Thursday, February 24, 2011

And so it begins

Y'all, I have a new hobby. And it is taking over my life. This hobby consumes my thoughts day and night. You can see evidence of it all over my house. I wish I could tell you that it was something highbrow like oil paintings or something. But alas, it is not.

It is couponing.

Sigh. It has come to this.

Rob and I have been on a very tight budget ever since we went to one salary and added two young ones to the mix. We have gotten really good about eating nearly every single meal at home. If we do eat out we only eat on nights where kids eat free. Out of 21 meals per week, we eat 19 at home. And that includes Rob coming home every single day for lunch where we eat PB&J's, chips, and a banana. It's the simple things, folks.

I buy all of our clothes at discount sites like Zulily. You can still get great quality clothes at a bargain if you search.

I just got a $50 giftcard to Kohls using my Walgreens rewards points.

I am an avid fan of swagbucks. You must do this if you do not!! I just got a $10 gift card to Starbucks from Swagbucks. You earn points by taking surveys, playing games, using it as your search engine. Try it. You won't be disappointed.

And finally, couponing. I am new to this. For awhile I would use a few coupons and save $3.00 here and there. And then I got serious. I search Sunday papers. I print manufacturer coupons non stop. I learned that Hen House doubles 50 cent or less coupons. I learned to match sales with coupons. I now buy sale items and then plan my menus based on those.

And finally, it paid off. Yesterday, I went shopping at Target and save $48.06!!!! Did you read that correctly? PLUS, I got $25 in gift cards by taking advantage of their "Buy 7, get $5 gift card." I thought about framing my receipt.

Ummmm... that equals SEVENTY FIVE DOLLARS!

Yay, me.

Plus, my freezer is stocked for the next 6 months. Fantastic. I should take a picture. It is rather glorious.

So, if you want to get started, here are a few tips that helped me.

1. Start buying a Sunday Paper. The coupons in there are worth way more than the cost of the paper

2. Learn which stores double coupons. Hen House does. Price Chopper does not accept Buy One Get One Free coupons. Target stacks store coupons with manufacturer coupons.

3. Like things on facebook that give regular freebies. I've scored free orange juice, free coffee creamer, and free Clinique mascara this way.

4. Match sale items with coupons. Last night Hen House had Old Orchard Apple Juice on sale for $1.50. This is normally $2.39. I used a 50 cent coupon (which Hen House doubled) and got a bottle of $2.30 juice for 50 cents.

5. Use couponing through swagbucks. You earn points through every coupon you download and use from their site.

6. Search for manufacturer coupons online and print them out.

7. Join a rewards program at your grocery store.

8. Follow blogs and websites that will help you. My personal favorites are:

I hope this helps you save some money on your groceries. Or if nothing else, you can mock me. And that's always fun too. But I am sipping free Starbucks and about to head to Kohl's to spend my $50 gift card. So laugh away.


starnes family said...

Love it!

Other great ones:

Kansas City Mamas is just about the best site ever.

Target also have free downloadable coupons for your phone.

I'm a huge saver, too. Have to be with 3 kids, me at home and living in Southern California!

Doing a post on this soon......stay tuned!

Brittny said...

THANK YOU LADIES!!!!!!!!! I'm trying really hard to do this, but most of the time it doesn't work out. Our newspaper is horrible about coupons. I try to do online, but forget sometimes. I'm working on it. Way to go Lauren on saving so much money!!

The Khans said...

I keep saying I am going to get better at this everytime I hear a presentation or stories like yours, but alas, have not succeeded. I really need to though. I am going to try again this month, well March I guess since Feb is almost over. Crazy. Keep up your good work. oh and if you have a publix they have good coupons in the store and a club too.

Lori Mercer said...

I've always loved - lots of great information there! Also check out Way to go Lauren! :)

Kerry said...

Let's get together and do some couponing, I'm into it too! I was really good at it in Atlanta with and Publix doubles coupons and B1G1 sales all the time. Oh how I miss Publix!!! I haven't been as good here in KC, the stores aren't as great but I'm getting the hang of Hen House at least and CVS is the same. have you played the CVS game yet? If not, you must learn!