Sunday, May 30, 2010

Not related to yarn but still cool

Since I got laid off in March I have been trying to figure out ways to strech a buck and for the most part I think I've been doing a pretty good job. A friend of mine introduced me to the wonderful world of Couponing. Please understand, I have always used coupons but there is a big difference between "using coupons" and "Couponing" - much like the difference between knitting and Knitting!
I borrowed a book from the library called "Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half" by Stephanie Nelson. This has really opened my eyes to the things you can do and the stuff that stores GIVE you when you are smart about combing sales and coupons together! The highlights of what I have learned:

~ a BOGO sale from the store means you can use 2 manufacturer coupons for the 2 items you are getting.
~ usually you can use BOTH a manufacturer coupon AND a store coupon for the SAME item!
~ Free stuff is COOL and a great way to give to those less fortunate than ourselves.
~ Get a baseball card binder to organize your coupons either alphabetically by brand (which I had originally had) or by aisle of the supermarket (which I just switched to). It is much easier to see what you have to work with than with the old accordian type I used to use.
~ if you have a UPromise account (or other stores not in my area like Kroger) you can do "electronic coupons" where you go to their website and add coupons to your Rewards Cards. For Upromise, the amount doesnt come off my bill but goes directly into the boys' college accounts.

Today before Church I went through my favorite ads - CVS and Walgreens - and wrote down all the cool things I found that would be cheap/free when I combined them with coupons that I already have. Then after Church we went to Walgreens to pick up a few of the deals - for me and to give.

As an aside, my lifegroup is working on a project next week that will have us stuffing 60 (the goal) gallon size zipper bags with travel size essentials for the folks that eat at a local place called "I Am Hope Cafe". It provides hot meals 4 nights a week to whoever needs them, and it is "manned" by volunteers from a different local Church each night. We have Tuesdays. So... I am trying to stock up on essentials that I can donate to this cause but because I am unemployed, it has to be REALLY cheap or Free! Onward.

I purchased 2 Reach toothbrushes, 2 packages of Reach floss, a 10 pk of OxiClean Max Force Stain Releaser and a 60 ct Walgreens brand A-Z vitamins. The total before savings was $18.13 for those 6 items. Advertised sales saved me $8.69 (Reach items for $.99 each, OxiClean for $2.99 and vitamins for $2), I had coupons worth $7 ($3 off 3 Reach items, $1 off 1 reach item, $2 off Oxi Clean Max Force, and $1 off my order from last week's certificate), so I paid $2.44. I got a $2 certificate for my next purchase which made it like paying $.44. For $18.13 of items.

This. Rocks.

Melodie (the gal that checked me out) said "You guys always amaze me with that!"

Yes Melodie, sometimes I amaze even myself.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

Awesome! I've been doing that for a few months here, too. Since mid-February I've saved / gotten for free about $1900 worth of stuff, just by using coupons! We have dishwasher soaps, razors, body washes, toothbrushes/pastes for life here now, lol.