The Crazy Coupon Lady - Livin' la vida Pobre Blog at Allrecipes.com - 211354

Livin' la vida Pobre

The Crazy Coupon Lady 
 
Dec. 14, 2010 8:46 am 
Updated: Jan. 4, 2011 7:27 am
So now be honest; have you ever been in line at the grocery store, and you realize that the lady in front of you has a three inch stack of coupons, and is watching each and every item price as it runs across the scanner?  Have you ever thought to yourself , "Oh (fill in the blank), I'm never gettin' out of here!"?  I have.  I try to be patient, to remind myself that I don't have any place super important to be, but I admit that I've desperately looked around and tried to quickly find another open checkout that I could switch to....That's why this entry is so hard to write.  I've become the crazy coupon lady.

It happened a couple of months ago.  My sister came to visit, and we started talking about an idea that I had to try to really ratchet back the grocery budget due to the upcoming holidays.  I do watch prices, but I don't really have limits for myself when it comes to buying food.  It's just food after all, right?  It's not like we can go without it.  I read a book some time back about a woman who was feeding her entire family on $75/week.  Ludicrous.  I can easily spend more than ten times that during the course of a month, and we hardly ever eat out.  But the thought was intriguing.  I mean, where else is it easier to shave some money off your monthly expenses other than groceries?  I'm not going to go without bathing or live in the dark, so the best place for me to make some changes would be in the grocery budget.  Sis and I decided to make it a competition in order to have someone else to be accountable to.  That first week was HARD, and I blew it by about triple.  It wasn't my fault, really; It was a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, and the grocery stores were starting to put turkey and ham on super sale.  I bought 8-10 frozen turkey breasts, 4 spiral sliced hams, and 4 whole turkeys and filled our stand up freezer. That was in addition to our regular grocery shopping.  Needless to say I lost the competition that week, but it was worth it because I had a full freezer for about a quarter of what the regular price would have been to buy that stuff.  I stayed on budget the following week, and the rest of the month I did pretty well.  That first month (November) after I added up all of my grocery store receipts, I spent about $400, and saved more than $600.    This was huge.  Our AMEX bill was lower (by a lot) than it had been any previous month in the last 5 years.  That's when I decided to break out the coupons.

The last few weeks have been eye opening, to say the least.  I always have the Sunday newspaper delivered specifically for the coupons, but I'm kind of infamous for never even looking at them.  I get busy with the kids, and at the end of the day I'm too tired to get organized, there are dishes to be washed, laundry to be done...I could go on forever.  I generally would pull out the coupons, set them aside, let them pile up, put them in a drawer, and then a few months later throw the whole unviewed stack in the recycling bin.  It was not very efficient or economical.  I sat down one night at the end of November, sifted through the whole ridiculous stack and started clipping.  I couldn't believe all of the things I bought last month that I actually had coupons for, and all of the money I could have saved but didn't.  Since that night, I haven't gone to the store without my coupon organizer, a detailed grocery list, and a calculator.  I scan the circulars, shop the sales, and try to only buy "shelf" items when they're both on sale and I have a coupon.  I don't think I've gone over my grocery budget a single time this month, and my pantry, which I worked so hard to clean out a while back, is jammed full once more.  I'm hooked on coupons.  It's official, I really have become my mother.

These days, I get excited for the lady in front of me with her stack of coupons.  I want to see how much money she's saving, and if she's doing better than I am.  I don't mind waiting in line an extra 5 minutes while she argues with the cashier about how that chicken was supposed to be $.99/lb and not $1.19, because she's saving me from having the same argument in a moment.  I have a new respect for cashiers, too.  They should be nominated for sainthood after dealing with people like me all day.  The next time you're in line at the grocery store and you realize you're behind the crazy coupon lady with her three cranky children who are all covered in cheese crackers, be kind.  That lady is me. 

