That's forty dollars and thirty-five cents.
Fourty dollars and thirty-five cents.
I think I've said it a hundred times today. That's how much money I saved on my first real attempt at being a real couponer.
I know there are people on tv who are saving literally thousands of dollars, and so my $40.35 may not seem like that big of a deal, but when you're used to saving a buck, maybe five on a good day, this is huge.
The thing that's always concerned me about couponing is that I felt like the only way to save money was to buy stuff you don't really need or ever use, just because you have a coupon. But what I've learned is that if you watch the sales, cut out every coupon that you *may* possibly use some day, and are flexible about your brands, you can save money on things you'd buy anyway. I'm proud to say that today's "haul" only included things I would have bought at some point anyway, even if the brand was different.
So, here are my goods.
I bought the following items:
-2 boxes of Fiber One Cereal
-4 bottles of Pantene shampoo
-1 bottle of Frank's Red Hot
-1/2lb Thin N Trim Ham
-1lb Land O Lakes American Cheese
-1 Head Romaine Lettuce
-2lbs Green Mountain Coffee
-1 pkg Hannaford Seedless grapes
-1 jar Kraft Mayonaise
-2 pkgs Thin N Trim Chicken Sausage
-1 bag Hannaford Light Wheat Bread
-1 can Geisha Mandarin Oranges
-2 1/2 gallons Turkey Hill Tea
-1 container French's Yellow Mustard
-2 boxes Wheat Thins
-2 Boxes Wheat Thins Stix
-1 container Coffee House Breve Cream Creamer
-1 container Bailey's French Vanilla Creamer
-2 boxes Planters Nutrition Bars
-1 package Jello Pudding
-1 package Hannaford Pudding
-1 box Shake and Bake
Total cost for all items before coupons and sales: $116.16
Total paid: $75.81
Again, not the thousands of savings you see on tv, and I didn't walk away only spending $20, but I did walk away spending well under our weekly budget, with products I would have bought anyway,and with a stockpile of goods that I don't have to buy in the weeks to come.
So, laugh if you must, but today, I felt like a rock star. I even sang out loud with my windows down as I drove away from the stores.
So, how'd I do it? I won't lie, it took some time this weekend, and a few weeks of practicing and saving coupons. But there are 2 major things that allowed this to happen. 1. I bought items that were on sale, that I had a coupon for. I never buy Fiber One cereal. But it's not because I have anything against Fiber One, there's just always been cheaper options. Today they were 2/$5 at Hannaford and I had an additional $1/2 coupon. Combine the deal and I got two boxes of brand name cereal for $4. 2. Shaws doubles coupons up to .99. This is huge. Planters Nutrition Bars were on sale at Shaws only for 2/$5. I had 2- .75 coupons which Shaws automatically doubled to $1.50 each. After the sale, the coupons, and the doubling, I got the bars for $1/box. Awesome!
Again, it took some time, some planning, and two separate trips to two different grocery stores, but in the end, I saved what I consider to be some serious bucks, and learned some great tips to do even better next time. Give it a shot..this is actually really fun!