I am not a big spender...we don't go on lavish vacations, we hardly go out to eat, we hardly go to movies but at Sams and Target every week I'm in the ball park of around $200 to feed, clothe, and toiletries for the six people that live here. In February and March of last year our business was having great difficulty and it was a wake up call to me. I always had lived in my budget, went a little over, but nothing severe. We have no car payments, no debt except our house, have our emergency funds and our retirement accounts going...but when our business was doing bad I had to dip into our emergency fund..and having a little bit of credit card debt is getting on my nerves...so I had to make some changes..enter the coupon world!
Just so you know, I'm not an expert...I'm in the trenches, I'm learning just like most of you but wanted to provide you some tips that I learned the hard way the other day!
First, I take the Sunday paper and am religious about cutting the coupons, second I have found a website called moneysavingmom.com I go and print many coupons from that website before I even go shopping.
Target had some great deals going on this past week and I wanted to share some of them with you so that you could learn from my mistakes!
Target had toilet paper on sale for $14.99 and I had coupons for $2.00 of and Target was also offering a $5 gift card
Target had razors on sale for $9.49. I had a coupon for $10.00 off one and buy cartridges and Target offered a $5 gift card on that as well.
Aveeno was on sale for $6.49 buy three get a $5 gift card and I had a $4 coupon for buying three.
Garner was on sale as well with buy two get one styling product free...plus I had a $2 coupon.
First may I say...WATCH your checker...I had to check my checker twice (yes I thought that was funny) and then had to go into the store twice...which I never would have done in the past. The checker neglected to send my $3 coupon through and she neglected to give me my $5 gift card for the aveeno. I had to go into the store twice after checking my receipt and checking my Target app to see what gift card I was missing because I knew I was missing one. Also, I had my coupons ready to go for the sales that I knew about..but vitamins were one sale and I had coupons for three bottles and I had to dig through all my coupons to find them!
So my tips:
1. Watch that checker and make sure you know the total of ALL your coupons
2. WRite down any gift cards or promotions so that you know that your getting all your deals before you get to the register.
3. I have a coupon big binder that is now organized that I was too lazy to take with me...and it would have been so easy to just pull out as I went down each aisle.
4. Buy enough to keep you stocked up for six months. Right now paper towels, and toilet paper are being offered at decent prices...stock up when you see major sales. Vitamins are also on discount now...keep stocking up.
5. Browse the aisles looking for sales that are not advertised and match them to your coupons. This is where I messed up before. I would only buy what I needed and use the coupon instead of waiting till the item was on sale and then using the coupon. Target allows you to use their coupon and a manufactuer coupon and doubling those coupons...which can add to real savings.
6. I also use CVS which allows you to double beauty points and offer reward dollars for certain products spent. Using these stores has allowed me to save some serious dough.
At this point my last Target bill I shaved $60 off my bill and earned $10 in Target gift cards...it is my goal to continue to bring that total down even farther as I learn more and more in the coupon world.
I don't think I will be buying groceries for .27 cents any time soon but any money that I can save helps my family even more.
I also make my own laundry detergent, my own soap, have switched to a mop that I use vinegar and water with my essential oil to clean my floors (I have all wood floors). I bought Shaklee two years ago for a base for my cleaning supplies and haven't had to buy any since....am not even halfway through the bottle. I make my own Febreeze and make my own candles as well. I cook from scratch as often as possible and make my own apple butter, bread and freezer jam. I tried making my own yogurt but my fam...could not get used to it. We also buy organic beef and pork from a farmer eliminating our need for meat from the store. We would like a bigger yard (which is why our house is for sale) for a garden...and I would really like chickens....but pretty sure that won't ever happen:(
Anyway, learn from me and my mistakes...and happy saving money:)
|Go be a coupon diva!|