May 28, 2010

It just makes cents for me

Have you been following my adventures in using coupons? A little over a year ago, I decided that I was sick and tired of paying $100-$150 a week at the grocery store. A friend of mine showed me the ins and outs of how to use coupons to save tons of money. I dove right in and started purchasing the Sunday paper and created my first coupon binder.

Everything was going great until life got busy and I got behind on clipping all of those coupons. It became too overwhelming of a task to get caught back up. So sadly I just gave up and decided that I was going to "take a break" from it for a while. Well, I finally decided to jump back in to it......with one minor major change. I am doing things totally different this time around. I am no longer clipping out each individual coupon!!!

When the Sunday Paper arrives with my coupon insert, I pull out the inserts and write the date on them and slide it in to a clear page protector in my binder. I have my binder divided into 3 sections: Red Plum, Smart Source, and Proctor and Gamble.

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Now, every Sunday night I sit down at the computer with my "new" binder and start going to all of my favorite couponing sites. These awesome Mamas do all of the work for me..thus saving me time and sanity. You're saying "how do they do all the work for you?"


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If you visit one of their sites, you will see that they have their deals separated by store. I usually either use Kroger or Meijer for my shopping depending on who has the most deals that particular week. For example purposes, let's say Kroger has the best deals this week. Click on their Kroger Deals section. There you will see a list of items that they consider a great deal. The entries will look something like this:

Oscar Mayer Bologona (12 oz.), $1
$1/2 Oscar Mayer Lunchmeats printable (with a link)
$1/2 Oscar Mayer Lunchmeats, exp. 7-11-10 (SS 05/16/10)
$0.50 ea. wyb 2 after coupon!

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What it's telling you is that you need to find the Smart Source insert from 5/16/10 and find the Oscar Mayer Coupon for $1.00 off when you buy 2. The fact that Oscar Mayer is on sale for $1.00...combined with this coupon...makes them $.50/piece.

By using these websites, I create a shopping list with all of the corresponding coupons and take it to the store with me. No longer am I able to get those "
unadvertised" sales" by taking my binder with me. However my chances of not giving up are greatly imporved using this method ;) 
I am loving finally getting my pantry restocked full of goodies for a fraction of the price that I would be paying. Check out some of my stockpiled goodies.

Picnik collage
Here is a list of some of my favorite couponing sites for Ohio:
Deal Seaking Mom

*Update*
I can't believe that I have not figured this out until now. So there are obviously going to be times when you need to purchase something that isn't on sale. But using this method...how in the world are you going to remember where to find a coupon for that item? Tara from Deal Seeking Mom has the answer. She maintains a Coupon Database. For instance I needed to buy dog food last week. It wasn't on sale and I didn't want to search all my inserts for a coupon so I just paid full price. Now I know that I don't need to do that. I just need to visit the database...do a search by brand and it will tell me exactly where to get my needed coupon. Thanks Tara for doing the work for us :-)

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