“Guess how much I paid for the milk?” I dared my husband as I lugged the two gallon jugs from the evil SUV into the house.
Failing to match my enthusiasm, he replied, “I dunno. How much?”
Undeterred by his lack of understanding of the pivotal nature of the situation, I proudly said, “8 cents.”
The “Online Coupon Sites” post at The Happy Housewife got me thinking that I should list the steps I took to get from Frustrated Occasional Coupon User to Excited Coupon User (who just paid 8 cents for two gallons of milk!) before I get so far into this that I forget how I got here.
I love saving money & getting awesome deals, so why did it take me so long to get serious about couponing?
Yes, I am a complete coupon novice. This is my 3rd week using coupons & other deals to save some serious money at the grocery store. Over the past several months I have been inspired by bloggers like Toni (The Happy Housewife) and all of the ladies who link up to Meal Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.
Still, there was the obstacle in between being inspired and actually saving money. I needed coupons. I had given up on the useless (to me) coupons in the newspaper & the tiring chore of thumbing thru circulars. It had never gotten me anywhere in the past, except frustrated.
So, here’s what happened:
1) A friend told me about Southern Savers.
2) Got a coupon education at Southern Savers. Learned about CVSing. Signed up with Coupons.com, Smartsource.com, CoolSavings.com & a few hundred other sites (I might be exaggerating but it doesn’t feel like it).
3) Interrogated children ages 10, 9, 6 & 5 about their favorite foods & meals.
4) Made my 1st ever weekly menu plan for our family of 6.
5) Made a list of all the manufacturers I could think of, visited their websites*, signed up and/or printed coupons (some are being mailed to me).
6) Used the online circular at Publix to make a list from the BOGO’s & sale items.
7) Combined store deals & coupons to save almost $60 my first week, over $70 my 2nd week, & $52 today (my 3rd week) & reduce my overall grocery bill.
My list is by no means exhaustive, but this is how I got my jump start into couponing. I’m still learning (and there’s a lot to learn), but I now look forward to making my menu plan, making my grocery list, & handing over my coupons to the cashier. When I get a little frustrated or worried that my plan isn’t coming together, I’m learning to take it all in stride, knowing that some weeks will be better than others. In time I know that it will require less effort for me to reap the same rewards. And it sure beats going to the store 5,6,7 times each week.
Oh, the 8 cents for two gallons of milk…I used my CVS Extra Care Bucks ($5.50) that printed July 1st, which I earned by filling mine & my son’s allergy prescriptions in the 2nd quarter.
*Here are some of the manufacturers & other coupon sites I registered with and/or printed coupons from:
Start Making Choices
Proctor & Gamble (Note: P&G have another site that links up with certain store cards & stores your P&G coupons on those cards. Doesn’t work in my area & coupons are not printable from their site.)
Box Tops 4 Education (Note: I homeschool, but I was able to link up to support the school of my choice…in my case I choice a local Christian school.)
Eat Better America