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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Couponing

No, I am not an "extreme couponer".  No, I do not watch the show on TV.  I have always been interested in using coupons.  Who doesn't love to save a buck? Or two? Or three? Or one hundred and twenty four? Yep, I saved $124 grocery shopping yesterday.  And no, I didn't buy things that I didn't need. 

Before the coupon craze started, I used to use coupons from the paper or the weekly grocery store ads, but I never really thought to use the two together.  Of course I was super excited when I had a coupon for something that was already on sale, I just never thought to look for combos like that in advance.

Anyway, something hit me at some point in time and I did start to use my coupons in conjunction with the stores' weekly ads.  Then about one to two years ago a co-worker mentioned this web site called Southern Savers. This lady, her name is Jenny, is an "extreme couponer".  And it's cool because it works for her and she shares all these awesome tips on her web site.  All the information on her web site is valuable, but the best thing is a coupon database.  You can use the database to search for coupons that you want/need and it will tell you what magazine, coupon circular, booklet, or web site has your coupon.  Before this web site I didn't even know you could get coupons off the internet.

This is what I do when I'm getting ready to hit the grocery store.  I go online to the grocery store web sites and view their weekly ad online where you can create a nice little computer generated shopping list.  I add things that I need, I don't add things just because they're on sale, that to me is a waste of money.   Even if fifty years from now I might need those Depends, I am not buying them just because I can get them for a penny.   Next, I take those shopping lists and hit the coupon database at Southern Savers.  At this point I already have as many pre-printed coupons as I'm going to get, so I search the coupon database only for any coupons on the internet for products on my list.  Once I've printed any additional coupons, I grab some envelopes.  Each envelope is labeled for a particular store, I go to four.  I put the shopping list for that store and the corresponding coupons into that envelope.  Then I'm ready to go shopping and I only have to take in one small envelope in each store! Perfect.  


Last night Brad and I went to the grocery stores.  I had all my stuff ready to go and I was pumped because it's been a little while since I've gone and I love to see the receipts with all my savings highlighted, I know I'm cheesy.  We go in kind of a triangular pattern, Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, and Publix are all on the same street.  Publix is actually at an intersection, so we turn down the other road at that intersection and head to Bi-Lo which is on that same road.  When we leave Bi-Lo, we go in a different direction at the intersection and it's a straight shot home.  I know it sounds like a lot, but we're always done in under two hours.  


The time I spend cutting and searching for the coupons and then actually going to the grocery store is about three hours, and we leave with enough stuff to eat for about two to three weeks.  So that's not too bad, and when you spend $169 and save $124 on two to three weeks worth of food, it's so worth it.

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