Thursday, March 26, 2009

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I saved $96.37 in coupons!

I think of all us nowadays are being a little bit more aware about the economy and are trying to cut costs whenever possible. For some strange reason I caught the tail end of the Dr.Phil show that was focused on saving money, frugal living, and coupon clipping! I sat down and watched the rest of the show and thought to myself ,"Why wasn't I utilizing these money savings tips sooner? They really are pretty simple."

Well- life happened and I continued to let the fridge and the pantry get down to almost nothing so I was forced to go grocery shopping. (BTW- I really don't like to grocery shop.)

This past Sunday my son Hanz and I sat down with the last 6 weeks of the Sunday paper and pulled out all the coupons. Hanz starting clipping all of the them. I do have to add that he said, "Mommy, I am not going to clip the H-----s diapers as we don't need them." I said "That's my boy!"

So I took some tips from the Frugal Coupon Mom and was on my way. I pulled out our local grocery store flyer from Hannaford and the Walgreens flyer. I have to tell you- Walgreens has the best deals! The key is to NOT purchase anything that is not on sale and only purchase their sale items. So the simple secret that I learned is:
* Find the items on sale that interest you
* Utilize in-store coupons on the sale items
* Pair the sale item with a manufacturer coupon
So the ultimate savings recipe is sale, store coupon, manufacturer's coupon.

You have to keep in mind that you HAVE to be flexible with brands. I know a lot of us will only purchase one brand but if you really want to save you need to be flexible. Another thing is purchasing multiples of the items. Many of the sale items only will allow you a limit on how much you can buy.

For example: I purchased a health and beauty item that was on sale for $6.99. I then had a $3.00 store coupon. The limit I could purchase was 3. I found 3 manufacturers coupons for $1.50 each. So here is how much I saved on three:


After Hanz and I clipped the coupons, matched them to sales and store coupons, I made a master grocery list. I made a list of everything we needed and then highlighted the items in pink that I had coupons for. Now granted I needed some items that weren't on sale,had a store coupon, and manufacturer coupon but I at least had a manufacturer coupon. Out of all the items on our list I only purchased 7 items that weren't on sale or didn't have coupons.

Another tip I recommend is shopping on Sunday when most of the flyers, especially Walgreens come out. If you wait until mid week (according to my Mom- who is the coupon queen!) most of the sale items will be out.
I ventured out Sunday afternoon with 3 kids- 11,9,and 9.5 months and did the following:
-Filled the Jeep with gas.
-Vacuumed out the Jeep.
-Went to McDonalds for the kids and spent $4.24 (not a regular occurrence I promise!)- the key here is to purchase off the dollar menu. They really get you on drinks so have the kids fill up their own bpa free bottle.
-Went to the New Balance Store to purchase my hubby 3 running shorts. Had a 25% off coupon. If you spend $75 or more they give you a free t-shirt.
The 3 shorts were $59.97 less 25% coupon (-$14.99)=$44.98 + 5% tax=$47.23
I asked the clerk if I could still get the free t-shirt and she said yes! $15 retail value. (I saved $30.00 with the coupon and free t-shirt-this amount is NOT included in my $96.37 savings!)
-Went to Walgreens and went up and down the aisles to find the sale merchandise. I handed Olivia the store coupon, the coupon saver coupons (Walgreens has a monthly store coupon booklet),and manufacturer coupons.
-Went to Hannaford and matched up manufacturer's coupons with items. About this time Riley was getting a bit fussy but we managed to get thru the store fairly quick.
So the grand totals were:


Don't forget to bring your re-usable bags when you shop! I just love mine and prefer them over the plastic bags where all of your items fall out of in the back of your car! LOL

Here are some other sites that I found to get some more savings and tips:
The Coupon Clippers: This is a site where you can search for your favorite items and find coupons. They do cost a bit ($.05-$.10 per coupon) but you receive $1.00+ coupon in return.

Frugal Coupon Living: This lady has done her homework when it comes to savings. Great tips,suggestions, and offers.

5 tips to survive and thrive in a recession- A great article!

36 comments:

Kristin said...

Great tips! I've begun trying to save more using coupons in combination with sales. Now that I'm a SAHM and don't bring in an income, I guess it's part of my "job" to save us as much money as possible. We regularly save more than we spend :)

It's really not that hard, as you've also said. There's lots of websites out there to help, too. Also, you didn't mention this but it's a big helper too: go to stores that double coupons if you can!

Upstatemomof3 said...

I am now inspired. I have located the Walgreens near me and I will see if I can do this this weekend. I always complain that I am bad at coupons but I will try.

angelina said...

love to see you using your bags! the baggers love to see me come they love using them as much as i do. good tips!

Stacy said...

That does it, I am going to start clipping. What is the best way to organize the coupons? I can picture myself getting so flustered trying to keep it all straight that I would just hand the clerk a mile high stack of coupons and say "here you figure it out"

KayStarGoesRawr said...

Wow! That's insanity! I never really thought coupons made that much of a difference!!

Thank you! ...wow.

Katrina said...

Awesome post! I really need to check out the coupon websites since we don't get the newspaper for the coupon section on Sundays...Our local store has an advantage club savings card, so I usually buy things that are on sale using the card - I usually save anywhere from $15 to $50. (I love when I can get meat on sale at 50% off - it's so easy to freeze and use later.) I also use reusable canvas bags for my groceries, and they give me 5 cents back for every bag I reuse. It's not much, but it does add up over the course of a year of grocery shopping. And I agree, they are much easier to use and carry than those flimsy plastic bags.

