Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My New Way to Shop

It started out slowly, but as I've gotten the hang of things my receipts have began to show some enormous benefit.

Take a look.

Spent $84.08 Saved $38.07 (31% Savings)

Spent $111.55 Saved $53.12 (32% Savings)

Spent $132.18 Saved $60.77 (32% Savings)

Spent $97.24 Saved $60.88 (39% Savings)

Spent $103.53 Saved $76.53 (43% Savings)

Spent $94.90 Saved $91.92 (49% Savings!!!!)

Spent $148.77 Saved $116.92 (44% Savings)

It should also be noted that the savings would probably be greater, but I'm still purchasing big ticket items like diapers and formula.

So how did I save so much? Well, first I studied up on the art of couponing. I did this by checking out these two particular websites-- Southern Savers and Faithful Provisions. These are both targeted to the Southeastern part of the country, but both have tons of links to other websites and you're sure to be able to find a site or two that is for your geographical area.

Then I studied up on my store's coupon policies. I found out they double ALL manufacturers coupons $.50 and under. They accept ALL competitor store coupons. And you can stack a store/competitor coupon with a manufacturers coupon. Wow.

Then I started collecting and printing coupons. My MIL and my dad both get Sunday papers. So they pull their coupons for me. I also occasionally pick up my own Sunday paper. I also pull coupons as I see them in the in-store dispensers. (I save them until that item goes on sale then take them back!) I sign up for any coupon booklet mentioned on one of my go-to sites. And I scan the rack at the front of the store for any in-store flyers that contain coupons.

I also started scanning the weekly flyer and comparing my coupons to the current sales and specials. This is how you get the best price. I love my store's BOGO section. Check out some of the awesome deals I scored this week.

Aveen0 Baby Wash
Regular Price $4.99
Sales Price $3.79
Mfg Coupon $2.00 off
Target Coupon $1.00 off
Total Price $0.79 (84% Savings)

Al Freco All Natural Chicken Sausage
Regular Price $5.49
BOGO Deal $2.75
Mfg Coupon $1.50 off
Total Price $1.25 (77% Savings)

Regular Price $1.09
Store Coupon $.75 off of 2
Mfg Coupon $.55 off of 2
Total Price $.88/$.44 each (40% Savings)

Emerald Trail Mix
Regular Price $1.99
BOGO Deal $1.99/2
Mfg Coupon $1.00 off of 2
Total Price $.99/$.49 each (75% Savings)

I'm also being more aware of what type of produce is in season because it's both cheaper and tastier. (Why have I been so stupid about his before???)

Let me just say, this definitely takes some time. I spend a couple of hours/week getting my list and coupons organized. But as a SAHM, I'm finding it's worth it to do so. It's almost like getting paid for that time. And I'm always looking for ways to contribute to our household. Ever since quitting my job to take care of my kiddos I have felt somewhat guilty of the things we can no longer do because we lack the extra income. However, things like this are allowing me to free up some money to do some extra things here and there.

I'm pretty competitive by nature, so this has given me an outlet for that. Every week I try to do better than the week before while still only purchasing things we would use. (However, if I can get things we don't use for very cheap/free, then I purchase them and put them in my "Food Bank Donation" stash.

Of course, shopping like this limits your ability to walk into the store and buy whatever you want for whatever meals you feel like preparing. It requires menu planning based on what you have and what you can get. I'm still working on this, but definitely enjoying the challenge. Faithful Provisions blogs weekly about her menu and how she is able to feed a family of 4 on $40/week + formula. While I'm still not able to do this at $40/week, I've made it a goal and striving for it.

I challenge anyone looking for a way to cut back on the budget to try this out. Once you get going it's a bit addictive. If you have any questions about what I'm doing, you know where to find me!



Kami said...

Welcome back, Martha!

I love this post! I'm a big couponer but I'm not as into it as this. I want to be, though. I thought about taking the class.

Meanwhile-what did you mean by this: "I also pull coupons as I see them in the in-store dispensers. (I save them until that item goes on sale then take them back!)"

I don't understand....

jb said...

Woo-Hoo! I'm right with ya! But, i fell off the couponing wagon during the holidays. :) I just switched from Kroger to Publix and am learning their system, but it seems to be better. We'll see! Keep posting your tips - love it!

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Two blogs - wow! I'm impressed! Looking forward to this one!

Brandi said...

I started couponing back in November and I LOVE it! I already have a pretty good stock pile. I will have to check out the sites that you have listed here. My favorite that I have found so far is Way to go on those bargains you have found!! =)

Ryan and Heather said...

I love couponing also. By the way I think you might be a great contestant on the Price is Right with all of your recent knowledge of grocery item prices! :)

Samantha said...

Okay, I am going to give this a whirl..started visiting a few sites and clipping coupons this week...we shall see how well I do!!!