Okay, so as I mentioned yesterday I will be sharing some money-saving tips I've gleaned from a couple of friends (and of course my sister-in-law who is also my friend).
See, I've not been the most frugal of all folks - in fact, I've hardly been frugal at all. Now, I'll be the FIRST to "google" for coupons when I'm shopping online. It's really just too easy to not do it, but when it came to clipping coupons.. well, I had a BAJILLION excuses NOT to. (Mostly just carelessness)
The Bible has PLENTY to say about making wise decisions and managing what God has given us. As I thought about what it means to be a helpmeet to my husband and the decisions I make daily, a couple of verses came to mind...
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
Obviously I have NOT been the most helpful helpmmet, but "PRAISE THE LORD, I SAW THE LIGHT"~ (Sorry, I just remembered watching David Crowder sing this on YouTube) Check it out if you've got a second...
Okay, so I'll stop with the rambling and move on to what I've learned...
First, I got started by checking a few sites online. My FAVORITE is The Grocery Game. Yes, there is a small fee, but it is BY FAR the EASIEST to use and will pay for itself the FIRST time you shop! (It's the easiest to use for me anyway) Oh, and did I mention there is a FREE trial membership to The Grocery Game? You can watch this quick video that will give you an idea how this program works....
I did find another site that helps you plan your shopping list the way the other does, but it just doesn't seem to be as easy to understand and takes a little longer to map out. (A plus for this one is that it's FREE!) It's couponmom.com I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this site too because from there you can print FREE coupons!! (These aren't the little .25 ones that you get in the newspapers - though I DO clip those too.. MANY of the ones on this site are $1.00 or more!)
So whether you decide to go with The Grocery Game or Coupon Mom, the idea is the same. Your goal will be to use your coupons buying ONLY the items that are on sale. Under the FAQ'S on the The Grocery Game they tell you that they know when items are at their lowest price and that's when they recommend you buy them. (Thus NEVER paying full price for anything)
Since I've started shopping this way, I've knocked a HUGE HOLE in the amount I'd normally spend. For instance, tonight I stopped in Kroger and spent 29.00, but I SAVED $25! Granted, grocery stores are usually much higher than shopping somewhere like Walmart, but the idea is that you ONLY buy the "loss leaders". (Those are the items that the stores cut WAY DOWN just to get you in the store.. THOSE are the items we use our coupons for to get MAXIMUM savings!!)
It's really fun to shop this way because you'll get items that you might not normally splurge on. For instance, this week I got an AirWick Automatic Spray Kit similar to this one...
for only .99 and it lists in Kroger for about $13! (Or about $10 at Walmart) It was on my "Terri's List" for the week and I was just beside myself when I got it for UNDER $1! (I know, I'm WAAAYYY TOO EASILY amused)
Another cool thing about couponing??? If you have a Kroger Card (you get those in the store by filling out a quick little questionnaire) you can load coupons on it BEFORE you ever leave home. However, what REALLY gets me about this is that it will take the coupon that you've loaded on your card AND a paper coupon on the SAME item! (However, the coupons on the card WON'T double.. but I'm pretty sure the paper ones DO up to .55 and then you STILL get the coupon you loaded from home!) You can do this by going to shortcuts.com and registering your shopping card. Then you pick out the coupons you want and it automatically loads them! Oh, I keep talking about Kroger.. they are one of the major chains in my area.. shortcuts.com works with SEVERAL DIFFERENT stores. You can find a list of their partner stores HERE.
Again, the idea is to buy things that are at their "rock bottom" price. (Avoiding other things unless necessary) Last week Kroger had a 10 for $10 sale. I had coupons on at least two of the items so I paid only .50 per item instead of $1. (I can't remember for the life of me what those items were.. LOL) Kroger doesn't even require you to actually BUY all 10 of the 10 items.. ANY item that's listed within that sale will be $1 each. I REALLY LOVE to find the "buy one get one" sales! With these you can use TWO coupons (one on each item) bringing your total even LOWER!!
Okay, I think I've rambled enough for one day. If I think of any other major secrets that I've learned I'll share them in my next post. I wish you all HAPPY shopping!
Wait! Before I sign off I wanted to "link" you to my friend Molly. She's one of the friends I've been gleaning from. She also has a post here on how to save BIG at CVS! I think Molly actually explained this MUCH MORE CLEARLY than I just did.
I hope you all have a WONDERFUL weekend! If you're new to this too, don't forget to get your Sunday paper! The larger ones usually have a LOT of coupons in them. (Another heads-up.. the paper on September 27 is supposed to have over $90 in P&G coupons!) Go HERE to sign up for a sample and some GREAT manufacturers coupons!