October 13, 2010

ready? set? go! 
photo via google

I am certain we have all had times in our life when there is that extra push to save money. We are in that time and season of our life. Christmas and the holiday are around the corner {which means 2 birthdays, christmas, and an anniversary all within a week} and not to mention the costly affair of applying to pharmacy school.

That is what brought me to the conclusion that I needed to start tackling the project of couponing. I am going to be honest, when I see a lady walking around the store with a binder of coupons I think, "aren't you embarrassed?"

I am that lady now. However, I resorted to a little pink accordion folder instead of a full blown binder. I am still too embarrassed to do that.

But, what is there to be embarrassed about saving $37 a shopping trip? Or spending 50% - 60% less on groceries a month? Not a single thing.  

I started out by talking to fabulous sister in law who has been playing the coupon game for awhile now. She told me about these great couponing websites.

These coupon guru's post several times a day with different deal ideas and coupon links. They also post deals & shopping scenarios for multiple  stores. When I first started couponing I got very overwhelmed. How on earth could I keep up with all the deals going on? And how did I know when it really was a good deal? How did I know where to shop?

Then I got some good advice. When your staring focus on one, maybe two stores. There are good deals at every store but don't stress yourself trying to get them all.

I choose to do my main shopping at Smith's. I used to think Smith's was an expensive store, and it can be if you don't buy the items on sale, but it is the same way at every store. Just pick the store you like most and that is close to your house.

Once a day or every few days I browse the 3 coupon sites. Just skim through them real fast. If I see a post with a printable coupon that is an item I typically buy say, save $.55 on Cheerios, then I jot in down in a little notebook or print them off right then. Either way. Just make sure you have a way to keep you coupons organized, whether that is a binder, folder, something.

On Tuesday, all the ads for the grocery stores in my area are mailed out.

I read through the Smith's add and look at the things that are on sale. Then try and match the manufacture coupons to the things that are on sale. For example, last week at Smith's they had mac & cheese {sophie's favorite} on sale for .49 then I used a coupon for $.75 off two boxes. That made each box of mac & cheese only .23. That is a good deal!

After I have gone through the add and figured out the great deals I can get, I write a shopping list. That way I don't forget anything.

Alot of coupon ladies get the multiple copies of the weekend newspaper for the coupons. This is great if you plan on stock-piling. The three of us live in a small-ish house and don't have a lot of stock-piling room so I stick with the printable internet coupons.

A lesson I learned quick: Just take all your coupons to the store even if you don't plan on using them. {hence the giant binders} To avoid looking like I was actually couponing the first couple weeks I just carried in the stack of coupons I planned on using. But, every time I got to the store I would find something in a clearance bin, or that wasn't advertised in the ad that was on sale. I would kick myself for not having the coupon to make it an even better deal.

Trust me, I know it is a little intimidating getting started. There is a lot to know and learn. I really like this intro to couponing. There is also a lot of coupon lingo. You can learn the translations here.

I am not an expert by any means. I am learning new tricks to the couponing game every week. And, that is what it has become to me. A game. I love to see how much money I can save or the look on the cashiers face when my bill goes from $72 to $35.

Don't feel like you have to jump head first into couponing. Even using a few coupons here and there is great. Every dollar counts right?

If anyone else is a coupon lady and has more helpful ideas I am all ears!

:: I posted my get healthy stats for the week. I put in more effort than the week before but why do cookies have to be so tempting?


Jenny said...

I still am trying to figure out the coupon thing. I really struggle with it. I need to sign up for the paper and really buckle down.

Lesa @ music notes said...

Whenever I see a lady with a binder of coupons I think, "she is so smart."

Good for you. I need to get back into the habit of at least using a few coupons. This post was very informative.

Good job on your weekly goal. You are doing great. You are a great motivator!!

Matt and Jade said...

I love to coupon shop also. I am falling out of habit with us moving to Italy. Hopefully when I get there I can jump back on the bandwagon.

Nancy Jackson said...

Its nice to know that you can really save money with the printable coupons casue I wondered. Thanks for your hits!!

Amber and Spencer Ward said...

Haha! Oh Kendra, this made me laugh so hard because I have been trying to get into couponing lately and it is TOUGH... at least to remember to bring your coupons and actually do it! lol But thanks for posting, gives me some hope! :)

bex said...

thank you for posting this, just today I was beginning to get overwhelmed with the coupon game. I'd really like to learn how to save big bucks but soo much information at once and not knowing where to start or what I'll use I almost threw in the towel on learning. After stumbling across your post I have to say I'm inspired once again! thanks so much!
Blessings, bex

Deanna said...

watch out for the printable coupons. When they want to install something so you can print the coupons. That is spyware and it can really affect your computer. It can slow it down and can be really hard to detect/remove.
How do I know? Because I am a coupon queen married to an IT guy and I did it and he was not happy with me and had to clean it all up.

I only print coupons that do not require installations from now on.

The Ince's said...

I am a coupon lady, too. I love the high of saving money! Another great site is She lives in Lehi and does conferences 1-2 a year (I'll have to take you sometime if you are interested).

If you need anymore support in this, let me know! I love talking about it. Oh, I also have the book from krazy coupon lady. If you want to borrow it, let me know!

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