Couponing in Central Florida
How do you feel about couponing?
My Couponing Journey
After years in corporate America, I am now transitioning into the home life. It is amazing, how much I put aside for work. There are a wealth of things that I 'wanted' to do. Now that I am face to face with these things I know that they would have never gotten done because of my dedication to work. I am nearing the first month of this suzy homemaker adventure and I decided to start with living frugally. I stumbled into couponing because of the new show which I have yet to watch. I was really curious about how it worked. While I am not an extremist and have no desire to have an enormous stockpile, I would like to save some money. Who wouldn't? I figured it was a good way to lower expenses. I found a lot of couponing websites. I created an email account exclusively for couponing. I get emails from the Krazy Coupon Lady, Frugal Living and Having Fun, Clever Housewife, and Coupon Divas among others. They all are a great source of information, but my favorite is Couponers United!
I found all of these great resources and more on Face Book. While surfing, I found that Mary of Couponers United was doing a class in Clermont the next day and I took the almost two hour drive to take part in this class. Needless to say, I was late. In a very short 90 minute session, I had several aha! moments. Mary's site, www.couponersunited.com, gives great information on upcoming specials, information on specific stores, and an easy to follow guide on what to do. I found it to be very beginner friendly. It will show a store like Publix and everything that is on sale. Under each item listed, Mary includes the coupons you can use and where to find them. As a beginner, you will not have access to some of the great specials that use past coupons that have not expired, but there will be other great specials for you. She also gives the amount that you can expect to pay whenever she can. For example, on my last trip to Publix I bought shampoo and conditioner from John Frieda. I had never used the brand and they were $5.49 per bottle, but with her guidance I was able to combine 2 coupons to get them for $0.49 each. I will go back soon to pick up a tube of kids aqua fresh toothpaste for $0.19. Now, I am very happy to say that it is normal for my grocery bill to show at least a $50 savings each trip. The pro's have a lot more savings to show.
As a beginner, I encountered a few things that I would like to prepare you for. If you are like me and have paid full price for everything at the grocery store, or avoided coupons because it is cheaper just to get the store brand, it is easy to go nuts with the couponing. You can go overboard purchasing everything that has a coupon because of it. Be careful. I had some of this, thankfully not too bad. But I know there was something I could have gotten free if I would not have used the coupon prematurely do to excitement. Once the excitement set in I decided to go get what I needed and add the things that were extremely discounted or free. (I got 6 bars of Ivory soap from Walmart and they paid me $0.06 toward my other purchases!) When I am more seasoned, I will need less and less and save more and more.
Another thing that I encountered was that I had no pantry. I had to organize (I'm not done yet! Ask me again next year) my severely disorganized house to be able to clearly see what I had and what I needed. I didn't turn my garage into a supermarket, but I did have to organize my cabinets.
The last thing I encountered was organizing the coupons themselves. I think that I finally am close to my solution for that. Everyone is different, so there is no real right answer to this one. Mary uses binders. Some people use file folders while others use file drawers and such. Some use plastic sleeves, others use baseball card sheets. Some clip all coupons first others only clip when they are ready to use coupons. I have tried a few ways and I think that I am going to use a binder with baseball card holders. I want to clip as soon as I get the coupons and involve my daughter by playing clip and match where we make piles of matching coupons. There is a lot more too it, but this hub is getting long. I will address more information with who ever wants it thru comments.
What I like best is that I am learning the correct way to coupon and both the stores and I are winning. I didn't know that before. I honestly thought that the store was losing if I manipulated coupons. Oh my gosh, I could never do that. There is no coupon fraud or gray areas in what I have learned. Mary and her team offer free great couponing classes for Central Florida residents for FREE. Her moddo is that you should not have to pay to learn how to save. How refreshing right?! I know there will be one on May 27th at 9 am at Chestnut Elementary School in Poinciana Florida. She has a list on her site if you would like to go to one or you can plan to book your own! I intend to organize a few to share the information. Book early, you can imagine how popular she is, she books up well in advanced.
I hope you enjoyed the hub! Many Blessings.