Monday, May 23, 2011

Back to Couponing

Have you seen the show "Extreme Couponing" on TLC? Oh my goodness, craziest show ever! People will literally buy of $1,000 of stuff and pay less than $10 for it!

I think it's borderline crazy to cut out 97 coupons for something like barbecue sauce, and proceed to buy 97 bottles of barbecue sauce. I don't care if you CAN get it for you really need 97 bottles?! Seriously, leave some for the rest of us!

Anyway, rant: over. As crazy as I think these people are, they HAVE inspired me to get back into couponing.

My plan for couponing this time around is to only buy things with coupons that can be matched with a sale or another coupon. I will try to start a stockpile, but just a small one, big enough to fill the cabinet in my bathroom. Anything I can get beyond that for pennies or for free, I will donate. Anyway, in a nutshell, my goal is to not pay full price for anything, to start a small stockpile, and get as many items or free or less than $1 as possible. I know I'll never be like those extreme couponers, and I'm absolutely fine with that!

I spent a big portion of my free time this weekend making my game plan for shopping this week. I picked up two newspapers with coupon inserts, and clipped all the coupons for products that I use. Then I went through the weekly ads for Walmart, Giant Eagle, and Walgreens to see which coupons match up with sales, and which items had store coupons. Sometimes a manufacturers coupon will match with a store coupon for even more savings. Also, Giant Eagle has e-offers which are coupons you find online and virtually "clip." The savings go directly to your store card when you buy that product. So next, I found which manufacturers coupons matched with the e-offers (there were a lot!) After that I made detailed shopping lists for all the stores I planned to shop at, on my iPhone (Luke and I love the "Our Groceries" app). I had noted which ones were on sale, and which ones I had a coupon for. Then I sorted them in the order in which I would find them in the grocery store (OCD much?) Finally, I put the coupons I knew I would be using this week in envelopes, a different envelope for each store.

My goal is to get every detail figured out BEFORE my shopping trip. That way it's quicker and easier, and I don't miss anything.

So did all my hard work pay off? I Shopped at Giant Eagle tonight, and here is a breakdown:

Bought: 37 items
Cost before discount: $80.00
Cost after coupons and store discount: $57. 41

(28% savings)
(plus $4 in coupons printed out for my next shopping trip!)

Now, I'm sure coupon veterans look at that and think it's nothing. But I'm just getting back into the swing of things, and I was pretty proud of myself!

I didn't score anything for free today, but here are some notable deals I found for $1 or less:

Knorr Pasta or Rice Sides:
$.50 off when you by 2, doubled (Giant Eagle doubles coupons up to $1!)
Final price: $.89 apiece

Bounty Paper towels:
$.25 off coupon, doubled
Final price: $.89

Suave Professionals Shampoo:
on sale for $1.50 apiece w/ store card
$.50 off coupon when you buy 2, doubled
Total price: $1 apiece

(Okay, this last one's not less than $1, but I thought it was a great deal. There are certain brands that I don't like to compromise on, and I love Dawn Plus dish soap because it keeps my hands so soft! I don't have a dishwasher, so I need to be careful what dish soap I use! Anyway, this brand Is usually very expensive, and I normally pay over $3 for it)
Dawn Plus Hand Renewal dish soap:
$.50 off Giant Eagle e-offer, + $.50 coupon, doubled (total savings: $1.50 off)
Final Price: $1.69

I'm feeling pretty good about my savings! I know I'll get better as time goes on, and as my stockpile grows, too. Speaking of my stockpile, here are its meager beginnings:

I have trips planned to Walgreens and Walmart later this week, and I can't wait to see how much I can save! The good thing about couponing (besides saving money, obviously) is that it makes shopping like a game or a challenge. It makes me dread it just a little bit less :-)


  1. Girl...savings is savings no matter how much!

    I really do not like that Extreme Couponing show - it puts honest couponers in a bad light. I've read posts from people on the show and you wouldn't believe what TLC asked them to do in order to be on the show. It's all so fake!

    Anyhoo, I love coupons and saving money too. Nice trip! :)

  2. I don't like the Extreme Couponing show because they have to buy so many of the same items before actually saving. I think your way is much easier. I keep a stock pile of toilet paper and paper towels. I plan on adding to that pile very soon.

  3. i need one of those binders and baseball card holders. perhaps i should steal from my husband.
    ~ Moms Couponing Madness

  4. Looks like you've been doing pretty well!! We just started couponing and we've managed to save a pretty good bit.. but definitely no where close to buying 97 Barbeque Sauces.. or paying only 1 cent for $140 worth of groceries! haha

  5. I have recently just gotten into couponing and I LOVE it!! No idea I could get 10 bottles of body wash free!!! The frugalniss in me LOVES it!!! :) haha


Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment! I read and appreciate each and every one. Blessings to you!