Monday, April 26, 2010

Controversial Monday: Couponing

I am a frugal person, but never been much for couponing.

I work, I have 4 kids etc, etc and it seemed like it took too much time, too much thought and planning and that I wouldn't save enough money to be worth it. Oh, and that coupons were all for stuff I didn't buy anyway.

So I would buy things on sale and use the in-store coupons, but that was about it.

After Berean was born I decided to spend my 6 weeks off work learning the ins and outs of couponing and see if it would work for me. I have 3 boys that are starting to eat a lot, and although couponing is not going to become a "job" for me-I already have one of those- I thought it may save me a little on my monthly grocery bills.

But now I am getting into it and I am saving a lot of money, and it doesn't really take that much time.

What I have discovered:

*Cereal is cheap. In the last 6 weeks I have purchased name brand large boxes of cereal for roughly 25 cents a box (this does usually take into account the money I save by the cereal purchase giving me free milk etc.) For example, last week Rainbow had a deal that if you bought 6 boxes of general mills cereal you would get $10 back at checkout. So the 6 boxes came to about $21 dollars. I got the $10 off which brought it to $11. I doubled coupons (cuz it was wed) to generate another $6 off. 6 boxes of cereal for $5 PLUS I got coupons for 1 doz free eggs and a free gallon of milk, which conservatively is worth $3.50 (of stuff we actually buy weekly). NICE.
I now offer fruit loops instead of cookies as a snack. (I did get healthy cereal too...).

*Where I spend a lot of money at the grocery store is when I suddenly remember I have to bring a snack for tee ball or Bible study or a BBQ and I have to run to the store and pay whatever price they are asking that day. Even though coupons may be for something I don't *need* like ice cream, chips or pop- it gives me a cheap stash of things I now have available to bring to those events without spending top dollar. (This of course means I have to keep the people in my house from eating them- but they are currently all scared of me and the big, bad coupon frenzy so it works out.)

*The walgreens/CVS kind of deal is not my thing. I don't like messing with register rewards, and some really cheap deals and some really expensive items like those stores have. I feel like I forget something or the elaborate coupon plan goes wrong somewhere everytime I try it. We don't use a lot of the products those places sell anyway- so I don't go the drugstore route very often.

*I have been going to and Those sites give you the best deals going on and are really helpful for timesaving couponing.

Anyway, what do you think? them or hate them? Is it a game to you or just an annoyance?

1 comment:

Johanna said...

In theory, I love coupons. In practice, I'm not a savvy couponierre. Oh well, maybe when I have four children, a house, a husband, a job and an empty lot I'll have time to learn. ;) I am impressed by people who use coupons--a woman at church who actually does the walgreens route was telling me all of her great deals--how does that place stay afloat?! Probably because like you said, they have extremely overpriced items and few people completely master the coupon maze.