Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Everyday I'm a Hustlin' (with Coupons that is)
I've received 4 or 5 emails about where I think the best places to find coupons are, and about how I personally coupon. I think it's b/c it's still the first of the year that people are determined to start the year off saving some money. I emailed each of my friends back seperately with tips and tricks, but I thought I'd just go ahead and blog it for the rest of ya.
I'm not gonna lie.... I FLIPPIN' HATE couponing. I'm starting to hate it more and more b/c it's turning into a job. That being said, I'm quite good at it though. I only grocery shop twice a month and I save $50-$75 every shopping trip, so that's up to $150 month of savings from being inconvienenced throughtout the month.
Step 1. Stick to a budget no matter WHAT. My budget is ALWAYS $300 every two weeks. That sounds ASTRONOMICAL, I know.... but here's my breakdowns:
$150 a week in groceries for a family of 4
$21.50 per day for a family of 4
3 meals a day for each of us is only $2.50 per person PER meal,
AND! I have a second toddler that I also have to feed lunch to 4 days a week with babysitting too included in that and it also includes all my toiletries, diapers, lightbulbs, etc.
I allow myself some "extras" at the store too--- Wine, magazines, chocolate and yummy snacks. Since I'm holed up in the house all week long, dammit, I better have some goodies to keep me satisfied!
Step 2. Subscribe to a variety of different coupon websites. None of them have you do those lame surveys, and they are ALL totally legit. Some people use a second email address for spam stuff, but I DON'T recommend it for these particular sites (I do recommend it for others though). These sites send you reminders when New monthly coupons are up and reaady to be printed at home, and I am so busy that I NEED the reminders! Also- investing in a good printer is totally worth it and recommend. We bought a wireless one around Christmas time for $79, and I LOVE IT. It sounds cheesey, but it revolutionized my whole couponing!! All I have to do is click a button and it prints from the other room!
www.mummydeals.org --- site will keep you up to speed on all the new savings tips!
www.upromise.com (this site links e-coupons to your Jewel card and are all paperless)
Step 3. Subscribe to a Metropolitan Newspaper. I get the Chicago Tribune on JUST SUNDAYS. I think I paid $16 for 16 weeks. Go to this site to see what rates currently are-
The Metropolitan papers have 10 times the coupons that our local Region papers have on Sundays.... and not only that, they are WAAAAY higher value coupons with lots of BOGO offers (Buy 1 Get 1). They also have tons of coupons for TOTALLY FREE products that are just being introduced. Since I am also a News junkie, I get the Post-Tribune and Hammond Times as well, so we get Sunday coupons up the wha-zoo.
I also subscribe to All You discount tip magazine. It too is chocked full of coupons each month- up to $50 each month. You can go to www.allyou.com for subscription info.
Step 4. Make your grocery list. I start one as I see stuff we run out of... dish soap, cooking oil, etc. Then once I get my weekly grocery store ad, I see who's offering the best deals of the week according to what our needs are. Most of the time, I'm a Paylow or Jewels girl. Making my list is a pain and takes about a half hour b/c I try to meal plan as best as I can too.
Step 5. The step I HATE the most. I tend to print my coupons, and stack my Sunday coupons up all week, and then I cut them all up during nap-time or something. I bought a coupon organizer from the Dollar Store. I go thru EVERY SINGLE divider one coupon at a time to make sure I didn't miss anything and I pull it out and stick it in an envelope to take to the store with me. I also WRITE DOWN every coupon that I have on a seperate piece of paper (usually backside of my grocery list paper) so that I - a.) can price compare to see if coupon is even worth it, and b.)so I don't forget that I have it. This is the MOST time consuming process and it makes me very crabby.
Step 6. If your list has a few higher priced items on it that you DON'T have a coupon for... like Swifter Refill spray... just go to their website and see if they have any to download or print! This is also time consuming, but just about every consumer product has a website with coupons!! You can sign up for Bettycrocker.com, or kraft.com, or even www.febreeze.com. These kind of sites tend to send you a lot of junkmail, so I would recommend creating a junk email account for these... but again, TOTALLY WORTH IT!
All in all, I probably spend about 2.5 hours on my coupons every 14 days, and that time saves me almost $150 a month, so I guess it's all in a days work.
Plus, it's kinda cool when you have people oohing and ahhing behind you in line at the store. I've gotten to know the cashiers and they get excited to see what my savings are each time.
Hope that helps some of you all now!
Let me know if you have any tips for me!!!!