Thursday, March 26, 2009

When the Fun is Over

When I started coupon shopping I was having a blast! Finding deal after deal. I was shell shocked. I couldn't believe how cheap I could get stuff. I'm talking stuff I had been buying my entire adult life. Every week, sometimes several times a week, I was hitting Walgreen's and Food Lion. Coming out with bags and bags of stuff for nearly nothing! Shampoo $3.50 Nope! I paid .50! Toothpaste $4.00 Nope! I paid .25! The same thing with every other thing we used or ate!

Then it happened.

I came home with a "haul" and could hardly get it put away. Every available storage spot in my house, full. What this can't be. How many shampoo's do I have. 86? Oops can't buy any of those for a long time. Toothpaste? 35? Oops again. Can't buy any of those either. My fun I felt, was coming to a screeching halt. I could no longer justify paying ANYTHING, for a lot of things. .50 feels like a FORTUNE for a deodorant, when you've got 50 at home.

I had to find a new way to get my kicks. I mean I couldn't give up coupon shopping all together. But the whole reason I started using them to begin with was to save money. Saving money as in "Wow look at the account balance. We're rich!" kind of saving.

So, a list was born. A list of no no's, and it was long. A mound of things I could only bring home if I got them FREE. Not a nickle, or a quarter, or a dime. But FREE.

Here's my list:
(I add to this each time I shop and stockpile an item.)

Razors (I can't resist some of these, I will admit)
Shaving Cream
Hair Spray
Body Washes
Bar Soap
Maxi Pads
Toilet Paper
Mouth Wash
Dish Soap
Dishwasher Tabs
Reynolds Wrap
Zip Locks
Trash Bags
Laundry Soap
Dryer Sheets
Spray Cleaners
Toilet Bowl Cleaners
Lysol Wipes
Air Fresheners
Kitchen Sponges
Peanut Butter
Sliced Cheese
Hot Sauce
Frozen Pizzas
Hamburger Helpers
Instant Potatoes
Paper Towels
Tea Bags
Kool Aid
Hot Dogs (Just added after Tuesdays shop)
Pop Tarts
Cool Whip

This is of course a revolving list. When we start to get low on an item, it's bumped off the list.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday Doubles

Had a great Tuesday Shopping trip.

Here's how I did:

2- 2lb blocks of Velveeta Cheese
10- Banquet Dinners
8- Dole Fruit Bowls (4 packs)
4- Hunts Snack Pack Puddings (4 packs)
2- Vegetable Oils
6- Boxes of Tyson's Anytizers Chicken Wings
14- Packs of Ball Park Franks
1- Cinnamon Bun (For Addison)

Shelf Price- $136.75 OOP- $44.25 Savings- $92.50 or 68%!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Coupons vs Generic.

One of the first things I hear when I encourage someone to use coupons is " It's cheaper to buy generic." Before I became an avid coupon shopper I always shopped at Save A Lot and bought ONLY generic. Was I saving money. Yes! Was I saving as much as possible. NO WAY! Buying generics versus buying name brand without coupons IS cheaper. Now it would cost me twice as much to buy the off brand!

Pre-coupons I bought knock off brand cereals for $1.49 each. I now have 38 boxes I paid .40 each for and their all General Mills or Kellogg's!

I have a cabinet full of razors. Not one razor is generic. Every one, full price would cost at least $9.00. There are brands in there I never knew existed! Just tonight I went to Walgreen's and bought 4 razors that where on sale for $8.99 each. I paid .99! I saved $32! Last month I "bought" my husband 8 Gillette Fusion razors and MADE $1.00 on each one. The store PAID me to take them!

Are coupons better than buying generic? You decide.

Ways to Save Money?

What do you do to save money? Got a great tip you'd like to share?

Here's a few things we do:

1. Shop regularly with coupons. I do this several times a week. I always match my coupons to sale items.

2. Limit eating out. One meal out can be as expensive as 5 at home. Eat out only for special occasions. If you do have a meal out, have water to drink. A soft drink at a restaurant can cost as much or more as a two liter.

3. Utilize your left overs. Don't waste food. My husbands takes for lunch what we had for supper the night before.

4. To get out of the house and have fun. We take the kids to the park. It's a win win situation. They have a ball playing with other kids and its FREE! No need to spend a fortune at the movies or kid based restaurant to have fun.

5. Call your local grocery stores. Find out if they double coupons. If they do make that your grocery shopping day. Try to run all errands while your out. Save on gas.

6. Grocery Stores that have gas stations will normally give a discount on gas for shopping in their store. They might also give you a discount for shopping if you buy their gas. Save on both!

7. Make movie night at home. With Red Boxes at most McDonald's. You can rent a movie for $1 and have a great family night. They are only a one night rental so be sure to return on time. We normally only rent one if we have to go back to town the next day anyways.

8. Don't use as much laundry soap. Most people fill the cap all the way up when measuring out washing detergents. Half that amount will get your clothes just as clean and last you twice as long.

9. Stretch meals. When we make hamburger helper we use the amount of hamburger it calls for one box but use 2 meal kits. This makes twice as much! There is no noticeable difference in the taste.

10. Basic phone service. A phone bill without all the bells and whistles is much cheaper! And it rings just the same!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kmart Double Shop!

Awesome Kmart shop this morning!

I got:

4 Gillette Mens Body Washes
4 Bic Soleil Razor Systems
1 Dove Shampoo
1 Dove Conditioner
4 Listerine Total Care Mouth washes
4 Reach Ultra Access
3 Lysol 2 in 1 Clings
20 Fiber One granola bars

Shelf Price: $74.00
OOP- $10.53
Saved- $63.47

That's 85% savings!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday Doubles

I love Tuesday doubles!

1st Trip

4 ~Jello 6 packs
1 ~Green Giant frozen veggie meal
7 ~Betty Crocker Delight Bowls
1 ~Box of Cream of Wheat
2 ~Jars of Cinnamon Sugar
2 ~Black Peppers
2 ~Peppercorn grinders
1 ~Peppercorn Medley grinder
2 ~Steak Steak Seasonings
1 ~Lemon Pepper Seasonings
4 ~Franks Worcester Sauces
1 ~Franks Hot Sauce
1 ~Betty Crocker Cherry Frosting
22 ~Cans of Pringles
10 ~Boxes of Kotex Pantyliners
8 ~boxes of Tysons Anytizers Chicken Wings
6 ~boxes of Reynolds Sheets
1 ~package of Sirloin tip Steak
1 ~package of Boneless Sandwich Steaks
1 ~package of Bottom round Steak Tenders
1 ~Eye of Round Steak

Total $158.57 - $100.90 = $57.67 OOP!

2nd Trip (same store)
I got enough meat on this trip for 16 meals!

2 ~Shredded Cheeses
2 ~boxes of Hostess Twinkies
6 ~cans of Pringles
2 ~1lb spaghetti noodles
2 ~bags of Armour Meatballs
3 ~pkgs of Chicken Fryer Legs 54 total. (Sale .99lb)
7 ~pkgs of Ground Beef
2 ~ Hungry Jack Instant Potatoes

Total $73.88 - $32.70 = $41.18 OOP!

3rd Trip (different store)

5 ~Knorr Pasta Sides
1 ~ Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage
3 ~ Bags of Chicken Patties
2 ~ Bags of Chicken Nuggets

Total $27.47 - $12.49 = $14.98 OOP!