Monday, August 3, 2009

The Couponing Question

When I talk to people about how I'm learning to be a couponing master :-) I most often hear the same two things...
Is it really worth it?!
They don't have coupons for the things I buy.
(typically things like fruits, veggies, meat, etc.)
Here's what I have to say about it.
YES. It is most definitley worth it!
I started trying to learn how to coupon after going to a little class by Melissa last fall, which means it has been nearly a year since I started. I know that in that year I have saved at least $150 on diapers alone. With so many bloggers out there posting coupon match-ups and links for good coupons, it doesn't actually take that much time to figure out the good deals, even at the beginning, and it is so rewarding to see the money you saved with each trip to the store.
Secondly, yes, many coupons are for snack type, processed foods, but there are others to be found! There are coupons for lunchmeats, chicken, yogurts, cheese, etc. and Target even has produce coupons (my next battle is mastering Target).
I believe we eat pretty healthy, balanced meals around here. We do eat things like chips and fruit snacks most days, but we also eat fresh fruits or veggies with each meal and it is nice to have some fun "treats" that I got for free or nearly free available (especially with school right around the corner). If you are a die-hard for not having processed foods in your home though, you can still save TONS and TONS of money each month on your beauty items and cleaners.
Getting started couponing can be completely overwhelming, even with all the resources out there. I was amazed by hearing Melissa talk about CVS at that first meeting so I decided to focus only on that at first (if you don't have a CVS, I have seen posts about Rite Aids on blogs and it seems to have some good deals as well). I started saving my coupons (we subscribed to the Sunday paper) and watching on Melissa's blog each week for the match ups. CVS offers great deals on toothpastes, shampoo/conditioners, deodorants, razors, etc. plus the occasional cleaning supply or food bargain. You can check out Melissa's Bargain Blog for more information on how their system works, but I wanted to show you what I got this week at CVS.

The total I paid out of pocket for this was $14.04 (it would have been better but I lost one of my coupons somewhere between my house and the store).
I earned $9.98 in Extra Care Bucks (which can basically be used like cash on my next purchase at CVS) and a CVS coupon for a free pack of AA batteries.
So, it is pretty much like I spent $4.04
for 2 packages of Pampers, 4 Lysol toilet cleaners, 2 Electrosal dishwasher detergents, 1 Softsoap body wash, 1 bottle eye drops, 2 packs of Stayfree pads, 2 big boxes Mac n' Cheese, 2 packs of gluesticks and 1 pair of kids' scissors.
We have such a huge supply of toothpastes, deodorants and hair products that I only get them at CVS now if they are completely free or I am making money on them. Not to mention that it is fun when something runs out because it is like shopping at our own little store deciding what to use next :-).


Katie B said...

I've had either super slow or no internet the last week and a half, so I'm finally catching up on your blog. You guys have such great adventures! I love the girls' curly hair, absolutely precious. And I want to try some of that couponing- med school loans have inspired me to save save save!

Allie said...

We need to get together. I didn't know you were doing all this too. I've been doing this since about last August and I am loving getting everything I am getting. Let's share ideas.

Diane said...

keep talking..... you're convincing me....

kelley said...

That is amazing....Go girl...

Kayley said...

Marci I'm going to need some help with this- I've read so much on "coupon" blogs and even found some local Dallas ones the are supposed to help me- but so far the newspaper hasn't paid for itself! It's so annoying! The coupons are either for things we don't want, or, even when they are doubled or tripled it is still cheaper to just go to Wal-Mart or get the store brand. Did this happen to you when you first started?