Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Well, I know this blog is mainly to showcase my thrift store or yard sale finds but... I had to show case my use of coupons too.

Now, I'm not an extreme coupon lady like the women who have made the headlines lately. I don't get my total down to $2 from $200 but I do save some money when I shop using coupons. I'm also not as crazy, obsessed with it like these ladies are- I don't have closets and pantries full of items I've bought with coupons. I just use coupons when it is something I am going to buy anyway and I always add up what my savings will be and if it's worth it. Let me explain...

I've always liked using coupons- who doesn't? You get to save some cash, which is awesome. Well, a few weeks ago, through a misunderstanding in words, I subscribed to our local newspaper. The guy came to the door, asked if I had gotten the free Sunday paper the week before, told me they were doing monthly subscriptions for $8, then asked if I'd like one. I thought he meant the free Sunday paper, he meant a month subscription- so I ended up with a month subscription. I thought I'd try it out- only $8 to get a paper everyday for a month- too good of a deal to pass up. I spoke with my husband and said I thought it would be worth it if I got $8 worth of coupons out of the deal. To put it simply- I have gotten more than my $8 worth- and it's not even the end of the month.

When I cut out coupons, I cut out everything I think I'll use. Most of the time the expiration date isn't for a month or more- who knows if I'll need ketchup or toothpaste a month from now. I'm a super organized type of person, so I organize my coupons into groups based upon the isles in the store. After I make out my grocery list, I check to see if any of my coupons match what is on my list. Then I usually go through the coupons anyways to see if there is anything I forgot I needed, or to see if any of the coupons are about to expire. If I land upon a coupon that is about to expire, I consider if I need the item- or if it will hold out until I do need it. When I actually get to the store, I have my coupons separated by section and I write a 'c' out to the side on my grocery list, reminding me that I have a coupon for that item. After I put the item in my cart, the coupon goes in my wallet next to my debit card so I don't forget to hand it to the cashier.

So, that is the basics of how I use coupons. I do check to make sure the item is worth purchasing using a coupon. I'm a fan of the 'Great Value' brand at Wal-Mart. It's always cheaper than the name brands and usually, not lower quality. Sometimes, using a coupon for a name brand item is cheaper than the Great Value brand- other times it isn't. I always use the calculator on my phone to make sure the coupon I have is worth it. For example, I had a coupon for $1.00 off two boxes of Kellogg's cereal. My husband likes the crunchy raisin brand cereal and we usually buy the Great Value boxes which are cheaper than the name brand boxes. Well, after comparing the amount in the box and price, then with the coupon, I found out using the $1.00 off coupon would make the name brand cereal the same price as the Great Value cereal. So, I bought two boxes and used my coupon. For other items, like zip-lock bags, it was an easier call. I quickly figured out that using my $1.00 off coupon for two boxes of name brand zip-lock bags wouldn't be cheaper than just buying the Great Value bags- so I didn't use that coupon. I always make sure I'm going to use the coupon- getting 60 cents off 3 cans of biscuits might be a good deal if you really need those 3 cans, but I'm not going to use 3 cans of biscuits any time soon. I know there are options too- like freezing and such- just make sure you really have room and you want to spend the money now.

Some people only buy name brand, and for them it is probably better to use coupons. Other people, like me, who usually buy Great Value, it isn't always cheaper to use the coupons. Just make sure you check the prices before you commit to using a coupon just because you have it.

I got a really good deal with one of my coupons recently. I had a coupon for $2.00 off razors if I bought 2 packages. So I did, and I received $5 worth of music downloads for free with each package of razors. So, not only did I save $2 but I received $10 worth of music downloads. Awesome, I know. I'm a kid at heart and still love drinking Kool-Aid, except now instead of using sugar, I use the no-calorie sweetener to make my drink. Well, I had some coupons for Kool-Aid- buy 2 get 1 free, and buy 10 get 5 free. Needless to say, I'm set on Kool-Aid for the summer.

In my last post, I noted that I saved over $11 using coupons. During my trip yesterday, I saved $10.80 using coupons. It makes a difference- especially when it is worth it. My advice would be to just make sure you really need the item, you'll use it before it expires, and it is actually a better deal.

Hope this gives you some ideas or insight to using coupons...just remember it isn't for everyone and don't feel bad for not using them. Till next time....happy hunting :)

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