 
Comments
Alex 
Dec. 14, 2010 9:02 am
"I have a new respect for cashiers, too. They should be nominated for sainthood after dealing with people like me all day" .. Totally! (not that I think you're among the worst of shoppers!) But my first thought when reading your paragraph, - you ever been the cashier in that scenario?! Totally good on you for saving money, really.. and coupons in general don't drive a cashier crazy, if you've got them out and ready then it's really no extra effort. It's when I would have put through a $200 order, then comes "oh I have coupons!" And they sift through their purse, pull out a big unorganized pile, try to find certain ones... then I would have to remember if they actually bought the idea they're trying to get for free with a coupon... and the watching each item being scanned like a hawk thing can get really annoying too. I used to have some people who wouldn't allow me to start scanning things until they were finished unloading their cart(s) - sometimes more than one jampacked full. First of all, it meant I was standing there doing nothing while the line was growing and growing behind them, and second of all, not all that stuff is going to fit on the conveyor belt at once. Bah! But still, good for you! Saving that much money is great, and as long as you're efficient and organized with your coupons, then I (on behalf of cashiers and former cashiers) wish you well with them ;)
 
Dec. 14, 2010 9:03 am
My wife is that lady, also. Has been for forty years. She has become very skilled and has been known to have enough discounts, coupons and sale items to get somethig at no cost to her. When store staff objects, she presents all the items and tells them to find the exclusions that prohibit it. She understands that the stores must make a profit. She reminds the stores that their profit comes at her expense.
 
Dec. 14, 2010 9:11 am
I absolutely love your blogs, Rebecca! They always make me smile. I, too, get the Sunday paper just for the coupons. The problem is I always forget to take them with me to the grocery store!
 
Dec. 14, 2010 9:29 am
Alex, you'll be happy to know that I come prepared! I have my coupons in a nice, well organized stack, all ready to go. I'm at the grocery store multiple times per week, so I know exactly what I need and how much my total should be. It's much easier to be organized that way, when I don't have a cart piled full to overflowing. I still don't think I'd want to be a cashier, though!
 
Dec. 14, 2010 9:35 am
Mike-getting something for free is the best feeling in the world. Unfortunately it's not often that the free stuff is actually stuff that I need, so then I have to fight the tendency to be a hoarder just because it's a deal. My cabinet full of free brownie and cookie mix will tell you that I'm losing that battle; how exactly can you pass up on free brownies I ask you? I too understand that stores need to make a profit, but they're going to have to be happy with the tiny profit that they make from me, because ultimately my loyalties lie with my family and our bank account, and not with a grocery store. I'm going to go where the deals are.
 
Dec. 14, 2010 9:39 am
Thanks, Ellen! I'm guilty of the same thing, sadly, but the coupons don't save me any money when they're sitting at home. Before I would just shrug it off and go ahead without them, but these days I'll turn around and go back home. I have to make myself a checklist before I leave to the store--coupons, circulars, grocery list, canvas bags, calculator, pen, and snacks for the kids. I still usually forget the bags!
 
Alex 
Dec. 14, 2010 9:47 am
They still make a profit off you, though - where I worked, at least, every week we bundled off the coupons we'd honored for the week and send them off (don't know to where...) and we received credit or payment of some sort from the manufacturers. Full cost value, I'm not sure.. but I do know for sure that when we free item coupons, we had to mark down the price on the coupon so that the manufacturer knwe exactly what dollar value we were giving away, and occasionally they would ask to see our cash audit log to check that we were 'selling' (giving away) as many as we claimed we were, so that they weren't reimbursing us too much.
 
Alex 
Dec. 14, 2010 9:49 am
Oops, just meant to add - that's for the manufacturers coupons, like when you see $1 off shampoo in a magazine or wherever. Coupons from the store itself, like in-store promotions or bogo offers in their flyers, etc. - different story and depends on the store!
 
Dec. 14, 2010 10:16 am
I used to be that coupon lady, but I was very well organized, and I saved tons each week. Now,my kids are grown and our budget is a little better off and I always forget the coupons! I do remember the bags, though! Every once in a while I remember to sit down with the Sunday paper and clip coupons. It's such a great feeling to save that money! I do take advantage of in-store sales and their bogo offers. It's just those dang manufacturer's coupons I can't remember.
 
Dec. 14, 2010 10:45 am
Nice blog - if I am not in a hurry I LIKE to be behind the woman with the stack of coupons! A few years ago - Von's offered TRIPLE coupons for a very short period of time. I got behind a woman that got 2 huge shopping carts full of stuff for FREE - and they handed her back some coupons! Amazing! Von's doesn't do that any more - gee I wonder why!
 
