Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Today, I had my first ever experience with semi-extreme couponing.
I have watched the show (you all know the one) and marveled over those people who buy things with coupons, and pay very little money or even get their items for free.
I have stared at the television in disbelief as I watched a lady buy 50 bottles of mustard, for just her and her husband....and HE didn't even like mustard!
I have a friend who gave me a ton of Sunday papers that were just going to be thrown away. Since they contained coupons, my friend rescued them, and passed them out to her friends who wanted them. So, I thought I would try my hand at some semi-extreme couponing.
I am not one to beg the neighbors for their coupons, or go "dumpster diving" just to save a buck. But, if you want to give me FREE coupons, that can save me some money? I will gladly take them off your hands :)
I love using coupons, but I do not like how long it takes to use them. First, you have to match them up with the sales ads. Then, you have to cut them all out. Next, you have to pick the ones that you will take to the store with you.....and actually remember to take them. Minor detail, but very important if you want to save any money.
The store where you can save the most money using coupons in our area, is not one that I frequent, so I don't know where everything is. Add that to the LARGE number of coupons I was trying to handle, and it added up to a pretty hectic shopping trip.
Oh, did I mention that this is also the week of Thanksgiving, and half the town was also there trying to get their holiday goodies? Yeah....
But....after a mere 4 hours of shopping (oh brother) I managed to save $48.98 in coupons.
With all of the store promotions, and other non-coupon savings, I saved a grand total of $118.97. Not bad for a day's work.
The lady at the register told me that I was the first person to exceed the cash register savings limit. I can't see how that is possible, since I have friends who, I am sure, have saved WAY more money in coupons than I did, but maybe she was using the grand total savings amount instead of just coupons? Not sure. No balloons or confetti dropped from the ceiling, so that was a tad disappointing. I think I should get some sort of prize, don't you?
I need to become more familiar with the store's coupon policy, because I think that I didn't save quite as much as I was supposed to. I guess they will only double so many coupons for so many items, or something like that.
But, even with that, I still saved a bunch of money, so I am happy. I still had to spend $156.36 though. Definitely NOT like on the show where they pay $3 for $1,000 worth of groceries.
I had to buy quite a few things that I didn't have coupons for though, and I even got some stocking stuffer things, and one present, so not too bad.
While I was on the way to the car, I saw a ten dollar bill floating down the parking lot. Yes....it was literally floating. It was raining so hard, I felt like I had taken a shower with my clothes on....while pushing two carts in the parking lot.
I asked the lady who had just passed by me if she had dropped her money, and she said, "Oh, probably". Ha! Hope it was hers. She had an envelope of money with her (probably her "grocery" envelope a la Dave Ramsey ) so I'm pretty sure it was.
It was a pretty eventful trip, and now my freezer and fridge are filled to overflowing.
Not to mention we have enough deodorant to last us at least six months.
So, any of you coupon pros out there want to give a newbie some advice on how to make couponing easier?