Have you ever gone shopping at the grocery store and come across someone or a group of people agonizing over which product is the better deal? Maybe they have a file-dex or binder with them full of coupons and inserts? Or have you been in line waiting to check out agonizing that your ice cream is melting and your child is starting to eye up the delights of the impulse buy candy bars waiting for them to sneak into your order because the person in front of you has a coupon for everything they are buying and it is taking forever?
I feel you! It can be so annoying and frustrating.
Yet, here is the thing, I am one of those people. I have a coupon binder. Print coupons regularly and get the Sunday paper just for the inserts. I belong to coupon and saving groups and have more savings apps on my phone than anything else. Every Sunday I am thankful for my daughter screaming at 4 am for a diaper change as it gets me moving and I am able to clip my e-coupons before the are all gone. It’s a lot of work this savings business.
Growing up my sisters, brother and I use to tease my mom about her shopping style. If there was a buy one get one she was all over it. She would travel to two or three different grocery stores depending on who had the better deal. We had so much stuff in the pantry and a bunch of it no one ate. I decided at a young age that was never going to be my shopping style, buying because it was a good deal.
Even though I am now considered what many people call an annoying couponer I kept my promise. I do not buy things just for the sake of buying them. Yes, I buy in surplus, but things we use. We never run out of toilet paper in this house! Occasionally I may buy things that we use but don’t need. This is typically due to the item being a money maker or free. That is a deal I have a hard time turning down. Let me show you.
This is a deal I worked from CVS this week (link below). The lingo can be confusing so let me try and break it down. EC = Electronic Coupon, Man = Manufacture coupon, ECB = Extra Care Bucks, OOP = Out of Pocket. Personally, I do not count the ECBs I receive from purchases on the order I earned them. It seems like false calculating of savings to earn them and count them again when used.
You can see from this order I spent $18.15 on $43.95 worth of items and earned $25.00 towards my next purchase! That is three packs of diapers people! Even with the sale price I still paid less out of pocket just for the diapers, not including the whitening strips!
Yes working these deals take time, experience and organization. I am nowhere near the level of some people I know, but being able to feed my family for about 100 a week, I will take it!
One last example. This is my grocery trip from this week. I spent $73.04 on all of this before rebates from apps like Saving Star and Ibotta. Just from coupons and sales, I saved $71.92. Yes, this includes vegetables and fruits as well as meats! You will see some of the items are even organic and gluten free, both expensive commodities. You ask if the time is worth it, absolutely!
The next time you are the store and you see a couponer instead of giving them the stink eye, give them a high five because they are putting in the work to get the same stuff as you but for less . . . If you want to learn some easy tricks to saving cash check out one of the go to saving sites I use http://forthemommas.com/ (no kick back for this shameless plug!)