Couponing is Not Always About the Money

Shopping those Sales: Value $53.24 for only $35.37.
Shopping those Sales: Value $53.24 for only $35.37.

This new thing called Couponing

When I first got into Couponing, it was because my husband had gotten sick and I was trying to find a way to cut expenses to compensate for the $300 we were going to have to spend on medicine for him. We are living on Social Security and money is tight.

I took a class under an Extreme Couponer and learned how to read sales circular and not a whole lot more. Of course, I understand that no Extreme Couponer would want to share the secrets of how to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year with just a regular shopper like me.

But those that know me know I can take just a little information and turn it into something beneficial to me and my family. I can’t stand stupidity... not even in myself, so I studied and dug deeper into this new thing called Couponing.

Guess what I learn? Yep, it was something I already knew how to do; I just needed to upgrade my way of doing it. This is basically what you gotta’ do.

#1 Shop the Sales Circulars

#2 Make a shopping list

#3 Add coupons into the mix

#4 Sales and Coupons come in cycles

#5 Stock up enough to make it until the next sale/cycle

After you get to where you are shopping from your panty and not having to run to the store every day, what do you do next? This is where you start having FUN – FUN – FUN.

Fun? Did I say having fun Couponing? Oh, yes... There is fun, fun, and more fun. Did you know that when you learn how to coupon and all the secrets of Couponing, you can save money and still have fun? It only took me three months to get to the point of having a not-running-to-the-store-every-day stock and that’s when I realized that Couponing was fun. “Prepping” was relaxing and more fun that playing games on Facebook. (gasp!)

But it’s true. I found I could get “into” the game of Couponing. Saving money and “playing” the Couponing game WAS more relaxing and de-stressing that playing Hay Day on my iPhone or Candy Crush on Facebook. Oh my gosh. What next?

Maybe you could even consider my version of: Hunting the “buck” game. It sure beats sitting out in the woods, getting eat up by bugs, and etc... not counting all the money you spend for hunting apparel and supplies. Did you know that you could even be paid by some stores to tote the junk out for them? But that is another part of Couponing!

Then I got into teaching Couponing... I love teaching others how to coupon. I have a Three Point lesson plan.

  1. Basic introduction to Couponing; Learning to read the coupon; Where and when to get coupons; Organizing your coupon collection.
  2. Putting it All Together: Sales and Coupon cycles; Kinds of Coupons; Coupon Terminology; Price Matching; and more
  3. Advance Couponing: the Couponer's Secrets; Prepping; Food Storage; and Q&A – Answering all the important questions.

Then I got into buying and selling Coupons... Did you know Couponing is big business and you can bring in extra money selling coupons to people trying to save money? I started out trying to buy $1/2 (that $1 off each two boxes) coupons for Club Crackers. My hubby loves these “green box” crackers and right now they are selling for $2.88 at my local Wal-Mart store. But if you find a sale ($1.99 at CVS this week) and buy two boxes for $3.98 and add in the coupon discount of $1, you are only paying $1.49 a box. You have saved $1.39 a box over the local Wal-Mart price. Multiply that price times ten boxes and you have saved $13.90 over a couple of months. Actually hubby and the grandbabies can go through ten boxes or more a month!

And that was just ONE example of Couponing. Multiply that many times over to really understand the rules of the “game” of Couponing.

We are not going to talk about the seventy-five boxes of Hamburger Helper I got for 50-67% off. Yep, I only paid 75¢ for the first fifty boxes and then they had “peelies” that allowed me to get the rest at 50¢ a box when the items normally sold for $1.50 a box. We are also not gonna’ talk about the canned peas, beans, and corn I got for 29¢ a can or the hamburger meat I bought in bulk and repacked into one pound packages and froze to use with the Hamburger Helper. Hey, add fresh bread and in thirty minutes you have a quick meal!

But, this week it is all about Dawn detergent. Dawn Hand Renewal (9oz) normally sells any where from $1.49 to $1.99 depending on the store. One of my local grocery stores has it on sale for $1.19 (savings of 40¢ at that store) and I have a .50/1 (50¢ off one bottle) coupon. But that store doubles coupons 50¢ and under every day. So Dawn is $1.19, less my 50¢ coupon, less the store bonus of 50¢ makes that dish detergent only 19¢ a bottle for me!!! That is a savings of at least $1 to $1.50 a bottle for me over regular price. Too bad that the coupon restricts me to buying only four bottles a day... but the store is only one mile away... so I am going every day and buying four bottles (along with any unadvertised specials)... until my coupons run out or the sale is over. The sale and the coupons save me $10 on ten bottles. I will get enough Dawn so I don’t have to buy dish detergent for at least three months. Unfortunately the store ran out and would not get more in until after the sale went off... but I got a “rain check” so when more comes in I can get it at the same sale price. Even the cashier commented on the 19¢ a bottle price! I am not a hoarder; I just want enough to make it until the next sale in 3-4 months...say about fifteen bottles of the 9oz bottles.

And that is rule #5. Stock up enough to make it until the next sale.

Are we having fun yet? I am. Like I said: It beats playing games on Facebook... which I still do. But just the fun of figuring out when and where the sales are for the next “stock up” item will be. And yes, there is a system for the madness. In May and June you will find sales for ballgame foods: mustard, barbeque sauce, wieners, chips, soda pop, etc. Or November is Turkey Time and you want to stock up while the prices are cheap... enough to last a few months. Hope you have a freezer or two! Christmas you need to think “baking supplies.” And the list goes on.

And yes, that is Rule #2: Make a list. You need a list of what you want to stock up on for the pantry and when the “best price” time will be. Flour, sugar, salt, peanut butter, shortening, cereal, cooking oil, laundry and dish detergent, shaving supplies...and so forth. Toilet Paper, hair coloring, shaving supplies are just a few of the things you should never pay full price for and a few of the things you should have at least a three to six month supply of in your stock closet. And sales of clothing, household goods, etc. also cycle.

Life is a “waiting” game... waiting for the light to turn green, waiting for the kids at ball practice, waiting for your deer to come in sight... whatever. This is when you can play the mind game of: What do I Need to Stock up on Next? Making a list in your mind or on paper beats getting frustrated waiting your life away!

So the next time you have a few minutes waiting... grab that sales circular and those coupons that are in the Sunday paper and play the “Match Up” game. See how much you can save while you are being paid to play (a penny saved is a penny earned.... or in my case: a dollar saved... is a dollar I can spend on something else... like that new dress or a trip to Taco Bell or the Sweet Frog Yogurt Shop!)

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