Ever since TLC debuted it's hit show "Extreme Couponers" a few years ago, it seems everyone I know has started getting more and more involved in coupons and trying to save (or, for some, even MAKE) money as much as possible.
My favorite local grocery store sends out a few coupons every week in their weekly special flier, and I usually try to take advantage and use those as much as I can. They also have a lot of "BOGO" deals (buy one, get one), or 2 for $5 deals regularly. And recently, they started sending out 2 coupons in their weekly flier that is four doubling any manufacturer's coupon up to $1. I wanted to take advantage of that as much as I could and started researching couponing a little more. The store I shop at also has a savings card that all customers can have and that gives you special deals too. Something else new they just started is offering various coupons on their website, that you can automatically add to your savings card, so when that card is swiped and you get the regular store deals by using it, you also get additional coupon savings from whichever coupons you added.
I did our weekly grocery shopping with my good friend Jenn a few days ago. (Read her blog HERE ...she's just starting out and needs follows! :-) ) I planned our meals for the week, and made a list of what we needed for those, along with other necessities and snacks and lunches for the kiddos. I scoured my grocery store's website and added whatever coupons I knew I would use or that seemed like great deals to me. I cut out the coupons I knew I'd use from my local flier. When we got to the store, we went straight to their coupon corner, where a few volunteers regularly clip and organize various coupons for all different products, and that are free for the public to look through and use. We looked through and found a few more coupons to use, some of which could be doubled with the special store coupons we had.
As my cart piled up, I was getting a little nervous. I did not want to spend $300 or $400 on groceries! However, I was pleasantly surprised by the time I was done cashing out. My total came to $303.54. The cashier swiped my rewards card, which brought my total down considerably. Then she ran my store coupons, which brought it down a little more....and then the manufacturer's coupons made my final price...
I know this still sounds like a lot for weekly groceries, BUT, I had put it off for weeks, so we were literally out of everything...AND, I have NEVER saved that much!
Our total savings was $56.00!! I think that was an excellent start to couponing for me!! I was so excited, and now....I think I am hooked! I am definitely going to do more work with coupons for future shopping trips and keep taking advantage of these savings! It is truly addicting....