Brena said...

Sweet, few things beat good money saving tips. Thanks for the link to the coupons, we don't get a newspaper and therefore rarely use coupons!

Brittany said...

Thanks for this post! I am so intimidated by using coupons, but know that they are a great money saver. It sounds like you did great on your first time out!

Montana Mama said...

Good info! It's always nice to get tips on saving some $!

Suzy said...

That is crazy the amount you saved. I have been coupon clipping lately too.

My best savings was this year after Christmas went to target to get after christmas sale, we spent a total of $150 and saved $347. All the stuff was 90% off.

Sara in Seattle said...

My friend manages to get whole bags of items from Walgreens for only a couple bucks total. I really need to start couponing!

Jessica said...

I am a HUGE fan of coupons and shopping the sales! I take advantage of double coupons at my local Lowe's foods store. And, of course, we never forget our reusable shopping bags!

Liz said...

Thanks Kelly for the great article! I used to clip coupons like crazy and even subscribed to the grocery game at one point. But we dont get the paper anymore, so there went the coupons! For me the easiest thing is to make a list of meals for 1-2 weeks and make up my grocery list. I have a master pantry list that I replenish when needed. For me, I found that when I was clipping coupons I was actually buying food I usually wouldnt just because it was soo cheap (ex. oreos!) BUT I am always inspired when I hear mamas making the most of their coupons!

CalebNKylesMommy said...

Woohoo! Nice job and nice that your ds didnt mess with the H****** coupons ;) I'm a blogging money saving mama too (mamabee.net). I havent posted amny $ saving deals or trips lately b/c I've been sewing diapers and wool covers :D

Kristen said...

Wow! Your Sunday was FULL of bargains! This almost makes me want to subscribe to the paper again....

Thanks for sharing your tips and the recession article!

hosiewosie said...

Wow that is a lot of planning, organizing, and math!!! Good work. I've got to get better at using coupons.

Jess said...

Woohoo im a frugal coupon clippin mama too! Walgreens sales are awesome! WTG Kelly

AScott said...

I really admire people who have the discipline to do this. It takes alot of organization and work. I feel bad that I don't use coupons mostly and just buy brands I like. The thing is my husband does not like anything that is not the "main" brand, so I can't really get the kroger brand or whatever in some things. We don't get the newspaper either so I can't get my coupons from there. My closest thing to using coupons is my Kroger shopping card!

Mommy said...

I LIKE that bag! Where did you get it??

Lindsay Anne said...

This is great! I need to get better about taking advantage of coupons :)

mearat said...

Interesting. I wish I had a walgreens closer to me.

the momma said...

Great article! I love coupons and I love saving $$$... I generally won't shop without a coupon. I particularly love the weekend coupons you post here on the CDW!

A Psych Mommy said...

That's pretty impressive! I just started using coupons, but I know that I'm still not maximizing my savings

Sara said...

wow! who knew you could save so much money with coupons! I will have to try harder.

Abbey Cakes said...

Wonderful! My favorite is when you have BOGO with a coupon. Our grocery store always has BOGO sales. I also use Thecouponmom.com as well. On her site you can pull up a grocery store in your neighborhood and get (and print) a list of everything on sale at that store. She also lists the coupon you can use and total savings.

I'll be checkingout the frugal mom's site! Thanks!

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Stacy,
For now I am just using a basic coupon holder that I got at the dollar store. Some people don't cut the coupons out until they need them but I find having them all clipped and sorted by category makes it easier for me.

Kelly Wels said...

AScott-
It was about 2 hours worth of work and probably extra extra hour shopping but if you divide $96.37 by 3 hours I essentially paid myself $32.12 per hour!!!

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Mommy,
Diapershops was a sponsor on a canvas bag Mothering Magazine just put out. They are very generously sized and work wonderful for so many things.
I just emailed them to see if I can get some to sell (at my cost).

Coupon Mama said...

Great job! I love couponing! At Walgreen's there is a money maker all month long that when you buy Sambucol using the $4 manufacturers coupon that can be found on their website just do a google search plus the $10 coupon that is in the March Easy Saver you make money. The item costs either $10.99 or $12.99 depending on the store.

TheOGMamaBear said...

I need to get a printer so I can use some of these sights!!

mommy2reece said...

awesome....i love your reuseable bags...do you sell them?

WiseChixMama said...

WAY TO GO!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Mothering cloth bags!!!

Kelly said...

The savings is truely amazing. You actually saved over 25% with all your hard work. I try to cut coupons but usually don't find lots of things that I use with coupons and feel that it's a waste of money to buy something that I have a coupon for that I wouldn't normally purchase anyway. But I do stock up on the weekly specials that our grocery store offers. All the BOGO Free promos I usually stock up on and sometimes goes twice that week if I really want to get more.

PS. I can't to see the bags on your site if you get your hands on some. I would love to get a couple too.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Everyone!
I am waiting to hear back from Mothering to see if I can offer them for sale.
Will keep you all posted.
Kelly

Jaime said...

Thank you for this article. My husband and I analyzed our grocery bill, and realized we are spending WAY too much. We started buying in store specials and sale items, and have save a little. This inspires me to do more, and I will definitely check these sites out!

Heather M said...

I love using coupons! I've never saved that much though. But I take advantage of CVS and they're Extra Care Buck Program. I get Free Shampoo/Deodorant/Toothpaste to last a lifetime. I have a whole closet full and about 5 bins of stuff! Love it!