decide to start couponing. And be sure that it has the inserts they are supposed to. I often double-check each paper to make sure that the inserts are inside the paper before I buy them. A few times I found some inserts missing when I got home.

If you have any further questions about newspapers and couponing, let me know. Otherwise check out the blog listed above for more information.