Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Update on Couponing

Well, I tried it...more than once.  And while I'm not extreme, I have definitely filled our pantry and saved a lot of money in the process.  For those of you out there that are considering using coupons I figured I would come up with some Peaks and Pits for you.  I'm no expert, but I have gotten better about it and more organized, which saves me A LOT of time.  Will I be able to do this consistently? Probably not once school starts...but for me it's a challenge and I actually enjoy it.  Gasp!

  • Having a well-stocked pantry before school starts back up
  • Stocking up on items I need for my frozen food frenzy in October
  • Not having to run to the store and pay a ridiculous price for something I really need for a recipe
  • Saving $ - In two trips I've paid $160 for about $320 worth of groceries.  My husband commented the other day, "dang our bank account is looking better and better what do you think that's from?"...hmmmmm maybe it's the clipping, and the organizing, and the not running down the road to the store because we have to have guacamole with our dinner and spending $25 on the ingredients because the local store is price gouging. 
  • The skills I'm perfecting will come in handy with kids someday
Pits (more like rants):
  • Extreme couponing (like the tv show) is NOT real life.  In real life, you go to the store and you have to buy other things as well.  My husband eats sandwiches for lunch, while I try to buy deli meat when it's on sale, I still have to get some about once a week. And cheese, and bread, and milk and other things that are on sale.  So yes, while I could probably go to the store and save 98% and walk out with 500 bottles of Powerade, I think I'll pass.  Plus who needs that much Powerade??? Which leads me to my next "pit"
  • I hate it when people clear out the shelves.  It drives me absolutely INSANE.  I live about25 minutes from the large town nearby that has a lot of the stores that double coupons and has a Walgreens.  Just because you can get the body wash for free doesn't mean that you need all 100 that are on the shelf and in the back of the store.  I've learned that ads come out on Tuesday nights.  Apparently if you are not in the store by 6 am the next day (day after Thanksgiving style) you will not get that body wash.  And honestly I don't need body wash enough to haul my happy butt from store to store trying to get my hands on it.  This my friends, is for those that have no life, and have probably cleared out the shelves in those other stores anyway.  Why waste my gas?
  • The TV show has people in a tizzy! Disclaimer: I have always desired to use coupons.  My mom used them growing up and I mentioned using them when we got married then didn't get around to it...i.e. got lazy.  So before you jump on me and say "well you only coupon because of the show"'re only partially right...The show intrigued me, and a lovely book I ordered taught me the skills I need to know to save $.  The book is realistic.  Unless you live in the city and have the time during the day, every day, to check local stores, there is NO WAY you will see more than 30-50% savings.  I hit the 60% mark my first trip...but haven't since and it doesn't bother me! Yes I said it.  I'm really happy that the time I have spent clipping, organizing, and making my shopping list has led to 50% savings in groceries.  Pumped.  Elated.  Dancing while I put away my groceries...
  • Another reason why the show isn't real life...I'm going to say this in the kindest way possible...The stores are letting them get away with big no-no's for publicity.  If you look on most coupons it says "Limit 4 Per Transaction"...And a lot of stores say "Limit 3 per customer" for items that are on super sale.  So these stores that are letting people come in and buy 150 boxes of Excedrin (which seriously, I know they donate a lot of that stuff, but golly if I had that many headaches maybe I would rethink couponing) are really just doing it for the show. 
  • People stealing inserts out of the newspapers.  Seriously? Seriously?? If you can't pay $1.50 for a newspaper and STEAL the inserts out of are seriously bordering on Kathy Bates in Misery.  I don't pay for my inserts, but I sure as heck don't steal them!  I have family and friends that get the Sunday paper that don't coupon.  But when I do need to go buy a Sunday paper, I would like for my inserts to be there, it's not too much to ask I don't think...
So there you have thoughts on couponing.  I'll probably keep doing it, but I'm not going to devote my life to it like a full time job.  I just have too many other things I enjoy...
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