Friday, March 20, 2009

Couponing Update

It has been a little over a month since I started clipping coupons, signing up for freebies, and watching my grocery money like a hawk. The other day I was at my local Publix and chased down a woman buying Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough because she failed to peel off a $.55 cent coupon located on the display rack. I think everyone should try and save their pennies, especially when it is right in front of you. These days, there is no need to be throwing your money away.

Although I am no master couponer, I have come a long way and thought I'd share my experience. I do buy a copy of the Sunday newspaper each week now, primarily for the coupons. As I have posted before, I have organized my coupons into a binder that makes it fairly easy to locate individual coupons as needed.

I have also registered on a number of sites that send me periodic e-mails with coupons. The most useful to me personally is the Food Lion "Shoppers' Companion" because I am able to use those coupons for money off at Publix. The night before I go grocery shopping I sit down with my Publix grocery list usually obtained from the Frugal Coupon Living or Deal Seeking Mom blogsites and determine which items I am going to buy. I try to only purchase the items which are on sale (and mostly made up of their B1G1 free products) for which I have coupons as well. If I have a competitor (aka Food Lion) coupon that I can combine with a manufacturer coupon found on the Internet or from my Sunday inserts even better.

One of my best deals this week was the CapriSun 10-pack juice boxes on sale at Publix for $2.00. With my $1.00 off Food Lion coupon, I was able to get the 10-pack of juice boxes for a $1.00 a piece!

A great deal to look out for this week is the frozen Green Giant Vegetables at Publix. They are on sale for a $1.00 a piece (advertised at 10/$10.00). With the $.60 off of two coupon found on-line, I was able to get two boxes at $.70 a piece.

Obviously this stuff excites me a little too much because I could go on and on! Another exciting thing that started this week was my free magazines. FREE! I am a magazine junkie and was spending probably at least $5-$10.00 a week sometimes buying magazines.

With the magazine freebie deals found at the frugal coupon sites, I completed a number of short (less than two minute) surveys and registered for free yearly subscriptions of countless magazines. I have to say I was a little distrustful that I would actually see these magazines arrive at my house, but I can put all fears laid to rest since I started receiving 3 of these free magazines this week including: Parents, Family Circle, and Forbes.

On each of my weekly shopping trips where I used to spend $100-$150 on food, household cleaners/supplies, and diapers/wipes, I am now spending an average of $70 and saving an average of $70 per shopping trip. So I am able to stockpile much more food and supplies for less money. I now have enough cleaning and beauty supplies to last our household for quite awhile!

Now I am trying to get my grocery shopping down to a twice-a-month chore. With what I purchased this week, I have more than enough food to feed our family for two weeks. I will probably still be stopping by the store though to stock up on perishables that our family goes through quickly: bananas, apples, lettuce, etc.

So that is where I stand on the couponing thing. So far so good. If you are not taking advantage of your coupons and store deals, I certainly encourage you to take a look at it and at least start slowly. Every bit saved helps. I know I feel better splurging on little things like giving my son $.50 extra on Fridays for an ice cream snack after lunch at school!

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