Crazy Coupon Lady
I am the epitome of a “crazy coupon lady.” Well, almost. I don’t have 85 bottles of mustard or a year’s worth of laundry detergent stored in my basement; however, I do have a 3 inch white binder filled with several pages of baseball card holders, each slot containing a coupon. I also have a big bag that I carry around with me that holds my binder, along with several weekly grocery store ads. In my linen closet at home, you will find one entire shelf devoted to my stockpile.
Back about a year ago, when I decided to embark on my couponing adventure, I made myself 2 promises. One – I would never buy anything simply because it was “free”. You know, like those people who hoard free cat food when they don’t even own a cat. And two – I would immediately deposit the money I save into my family’s saving’s account. Hey, at least I can say that I’ve kept one of those promises….I may not always “save” every penny, but I always use it for something extra or fun for my kids.
For all you haters out there who think that it’s sooo not worth your time to coupon, let me give you an example of a recent shopping trip to Target:
The Target in my town was recently updated and now contains a grocery section, complete with fresh fruit and vegetables, a meat department, and frozen food section – so I was super excited to test it out as my new one-stop-shop. (Great – just what I need….another reason to spend more money at Target!)
I want to fill you in on a little secret – Target is my absolute favorite place to coupon for 2 reasons. Reason #1 – you can “stack” manufacturer coupons with target store coupons. For example – I needed Pull Ups for my youngest. Retail price = $9.49. I had a manufacturer coupon for $1.50 off, and a Target store coupon or $2.00 off. My price? $5.99. BAM!! Reason #2 – if you have a Target Credit Card or Debit Card, you save an extra 5% on your entire purchase, every day…making my Pull Ups even cheaper. My final price? $5.69, for a total savings of $3.80. Almost four dollars saved, just on one item!!!
My cart was loaded up with things such as cleaning supplies, health & beauty items, a week’s worth of lunches, dinners and snacks for my family, dog food, birthday cards, sporting equipment, and of course, several items from the dollar bin (I mean, you can’t go to Target and not buy things from the dollar bin, right?) Total before coupons and discount? $208.45. Total after coupons and 5% discount? $163.49 for a grand total saved of $44.96.
Learning to coupon is not something that happens easily or overnight. It’s a labor of love that requires patience and repetition. When I first started, I was lucky if I remembered to bring my coupons with me to the store; now, I feel guilty even if I stop to pick up a single item at the store and don’t use a coupon. It’s also not reasonable to think that the average person can go to a store and get their entire order for free – those people that you see on T.V. are often buying things that they don’t need, simply because they have a coupon. The producers don’t show the entire purchase on camera, and that’s because they are buying a $1000 dollars’ worth of cat food to simply get it “free.” In my humble opinion, this isn’t couponing; it’s hoarding. I always buy things that my family would use anyway, regardless of whether or not I had a coupon.
Couponing has become second nature to me; I am a competitive person, and I challenge myself to see how much I can save each time I head to the store. I challenge everyone reading this blog to try it out, at least once. I promise that you’ll be hooked.
What would you do with an extra $45 dollars each week?Photos courtesy of Saving Sense & Gin Galley Brought to you by Mills Properties