Dec. 14, 2010 10:47 am
Wow, I can't imagine a grocery budget that is 10 times $75 a week! Phew! How on earth do people do it?? I don't clip coupons, but I do take advantage of sales.. Rebecca knows Fry's Grocery Stores in our local Phoenix area, so I watch their sales. Picked up a 3 rib prime rib roast for $13.00 a couple of weeks ago.. wished I would have bought a second one for the freezer! I think coupon clippers are devoted, dedicated, disciplined and practical people. I've always admired them and never minded standing behind them in line.. I was always curious about how much they saved!
 
Dec. 14, 2010 11:00 am
Ooh, Belles, THANK YOU! I didn't realize I had typed it out that way. I meant to say I could easily spend more than ten times that in a month, not per week! Holy cow, I'd better fix that right now. I do love Fry's; they'll match competitor's coupons, honor every manufacturer's coupon at $1.00, and still have the best sales in town. I'm always so excited when I roll out of there having saved 70% or more on groceries, and I'm buying everything from a list of what we need, not just what's on sale. Fry's is the best. I also took your advice on their ground beef, and it really is good!
 
Dec. 14, 2010 11:02 am
Great blog - this cracked me up so much. I've never did coupons (although I buy tons of stuff on sale.) Me, my husband and two sons live on an average budget of $80 a week - so 10 times that boggles my mind. It sounds like you did a great thing investing in coupons if you were spending that much! I always get stuck behind people with coupons but I'm never impatient. I absolutely love the grocery store (and seeing deals people get.) A friend of mine on FB posts pics each week of what she got for her coupons and what she paid. She can usually rack in about 20 items for under $5 (its always various stuff but still amazing.)
 
Dec. 14, 2010 11:04 am
(Just read your note, LOL, gotcha. I was wondering where almost $800 a week was going!) We spend no more than $300-$320 a month so $800 still puts me in awe!
 
Dec. 14, 2010 11:05 am
@BN- the other day when I was asking about Folsom, I looked to see where the nearest Ralph's was (Fry's in AZ is Ralph's in CA) and almost cried when I saw that the only local Ralph's was out of business. They do have a Safeway (or is it Von's there?) but I'd be just heartbroken without my favorite grocery store. It might even be a deal breaker. We have one grocery store right now offering quadruple coupons, but even that doesn't beat Fry's policy of honoring every coupon at $1.00. I get so much stuff free lately!
 
Dec. 14, 2010 11:12 am
@Mother Ann, coupons are such a pain, really, and I never realized even though I've always kind of used them halfway how much you can save if you know how to stack them and only buy items when they're on sale. It's a little bit of work, certainly, but the payoff is well worth it!
 
Dec. 14, 2010 12:08 pm
Hey - Folsom has a WinCo! 200 Blue Ravine Rd. Folsom, CA 95630 • Ph. # (916) 608-4801 Best prices around and although they don't double coupons they do accept coupons. I save a bundle there. :)
 
Dec. 14, 2010 12:35 pm
Another interesting blog Rebecca! I enjoyed reading it. Unfortunately where I live (in Istanbul) they don't use coupons :( My husband has been out of work for almost 3 months, and it is getting REALLY hard to cut costs. I would love a haircut and a pair of gumboots for the rain/snow, but alas! On the up side, we have a local market every Friday and get all our fresh fruit and veg really cheap, but even there we have to be careful and ask around to find the best prices. Some of them try to rip you off. (I don't go by myself any more as they see right away I am not Turkish and I have paid too much before) You must be so organised :) Nice work on all that saving.
 
mimosa 
Dec. 14, 2010 12:52 pm
Wonderful blog and yay for you for all that savings! I have set my mind before to start couponing, but for the life of me, I just don't find coupons for things I need or usually buy. I see coupons for things like breakfast cereals, snacks and packaged foods and those just don't help me. Keep up the good work!
 
Dec. 14, 2010 4:11 pm
What a strange thing today.. it reminded me of this post. I was just at my local Fry's and a woman had her coupon wallet lifted right out of her cart! The manager was very sweet and told her that the store would pay for her groceries.. poor thing, she looked like she could have used some help, 3 kids and she looked to be in financial stress. A couple came up to her and gave her $100... what a lovely holiday moment of kindness. My faith in the goodness of others is occasionally tested, but I am rarely disappointed.
 
Dec. 14, 2010 4:17 pm
BTW, check out www.couponmom.com. Free to register and yes, Rebecca... they have Fry's coupons in Arizona.. not to mention all the other state grocery store.. plus target, CVS, etc..
 
