Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Couponing Like the Pros

Posted by Andria at 1:36 PM
As you all know, there's been a lot going on for me lately. Some good, some not so good and some I'm still keeping to myself ;) Wouldn't you like know lol. One thing that has helped keep me busy and focused on something productive is also something that I simply must share and It's my latest, greatest, most life altering little hobby lifestyle change, Couponing! Oh yeah, like the stuff you see on t.v. but never in a million years think you could ever do. That's me! Though I'm still in the infant stages of this endeavour, I'm well on my way and it's been amazing for many, many reasons.

I can't take the credit for doing it all on my own though. It all started with a family friend who really educated herself on the ins and outs. She then passed the knowledge forward to a family member who then passed it on to me and it has exploded into a hilarious "couponing team" amongst all of us! We call eachother almost daily to share which store has which sale that you can go ahead and combine "A" coupon with "B" coupon and then get rewards back and so on! Yes it's that crazy but so worth it. I've gotten the MOST unlikely products for pennies or even free! Not to mention, there are ways I've actually made money! And yes, there is absolutely a science and a method. Its not what many people think it is. It's not this "Oh look, I have a .50 cent coupon for a $7 product, guess I should use it".  It’s all about shopping with coupons while a product is on sale, many times combining more than one coupon and stocking up so you don’t have to buy something when it’s not cheap or free.

It's funny because I now have  what we jokingly call "trophy receipts". The kind that say you saved $50/$60/$70 and show your grand total as six bucks or something. My best one is where I paid $6.03 for $92.97 worth of detergent saving me $86.94!!! My aunt has receipts showing hundreds of dollars in savings. JEALOUS! I'm getting there though :)

Many people think that couponing is only for broke people but I'm here to say that that's not necessarily true. I'm not broke by any means and I'm enjoying the benefits just like anyone else. Couponing is one of the best ways to stay not broke! It's actually been a lot fun and rather addicting! In fact, I now have more play money and more money for saving than ever before. I've also hardly touched my tax return. Much of it is still in my account and it's April! That never happens here! EVER.

In my opinion, it's also for those who want to be smart with their money and keep a decent amount of it in your account. Imagine that! It has totally changed how I think about spending. I'm now cringe when people brag about spending a ton of money unnecessarily. It just seems so irresponsible to me! Unless you're well off and truly have money to blow, then in that case a big cheers to you lol. Talk to me about how much you were able to save and then I'm impressed! That's where my mindset is now.

As of now, we have enough laundry detergent to last more than a year (no joke), pasta to last almost a year, deodorant - about enough for a year, tons of canned goods, enough baby wipes to last atleast 8 months, and a much more. The kicker; I don't think I even spent $50 on everything I just mentioned! Other than all that, I've found many creative ways to save money such as utilizing stores reward programs. It's like someone giving you a gift card to shop in their store!  I'm telling you, LIFE ALTERING!

At first it can be really overwhelming, even a pain in the butt however, what you get out of it is worth it for sure. The key is educating yourself, connecting with others who are doing it too and staying committed. You will be checking DAILY for deals. That takes some getting used to. I'm doing all these things and even following great blogs that have helped me a lot.  I'll post an update to share my progress in a few months. I'm so glad I've adopted this new way of spending saving at this point of my life. Now that we're trying to expand our family, saving all I can for is definitely a priority!

Here are a few of my favorite sites to help get you started:

* The Krazy Coupon Lady (my top choice)

* We Use Coupons

* Simply CVS

* Grocery Coupon Network

There are so many more great sites out there! The smartest thing you can do is follow these sites on Facebook and twitter so can be get frequent updates. Have fun everyone and I'd love to hear about your experiences with couponing!



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