Thursday, May 4, 2017

Let the couponing begin....

I'm not exactly cheep,
 I have been known to spend too much money on things, usually due to poor planning, but I am THRIFTY or at least try to be.
Anything I can get for FREE or cheep, is one of my most favorite things! I love thrift stores, garage sales and consignment shops. Nothing is more satisfying then when someone comments on that "new" blouse, and I can proudly boast " is beautiful and I got it at the Thrift store."

You see...I am trying to purchase myself a RV so I can go glamping.

I'm not sure what that RV would or could look like, but I do know that I want one, Someday may come sooner then later if I can save some extra money to put away for that RV dream. (Someday I may even show you my savings plan.)

Being "thrifty" I have always made an effort to save money where I could. Most Sunday afternoon's have been spent matching store adds with clipped strips of paper to redeem at my next shopping trip for cheaper then suggested prices.
I'm far from an extreme couponer like they show on tv, I have never gotten my grocery bill down to free or even close to pocket change. I'm also not one of those people who have converted my spare bedroom (Does anyone really have one of those?) into my own personal stock pile either. I am simply someone who is tickled pink at check out when I'm told I saved MONEY!!! There is an incredible sense of satisfaction to review my receipt and see nearly 1/2 my total was reduced with a store card and a little careful planning. It makes me feel like  I just ran the grocery store race and I am the WINNER!!!
For the most part I find that I am saving just under half my grocery total with my store savings card and coupons. This was working for me just fine......but then I saw an add for a FREE EXTREME couponing presentation.

They had me at FREE!!!! I immediately order my FREE tickets (up to two per order) and convinced my gal pal Renee to go with me.

The FREE evening came around and we were both excited to learn the TRICKS of the EXTREME couponers!!!
Now the thing about FREE sometimes, there may be a catch!!! "They" hook you in with FREE part then sucker you in to BUY something that you really don't want or need!!!
CALL ME A SUCKER!!!!! Thrifty and SMART do not always mean one in the same!!!

 The presenter was great, and she showed us all some AMAZING techniques to use. (I will share on here as I make my first attempt at saving...) BUT after her talk she somehow convinced me (and Renee too) to purchased (See NO LONGER FREE) five weeks of five local Sunday newspaper! Yep 5 papers!!!!
Well.....I'm not that big of a SUCKER!!! I thought this one out! You see, if I was to sign up for my subscription today and ONLY today with this EXTREME deal I would receive a FREE $25- visa gift card. This sweetened the deal! The order itself would cost me $30-. I get my  $25- visa gift card, that makes my total of only $5 for 125 Sunday newspapers (and Thursdays as well,) Each paper, which my loving husband has been purchasing for me nearly every Sunday morning since we were married is $2,00 a piece. For my $5- I am actually only paying for 2 1/2 Sunday papers. WINNER!!!!
(Now what to say to hubby when the U-hal shows up to dump off all those newspapers.)

There is only one catch..... I HAVE TO STOP my subscription BEFORE the 5 weeks are up or I will continue to receive my 5 papers after the 5 weeks every Sunday at the regular price! EWEEE!!!

To sweeten the deal, I received a letter in the mail from the local paper reporting that the gift cards had aged and apparently had loss value over the years. For this little mistake, they were offering a FREE $10- gift card. I signed on the link and have patiently been awaiting my $10 card.

If and when I get this. My grand total for all 125 papers and Thursdays...will be like $3.50+ in my pocket!!!! WINNER AGAIN!!!

So now I had to get prepared for my SAVINGS.  The instructor had suggested that we spend the next few weeks shopping as we normally would while accumulating coupon inserts found in the Sunday papers. I found an old binder and began inserting my coupons like suggested. At that point I didn't have the 4 extra papers, and I was on vacation for nearly two weeks before I started receiving my the  my subscription. So I simply added what coupons I did have to my binder.

I finally got my first stack of papers and decided to use the provided computer like to begin matching up the savings. This was the BEST part of the presentation.
There is a link that has certain stores listed with each and every coupon you need to make the very best of your couponing. In my area and for my paper it is http:/ keyword is Match up.
You might try your area inserting state and city to see if you can use this link as well. The spread sheet should look something like this.

Each item that is on sale is matched up with a corresponding coupon found in one of the inserts in your binder. Make sure you label the date on each insert and keep those together. For example, The Red Plum insert (bet you didn't even know they had a name...Nope I didn't either.) for April 2nd 2017 I labeled and inserted with all my other April 2nd coupons. DO NOT CLIP OUT OF THE LITTLE INSERT BOOKS UNTIL NEEDED. On the match up sheet on the right column there should read the savings amount or a link and the letters RP (Red Plum)  4/2.
You simply search out your Red Plum insert from 4/2 and viola!!! There's your savings.

I made a little coupon organizer to bring with me to the store. I make my list add my coupon pile and and I off the the store.

For my first try I didn't have all of the coupons or at least not all of the abundance of the coupons suggested by the instructor, plus I was planning on buying needed items as well so I didn't expect a WOW of savings.  According to the expert, you should have a stock pile of items as you will do this method and generally you can simply shop for the items as they are on sale and when you have a coupon.

As it turns out I think I did pretty well. (I have to get more environmental friendly and purchase some recyclable bags for future trips. I do believe this is one that I can earn a badge for.)
According to my receipt I saved $109.98 plus I spend all the money left on my $20- gift card ($11,22) I treated myself to Dunk and Doughnuts prior.
My out of pocket payment was about $110- for about $230- in groceries. Winner? Certainly not anywhere close to those Extreme coupon people on tv and pretty much about even with what I typically spend before I went to the Coupon presentation. BUT it's only the first week.

My next shopping trip should include more of those multiple coupons and less regular items. I generally do my shopping trips every other week, so I am going this week with mostly items identified in the spread sheet match up.

Im pretty excited about the whole thing and cant wait to continue incorporating  my savings into something an RV!!!!

I will update if I come across a BIG score! Until then (I'm late for work) TTFN!

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