Dec. 14, 2010 7:43 pm
Oh - Man - BellesAZ - what a horrid thing to have happen! They probably thought they stole her wallet! I am pleased to hear that the market stepped up and took care of her. Geez....the lowest of the low!
 
Dec. 14, 2010 8:44 pm
Got a good giggle, quickly trying to find another register. I have done that and it's back fired on me a time or 2. hee hee. I do to need to get back into them. Thank you for the reminder. Have a wonderfully inexpensive Christmas! WTG:)Great blog too!
 
Dec. 15, 2010 1:12 am
Great Blog Rebecca, I confess I used to be that coupon crazy lady. The amount of items I used to get FREE each week was unbelievable, I used to think the money was better in my pocket rather than any retailers. Now I work full time, I just don't have the time, I use less than a handfull of coupons each week. So I have now turned in to the lady standing behind the coupon lady looking around for anotehr open checkout!! How life turns around for us all...
 
Dec. 15, 2010 2:59 am
I bring coupons to the store with me but a lot of times when I compare the prices of name brand and generic ,the name brand is usually more expensive even after the coupon,but I do leave the coupon on the shelf for the next person to use ,so my 7 year old grandson calls me the coupon fairy.LOL
 
Dec. 15, 2010 5:03 am
I am still the person who stores coupons and gets to busy to actually use them. I was a cashier for 7 years of high school and college and coupons didn't bother me. What bothered me was how rude people would treat you for following store procedure. If a coupon didn't scan or something wasn't priced right we were required to get a price check and a Manager to change it. We couldn't change it ourselves even if we knew it was wrong. I always felt bad when people would have to wait. Then I got to be responsible for telling them whether or not the manager was going to change the price. So the minimum wage cashier got the brunt of angry customers. For the most part I loved my job and interacting with people. But just remember just because you are having a bad day doesn't mean you have to treat others that way!
 
Dec. 15, 2010 5:26 am
I wish I'd had more time to coupon this last shopping trip. With the hour or two I spent, it saved me over thirty dollars on my last grocery trip. THIRTY dollars. Dude, that's a tank of gas. I see it as free money. Why would you not want free money?
 
JARRIE 
Dec. 15, 2010 6:01 am
I am also the crazy coupon lady, Rebecca, have no fear, there are plenty of us.
 
shannonc1171 
Dec. 15, 2010 6:29 am
I am an avid coupon clipper and always checking for the weekly sales or "buy 1 get 1 free" deals. However, it irritates me to no end when a store will have chicken for example priced on a normal week for $1.99 lb. Then the following week the chicken will be buy 1 get 1 free. During that week the chicken will be priced at $3.99 lb. That's no deal. It's just buy 1 get the other for regular price. Stores shouldn't be allowed to do that as it is very deceiving for some people. Keep in mind, just because they say it's on sale doesn't always mean it is.
 
Dec. 15, 2010 6:36 am
Most unfortunately we don't have coupons in srilanka... I would love to save on groceries coz I spend about Rs.30,000 per month... That works out to about $270.. Yes reasonable by your standards but pretty much in SL.. sigh..
 
Dec. 15, 2010 7:14 am
I am still struggling to catch up with the concept! Here in Switzerland we get rewards rather than item discounts. We are awarded points according to the amount we spend, and we can then redeem the points agianst items. Roughly speaking we gat around a 15% discount, when we buy, say, a new toaster and so on. When the stores DO discount an item, then it gets published in a newspaper and it appears at that price in the store (the computer handles the pricing at the check-out) Now just to put this in perspective - the best quality beef filet available here is in fact US beef. The current price of that item here in Switzerland is 110.00 Francs per kilo. That is roughly 52.00 US dollars per pound! Home grown comes in at about 39 USD per pound.
 
Grams 
Dec. 15, 2010 7:40 am
THANKS!! Giving me re-newed interest in coupons! I basically only feed myself these days. (adult son lives with me but hardly ever see him and rarely eats at home, if ya know what I mean) Because of that, I have basically dropped the coupons, but why? I could use the savings even more now!!! Will start clipping and surfing for coupons TODAY!!! Thanks Rebecca and all others on here! It doesn't take that much time (once you initially get organized) and like the one that says she will "leave the coupon on the shelf" THANK YOU!!! I have used a few of those and plan to make that a practice of mine as well!! BakE Well my friends!!!
 
