Make, Do and Mend

The cyber-diary of what this homemaker makes, does and sometimes mends.
My motto is "if you do stuff, stuff gets done"

Monday, April 1, 2013

April coupon challenge

Coupons have really been on my mind. I've belonged to a yahoo groups list focused on homemaking and thrift for years. Several of the members have mentioned that crazy coupon TV show on TLC where the shoppers do some amazing deals. We agree we would also like to do big coupon savings but think buying 100 bottles of hot sauce or 200 cake mixes is pointless.

I am going to do a realistic coupon monthly diary here for April.
No dumpster diving for extra coupons though- we get 2 newspapers on Sunday and my brother saves coupon supplements for me, so at the most, I may end up with 5 copies of the newspaper coupons.
I won't be buying things, just because I have a good coupon for them. I will only purchase things we need and things that we will use before they spoil or that have a long shelf life.

I will use Internet coupons but I only have access to one printer so I won't have multiples.

I will scan the good deals lists that other bloggers like Common Sense with Money, Coupon Closet and Money Saving Mom post. But I don't plan on spending too much time on them.

I won't make special trips just to coupon but will shop only when I am near the stores or other reasons, like before I pick up my granddaughter at preschool.

In my state, we pay sales tax, almost 9%, on the purchase price, so even free things aren't really free.
I live in a smaller city- stores in my town are CVS, Walgreens, Dollar Tree, Walmart, and a few family dollar-dollars general stores that I rarely shop. There are also 2 smaller grocers that double coupons up to 50 cents.

My goal is to increase my rainy day stockpiles, spend as little as possible and just see how much difference I can make with minimal coupons for 1 month.

Today, I spent about an hour clipping yesterday's coupons and about a months worth of coupons my brother brought me. As I clip them, I put them in stacks by the categories in my purse size coupon organize. That makes it fast to file them.

I had to go to the bank this afternoon so I stopped at CVS too.
I got a free bottle of conditioner just for scanning my CVS card as advertised on the front of this weeks sales paper and 4 bottles of Dawn. My total was $2.75 and my savings were $11.99.
I wanted to do their Suave deal too but they products I wanted were already sold out.

Later this week, I will go to Walmart and Dollar Tree. I made lists for each stores and paper clipped the coupons to it.

So, if you want to see realistic couponing, follow along!  Tell me in a comment if you think you want to join with me.
  But I don't expect TLC will be calling me......

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  1. Seen the show, way to extreme in certain areas and certain people, don't mind if stores allows it and you donate or help others. Living in an area where doubles are rare, stores are playing by the rules(never ever seen I someone make 16 dfferent transactions), or buy 100+ candy bars/gum or such. I make many things from scratch, love fresh items and buy bulk(not many coupons out there...:(...
    Love your idea to play the game in your own way. Wish you lots of great finds and savings.

    1. I will certainly not be doing 16 transactions, 2 would be my limit.
      100 candy bars- my grands would love that but I won't be looking for that kind of deal either. I seem to save the most on non-food items.
      We will see at the end of the month!

  2. Good luck to you!! I need to hit CVS this week as I have some rewards points and coupons that need to be used but our pantry is full/overflowing so I don't need a thing from the grocery. One of the ladies on TLC show is from our area, she and the store are now under investigation over her shopping trip that was aired, lots of shady stuff went on in her trip.

    1. TT is interesting Debby, the stores I shop at would never allow that crazy stuff.

  3. I like it- couponing for sane people! Haha! Angela

    1. Ha ha Angeles, but sometimes I wonder just how sane I am.

  4. Rhonda, your couponing will be much more realistic. I do not know any store that would allow what happens on TLC's show.

    1. Dawn, I know the stores here would not allow it as they say there is a limit of 1 like coupon doubled, but they usually double them all for me but I never ave 100s of them.

  5. I too am into the realistic approach to couponing. I have been using coupons for the last 25 years and have never been as extreme as the people that are on the tv show. I do keep stockpiles but only for things that we need. I work in the town that has two double coupon stores, so I can do several trips if I will really use certain items. I actually just posted a post on my blog this morning about my latest coupon excursion. Nothing fancy, but it was a substantial savings. Please feel free to stop by and check it out. By the way, I stumbled across your blog just last week and I love it!

    1. I looked at your latest shopping trip, that was great. I'll come look around your blog soon. You seem like a kindred spirit. Nice to meet you.

  6. Rhonda, is there any possible way to save money with fresh produce? Most things that I go to the grocery store for are never in any coupon ads. Of course up here in DC and VA, I am limited in where I can shop -- specifically Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, which are extremely expensive anyway and their "sales" aren't much of a deal.

  7. Hi Megan, we buy lots of fresh produce and I try to buy what is on sale. I don't know much about your 2 stores because as you know, they aren't near my home. My advice is to look for sales and to buy your produce when it is fresh so it will keep long enough for you to eat it before it spoils,
    Have you seen any Aldis? We got whole pineapples for 99 cents and fresh broccoli for 79 cents last week.
    It was fun face timing with you Sunday.

  8. No, I don't think there are any Aldis near me. Most of the produce sold at TJ's and WF's is organic -- which is good, but costs quite a bit more. The best deal I've had so far has been $2.49 per pound for red grapes. Unfortunately groceries just seem to be way more expensive up here :(
    I had a great time face timing, too -- the kids are getting so big! I really am looking forward to seeing everyone when I get back.

  9. Great job!!! I know I should be doing this, too, but I haven't made myself do it. It IS time-consuming, but totally worth it! I'll be checking on you to see how're you doing - you may inspire me yet!


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