Sunday, August 21, 2011

More Couponing

I've continued to have the "coupon bug" and decided it was time to get organized if I was going to keep the coupons from the papers and actually use some of them, so I have crossed over into the "coupon craze" realm - at least that's how it was referred to when I called Hobby Lobby to see if they had any baseball card sheet protectors to put in a binder and the lady asked if I was part of the "coupon craze" - LOL. If it's a craze, so be it, much worse crazes to be a part of, LOL.

So, I had a 1 in. binder on hand and put in the protectors and started sorting coupons and putting them in. It was a big job b/c I've been saving them from papers for about a month or so and not done any organizing yet. I'm not done yet, but I definitely made a dent in them, especially the "food" coupons. I left the non-food ones in regular envelopes for now, but sorted in categories so I can pull out the envelope and just sort through them - for now. I was tired of sorting and cutting and what not and Miss Baby was up from her nap, which meant chaos when you have little pieces of paper all over the dining room table ;)

So, I made my first 2 store trips - armed w/my binder - yes, I took it in w/me - I felt a little self-conscious, but I got over it pretty quickly. Inside in the front pocket I had 2 small envelopes labeled w/the store names (my first two stops were Target and Wal-mart) and a spiral notebook sitting in the front w/my lists for each store. On each list I had the items I needed to get, how many to get, and the coupon value. Then, on a separate little page stapled to the spiral notebook page, I had my other items that were non-coupon items listed out. It went pretty smoothly, although it took me a lot longer to shop for even the few items I was getting b/c I was trying to be very careful to get the right things and make sure I was getting exactly what the coupon said so I wouldn't have any issues at the register.

So, moment of truth - the checkout!

I went to Target first b/c I only had 1 "cold food" item, bacon. I loaded my items on the belt, maybe 20 things, and waited for the checkout. Then gave her my Target coupons first, some were giving some kind of error on the screen. The checker didn't seem to notice and kept on scanning, although the coupons weren't being taken into the system and deducted. She then noticed and we made sure to get all of them in the system, and then I had manufacturer coupons also - turns out she wasn't even a checker usually, so I had to explain to her that I could use a manuf. and a Target coupon on the same item according to their coupon policy and she then scanned those in. If I did the math correctly when I returned home, I saved about 20% on the items I bought.

Off to Wal-mart (for future trips, I will bring a cooler w/those ice packs for food from first store) - took my Target bag of bacon w/receipt in and asked greeter if I could take it in w/me - showed her the Target receipt - she seemed a bit wary, but said it was ok, so off I went. Again, took me longer than normal in there, but I got what I needed. Got to checkouts, looked through coupons again to make sure I had the right ones in the envelope and realized I'd only gotten 1 item that I'd had 2 coupons for, but didn't feel like leaving the line to go get another, so just took that coupon out (it wasn't like it was going to be free or anything that fabulous ;) ) - checkout went ok. Later when I got home I found one error - was charged for key limes instead of regular limes to the tune of about $.25 extra, but lesson learned is that I need to watch more closely while things are being scanned in future. Saved around 20% here too.

Not the "extreme" couponing you see on the tv show, but 20% aint bad compared to not saving anything and just paying full price for everything, right?  I plan to try again on our shopping trip for the next week and see how it goes. I also hope to explore shopping Kroger some.

Any tips/advice are always appreciated as I am new to using coupons at all - I always thought I should be, but never remembered to bring them w/me, or had them in my purse and forgot to get them out. The binder is a very visible reminder to USE the coupons you have!

Oh, and I was encouraged by the fact that I saw quite a few folks w/coupons in hand or those expandable coupon files and best of all, a man in the checkouts price matching w/his ads all laid out! So, I wasn't the only one out there trying to save a few bucks and I was thrilled to save some $ last night!


Myers Mama said...

Good for you! A penny saved is a penny earned, and every little bit helps! :)

A (Road) Runner's Perspective said...

My tip is unless you have specific store coupons (and since you don't mind shopping at wal-mart) take the other store ads in with you there and they will match prices. I'm sure you realize that but thought just in case...aslo CVS coupon/sale items go fast so go Sunday as soon as possible there. Earn CVS bucks and soon you will be getting free stuff. It's fun to never buy toothpaste. :)

A (Road) Runner's Perspective said...

p.s. this is Courtney. I didn't realize I was signed in under a different blog but I wanted you to know who it was.