Sunday, December 4, 2011

Learning To Coupon!

We now have 400 rolls of toilet paper!
About 12 bags of chips which I got most of the free! and a few dozens of paper towels!! SOMEBODY STOP ME!!! LOL

So, I decided to try to cut our grocery bill but wasn't sure how to do it. I already didn't buy name brand and shopped only when on sale. I use ebates regularly but not for groceries. I thought I did pretty good to feed this crew of 10 on $250 wk. Ben has been bugging the stink out of me to coupon after he watched Extreme Couponing several times. (Ben can be extreme most times and I am always joking with him that he's my extremist) Finally my curiosity got up and I decided to look. I watched a few episodes and saw these women who had stockpiles and it was all name brand stuff and they enjoyed the extra goodies that we could never buy and hardly paid for it! Hmmmm. I thought, I am smart. I can do this. So I did some reading up on it and watched some you tubes on how to coupon and got pointers. I signed up on some coupon sites and created an email just for my coupons so my regular mail wouldn't get loaded with junk. I bought newspapers and asked the boys to clip! I came home one day to find not only coupons clipped but ALL the Ads clipped as well!! ANYTHING that has a % off was neatly in a pile! We had to have a little chat about exactly what a coupon was! I bought two papers and not many coupons were in those but since it was the week before Black friday Ben thought it had lots of goodies , so sneaked and bought about 6 more papers! (Extremist!!) I am glad they love me extremely too! LOL! They clipped all those ads from Ben's papers. Ben and I tried our couponing out at Winco and we did ok but did not save as much as I would have liked. But we did get some good sales. We had trouble with our computer coupons because they wouldn't scan and after manager came over telling me sorry, I said , is there not anything you can do? I bought $500 here based on coupons alone. He said let me go see if I can get verification. So he did. They had to punch in the numbers off of my printed ones but most went through.
I then told Ben and Nathaniel who wanted to start right away at every grocery store, We have to wait, and get a stash of coupons and then match it with a sale. Be patient. We have to get a plan in place. My coupons finally arrived in the mail and my printer busily printed off coupons and I got them organized in envelopes. We were ready for a real coupon run! The next week, when we got the grocery sale papers, We hit the jackpot! CVS and Safeway were having awesome sales and I actually had coupons for those products and we used and needed those products. I planned my strategy and organized realizing that I needed to make several transactions because if you bought certain products, and spent over $30 you got a $10 gift card. I needed to buy $ gift cards for a church holiday feast for the homeless and Duane and I were hosting 2 tables. I was able to get 9 gift cards worth $10 each free! and earned $10 CVS cash as well as get everything on sale with a coupon off extra!

Our first stash after Winco - I saved $75
Our CVS run! It may not look like a lot but I LOVE Bounty Towels and I haven't bought myself any olay products in a year and there is lots of laundry detergent and shampoo here plus Nyquil. I never buy those because I don't want to pay full price! I rarely buy juice because it gets drained here at our house before it hits the fridge. So I got stuff we just go without or never buy.
My total bill was $425.46 MINUS $171.15 in coupons and sales EQUALS $254.31 SPENT. PLUS I got 6 , $10 VISA Gift Cards . TOTAL SAVINGS $231.15
Our Safeway run! Everything was on Sale! Plus instore coupons and manufacturer's coupons! Bingo! We got a lot of stuff free!
At Safeway, we hit a BOGO sale and used manufacturing coupons as well. I bought $2000 worth of groceries for $1130! Plus I received back $40 in Safeway cash. I got asked by people in the store, Are you one of those
Extreme Couponers? We had 3 buggies packed to the hilt. Eli and Ben were great helpers.
We were in the store for about 3 hours and it took us about an hour to check out. We had the nicest cashier named Cindy. On top of all of that we earned enough points on our safeway card to get gas for a $1.00 off a gallon! Since we were almost empty. We stopped at the pump on the way home! I was so busy getting our shopping done, that I completely forgot about Isaiah at school! I panicked when I realized it was 7pm! I called Duane and my wonderful husband had picked him up!! So thankful for my wonderful Duane!
I HAD OVER $2000 in groceries and we saved close to $900!! I only paid $1120. PLUS I got $60 back in Safeway CASH! The kids are excited to see OREOS and lots of chips and SODAS! and 400 rolls of Toilet paper!!
Eli and I doing the $1 OFF A GALLON DANCE at the pump!
Paying $2.41 a gallon for 30 gallons was something to dance about!
Ben is ALWAYS watching gas prices and driving us crazy on the mpg we get in our cars and here he is VERY HAPPY we are getting our gas for $2.41 a gallon!!!!!!! We kept high fiving Each other!!

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