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Wow, I cannot believe I haven’t posted a blog since February!   Life has been BUSY!

Our daughter has been wrapping up the end of her school’s 3rd quarter before Spring Break!   Also squeeze in a play about the 10 Plagues from the book of Exodus AND she had Pirate Day (due to studying the Lost Colony and pirates).  Both days were big productions.   Oh, and don’t forget the Daddy Daughter Dance!  Yes, it has been a busy couple of weeks!

SchoolPlaguePlay

 

DaddyDaughterDance

My baby and I had matching costumes for Pirate Day.

MomDaughterPirates

On top of all of that, I have started couponing!  I am so embarrassed to admit how much money I have thrown away over the years!  I had no idea how easy it is to save money.   For some reason in the past it always seemed so overwhelming, but after watching this adorable woman on Hip2Save via YouTube — I am well equipped.

Click on Hip2Save’s button below to go to her blog:

If you go to her YouTube site, you can walk with her through the stores as she uses coupons.  It is a great way to learn!  Just click HERE.

I know the thought of couponing can seem overwhelming to someone just starting out, but here is my beginners explanation (I still have SO much to learn).

1.  You can clip MANUFACTURER coupons from the Sunday paper or print them from sites like coupons.com or thekrazycouponlady.com (there are many sites out there).

Our local Sunday paper has Smart Source, Red Plum, and sometimes Proctor & Gamble flyers that are full of coupons.  They look like this:

flyersinpaper

2.  Store coupons.   Many grocery stores and drug stores have their own coupons.  If you have a manufacturers coupon for 2 rolls of Bounty towels and a store coupon for 1 to 2 rolls of Bounty towels, you can “stack” them (use them at the same time) to get a better deal!    When you enter Walgreens, they have a booklet of coupons.  CVS has a little red machine that scans your rewards card and prints coupons on the spot.   I haven’t been to Rite-Aid yet, but I know they have a coupon system in place too.   Don’t forget Target and Walmart.  They have coupons as well.

And each of us have received coupons after a purchase at the grocery store.  Those are called Catalina coupons.  You can use those too!

3.  Create a way to store your coupons that works for you.   There are several different ways that I have seen.

  • Accordion packs.   I tried this at first.  When I only had a handful of coupons, this worked fine.   But as my collection increased, it was hard to remember what I had behind each fold.

accordion

  • Envelopes.   Basically, you can have an envelope for each department of the grocery store:  Meat, Deli, Bread, Canned goods, etc …  Again, this worked fine for me until I had a lot of coupons.  It was easy to just take the envelopes in my hand with an additional envelope that I entitled: TODAY.  As I found coupons I would use on that shopping trip, I placed them in the Today envelope so that they were nice and ready for the cashier.

envelopes

  • Binders.   I have a friend who has a binder, but uses zipped pouches for each department of the grocery store.  It is basically like the previous two ideas, but she has them in clear zipper pouches.   Personally, what is working for me right now is having all of my coupons displayed in baseball card holders.  I found the holders at the checkout lane at our local Walmart store, but I heard they can be found at hobby stores too.  Here is a shot of my binder:

mycouponbinder

Recently our Target store (I LOVE TARGET!) had a great offer!  They provided a $20 off coupon in their Sunday flyer.  They provided a list of different items you could purchase (cleaning supplies, laundry & kitchen soap etc …).  Once you purchased $50 worth of those products, they immediately deducted $20!  On top of that, you could use your MANUFACTURERS coupons, stacked on top of TARGET coupons and something that Target offers called Cartwheels (which are like an additional coupon).  Talk about a great deal!

TargetTrip1

I spent over $60 (with tax), then deducted the $20. Then I saved $7.00 in manufactures coupons. I spent $38.68 for all of these products. (You cant see them, but I have two boxes of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers behind the two bottles of Windex and Dawn.)   I would have saved even MORE if I had known at the time that I could have used Target coupons and Cartwheels.

After my first trip, I went later in the day with my mobile coupon and purchased more products:

TargetCoupon2

I added up $52.20 worth of products (before tax). Tax: 3. 52 = 55.72 Minus $20 Target coupon. Subtract $7.00 manufacturers coupons. Total: $25.20. But wait – I applied for a Target card and got an additional 5% off of that! Subtract $1.26 and my final total for all of these products: $23.94!  Again, this was before I knew I could use other Target Coupons and Cartwheel.  I could have saved even more.   Did you know that each time you use your Target Red Card you save 5% on your purchase?  Great deal!

YOU CAN USE THIS ONE TODAY AND THIS WEEK!
(You cannot copy this photo and use as a coupon.)

TargetFlyer

This weeks offer is pictured above:  Woo hoo!  A coupon of $15 off of $40 worth of Up and Up products (Target’s brand of items).  I can’t wait to use this coupon!  The great thing is – you can grab as many of these coupons as you want — depending on how many copies of the Sunday flyer you can locate.  Also, they provide the coupon via text as well!  Just text: UPANDUP to 827438!  They will send you the coupon on your phone.  Gotta love that!   I got this deal from http://thekrazycouponlady.com.

Another cool thing I recently learned is that you can actually use manufacturer’s coupons at the Dollar Tree!  It is a little trickier because I noticed the Dollar Tree has a lot of their own brands, but it is possible.    I decided to stop by there last week just to see what I could do.

I had a coupon for $1 off 3 Reeses items. I bought three bags of Reeses peanut butter cups. Yum. One bag free! I had a $1 off coupon for two Hefty zip bags (12 count or more). Tadaaaa – One free box of sandwich bags! I also had a .50 coupon off of a Colgate toothbrush. I just bought a toothbrush for .50! I should have paid $6.41, but I walked out paying $3.91. Yay me! So don’t forget to take coupons with you to the Dollar Tree.     Here are my items:

thedollartree

I am looking forward to learning more and seeing how much money I can save my family this year!

Take care everyone!