Posts Tagged ‘coupons’

I’m No Coupon Diva, but…

I’m no coupon diva, but paying 72¢ total for two pairs of children’s shorts and two printed t-shirts is nothing to discount. No pun intended. These aren’t thrift store finds. They are new items purchased at one of my favorite retailers, JCPenney.

How did I manage to snag four items for just 18¢ per piece, including tax? Coupons! Each month, I receive two JCPenney coupons that are good for $10 off purchases totaling $10 or more. My game plan never changes: seek steeply discounted items, purchase them with the two coupons that JCPenney sends right to my mailbox, and keep my out-of-pocket cost at little to nothing all while ignoring aisles of very…tempting…merchandise. Today’s mission was accomplished!

Back to the shorts and t-shirts. Why am I excited about steeply discounted Summer apparel at the onset of Fall? All four items are made of lightweight, knit material, which makes them perfectly suitable as pajamas. Bright colors and words on one shirt and Disney’s Tinkerbell splashed across the other made it easy to decide that these clothes had alter egos as pajamas.

I’m eagerly awaiting next month’s $20 challenge! In a household with six people, someone always needs clothing, hosiery, pajamas, or accessories of some kind, so these coupons will never go to waste.

Now if only I can manage to lower my grocery bill…


My Coupon Binder Is Ready!

I’ve always been a thrifty shopper, never wanting to pay full price for items, but my coupon personality was casual. I loved getting free coupons in the mail. I’d put them into my wallet-sized coupon organizer that was purchased from the bargain bin at my local superstore and try to use them on my frequent shopping trips.

My coupon personality changed about a week ago when I decided that it was finally time for me to kick my grocery savings efforts into high gear. While on vacation, I stopped by the local office supply store to pick up a binder and a packet of baseball card dividers. All that was left to do was to add some coupons. Yahoo! I had a few in my purse, but wanted to get the latest weekly passports to pay less than the store’s advertised pricing. Husband and kids in tow, I made a quick stop at Walgreen’s on the way back to our vacation retreat and here’s what stopped my efforts dead in their tracks.

Me: “Do you have any copies of the Sunday paper left?”

Clerk: (bewildered look – no response)

Me: “You know, the Sunday paper that has the sales and coupon inserts…?”

Clerk: (continued bewildered look)

Me: (Pleadingly looking at nearby Clerk #2 for help and understanding) “Do you have the Sunday paper?”

Clerk #2: (Looking as if I’d asked her for a solution to bring about world peace) “No. It’s Monday.”

Me: (Finally understanding the crazy looks from Clerk #1 and Clerk #2) “Well, where I’m from, I can buy the Sunday paper on other days of the week”.

Clerk #1 or #2 (I don’t remember): “Oh, really?!” (Now, the forehead creases began to smooth at her apparent understanding of my question about wanting to buy a Sunday paper on *gasp!* Monday.

Me: “What do you do with unsold newspapers? Throw them away?”

Clerk whatever number: “Yes.”

Now, it was my turn to gasp!

Vacation lasted 10 days and 9 nights and I began to lose track of what day of the week it was. After all, there’s no calendar or timetable needed for vacation. During week #2 of vacation, I suddenly realized that we’d exhausted yet another vacation day relaxing, having fun, and totally forgetting about buying the Sunday paper. Now, I’d have to wait until I was back at home to make my post-Sunday Sunday paper purchase. Finally, on Monday, during the long drive back home from our vacation oasis, I realized that day I’d freaked out about forgetting to purchase the paper in fact wasn’t Sunday at all, it was Saturday! The sinking realization that I thought Saturday was Sunday and Sunday was Monday led to yet another week of couponing delay. Confused yet?
Finally, on Tuesday (back at home), I walked into a store and asked where they kept their copies of this week’s Sunday paper. Wouldn’t you know I got the same bewildered look that I’d encountered a week earlier…states away? So much for beginning my full-fledged savings campaign…
I resigned myself to inserting my existing coupons into the binder along with a couple dozen internet coupons that I managed to scrounge together. Better luck next week!
In the meantime, I’ve discovered coupon matches for this week’s sales at two of my favorite local grocers. I’m excited about being able to buy a 2-liter bottle of soda for 53¢ and match a few cereal coupons to some excellent sales.

Do you coupon? If so, any tips for a new binder girl?

Love to all!

Get Ready! Get Set! Save!!!

If you haven’t heard about the new savings craze, brace yourself! The next time you’re out shopping at the local grocer or pharmacy, see if you can spot a shopper armed with a binder. A binder, you ask? Why would anyone walk around carrying a binder while shopping? The simple answer…couponing.

Super savvy shoppers have found a way for stores to practically pay them for shopping by wisely tendering coupons at the register. Couponing isn’t just about occasionally saving a few pennies here and there. It’s a lifestyle.

Couponers approach saving from a different perspective than most shoppers. They don’t believe in paying asking price for grocery items, they pride themselves on matching coupons to sales cycles, and they stockpile goods for the long haul. Couponers know price match policies and which stores will double – even triple – the face value of coupons.

I’ve long-considered myself a savvy shopper who knew about sales cycles and I could spot a good sale when I saw one. A few times each year, I take such great advantage of sales at Kroger, that I leave feeling like I’ve robbed them! I’ve been known to go crazy stocking up on $1.50 boxes of cereal and 25-cent cans of veggies in quantities that would sometimes draw stares from other shoppers. I carry a coupon wallet in my purse and use targeted coupons that Kroger mails directly to me based on my previous shopping habits. I’ve even loaded e-coupons onto my savings card and printed coupons from various online resources, but coupon queens put my shopping skills to shame with their ultra-keen savings strategies.

So, I’ve decided to embark on a couponing journey to learn as much as I can about the strategy and will try it on my very next trip to the grocery store and pharmacy.

I’ve already purchased a binder and dividers with inserts for coupons. All that’s left is to gather and organize coupons, familiarize myself with store coupon policies, match my coupons to sales cycles, make my shopping list, put on my walking shoes, and save! Sounds easy, huh? We’ll see!

Wish me luck!

What couponing advice would you offer to an aspiring coupon queen? Post your comments here!

Love to all!