October 2, 2009

Coupon Phenom

Being as I have to balance a budget as well as my life, I attended a class recently about clipping coupons. Sounds rather elementary, I suppose. Clip a few coupons for breakfast cereal and save a few cents, right? Wrong!

Coupon clipping has become a fine art in this electronic day and age, and some of the coupon experts out there are putting scrapbookers to shame. My instructor had a stack of three large notebooks filled with page protectors and hundreds upon hundreds of slips of paper. There were even store receipts for proof. Shockingly, a pro coupon clipper can actually save more money than is spent, and in some cases get money back!

One of the most interesting things I learned was that it’s possible to use two coupons for one item, as long as one is a manufacturer’s coupon and the other is a store coupon. If that item is on sale, you can sometimes save so much money they have to give you a few pennies back. Crazy stuff!

I decided to give this a go. Luckily, there are a few stores who still double coupons, so I tackled one popular chain first, targeting their weekly Buy One Get One Free list with my coupons. I saved a lot of money, but still spent more than I wanted. Interestingly enough, the groceries lasted me two weeks. The draw back: There was a lot of high calorie junk food and frozen foods.

Week 2 I did much better at popular fancy chain’s Buy One Get One. I spent $58 and saved $58. However, I still had to go to another store where I buy my meats and produce.

It’s coming along. I’m now a devout printer of internet coupons. Even though they can’t be doubled, everyone takes them, so why not? I have found the best sites to be Coupons.com and Southernsavers.com. I clip everything out of my newspaper and have now started clipping coupons on mailings and the back of my store receipts. Who would have thought holding a pair of scissors could be so addicting?

As the economic atmosphere in our country turns toward frugality, I’m thankful I attended a simple evening class about saving. I thought I was pretty thrifty, but you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I look forward to finding more ways to make life easier. Now, if I could only find more ways to save time!


Anonymous said...

YOu know, my sister-in-law does the coupon clipping (I would, too, but I can't ever seem to remember to bring them with me to the store...duh!). Anyway, my sister-in-law had so many coupons, that the store owed her somewhere between $10 to $20 one time. I was impressed. However, I think...if you are traveling to all of these different stores for bargains, how much fuel are you spending doing this? Does it equal out or do you still come out ahead? hmmm....

Danielle Thorne said...

That's the drawback for me. It's so exhausting--but I'm trying to get it whittled down.

Cami Checketts said...

I've done Grocery Smarts for a while. Now that I've figured it out it isn't such a time drain, but I have to only buy things that we normally eat instead of picking up Pop Tarts just because they're $.25 a box.

Danielle Thorne said...

Oh, thank you. I'll have to check that out. Yes, coupons seem to mean lots of junk food and that's an issue I have with it, but it's getting better.