Dec. 15, 2010 8:02 am
LOL, was that you in the line? Next time I will help you with the groceries to the car, rather than make faces and giggle with your boys:P I enjoy coupons, I do not get them in the paper, but I can get them from the entrance to the store (on a big board). The only down side of coupons is overconsuming. Be careful not to get into the rut of couponing and eventually buying things just cuz they are cheap and not useful. I had a cousin do that and I think I seen her on hoarders last week. Enjoy your bargain buying:D
 
Dec. 15, 2010 8:39 am
I don't know if this was posted in the previous comments, but you should also go through the grocery store ads, too! A place like Walmart will price match ANY sale that other grocery stores are having, AND you can use a coupon on those sales as well. And while its a little extra time, it saves you from having to run from store to store for different savings. Eventually you'll get into the hang of it, have all your ads ready with what you're going to price match along with the coupons and save even more money than just using coupons. AND you'll be saving gas by only having to run to one store! Hope that helps and that I'm not repeating anybody! lol.
 
carleighburr 
Dec. 15, 2010 9:07 am
How do I find coupons? I am a newly wed still in school so money is allllwwwaayyyss tight. Where are the best places to look for coupons besides the paper?
 
NIGELBIGEL 
Dec. 15, 2010 9:17 am
I have been that crazy coupon lady for over two years now and have saved TONS of money - about $200/week. I could have never done it without The Grocery Game. The Grocery Game is an on-line service that matches up sales at your local grocery store with coupons from your Sunday paper. So if Land O Lakes butter is on sale, they will mention that, as well as which newspaper insert (identified by publication date and publisher) will have a coupon for Land O Lakes. This way, you get a double whammy - using a coupon on a sale item! I especially like the Grocery Game because I don't even clip coupons now until I know for sure I will use them. Go through the grocery list, clip only the coupons I need, then hit the store. I buy two Sunday papers just for the coupons and have some friends give me theirs as well. This enables me to really stock up on good buys. When I first started it would take me about 1.5 hours to get ready to go shopping at four stores (2 grocery, 2 drug stores). There is a learning curve involved here, and now I don't spend more than 30 minutes a week. I am not affiliated with the Grocery Game in any way, just a very happy customer. I learned about it myself on another forum. Oh! And the first month is free! You can check it out at thegrocerygame dot com, or if you have more questions about how it all works, they have a forum at terismessageboard dot com. This is easily one of the very best things financially I have ever done. Nicole
 
Sabrina 
Dec. 15, 2010 10:59 am
I checked to see if there was a Fry's near me and low and behold it's called Kroger! I called to ask about the $1.00 coupon thing and they said they don't do it. But they still do double and triple coupons. I'm going to have to totally rethink my grocery shopping! I'm big into circulars, coupons, bags, etc. I've been know to stay up until 4am (Saturday morning) clipping coupons, matching ads and planning the meals for the coming week. But it pays off, the best I've done so far is $20 one week in savings. My goal is $150 per month. Gonna have to look into the Grocery Game again. Saving money is AWESOME!!!
 
Mangel 
Dec. 15, 2010 11:00 am
Last spring, after I found out my contract wouldn't be renewed due to budget cuts, I began coupon clipping while searching for another job. We would save anywhere from $30 - $50 a week on grocery items. Since then I've found another job (by the grace of god in this economy) and stopped the couponing. Thanks for the reminder that saving money is saving money regardless of your financial situation!
 
Sabrina 
Dec. 15, 2010 11:00 am
Forgot to add...I'm trying to get a good system going before having kids so it's easier after having them. I'm getting a good system in place just need to keep up with it. I just have a problem with impulse buying sometimes.
 
nymbus 
Dec. 15, 2010 12:10 pm
I shop at a Winco and Grocery Outlet, which helps reduce my grocery cost up front- and I haven't used coupons in a really long time for groceries. Most of the manufactors coupons are for the more expensive items or not store- brand, and I save more just going with those instead. I also don't use most of those products offered on coupons, so unless something is really "free" it isn't worth the emotional and physical baggage of having it in my house for years on end. I'd rather shop the farmers market and get my staples from the Winco bulk section. I do, however, use just about every coupon available for entertainment events and eating out. I haven't paid full price in a long time for those types of things. Most of the time, a quick internet search brings up a number of coupons, and we still get to have our fun. I also buy (mostly in this season) gift cards that offer additional rewards or rebates for resturants and such. Like the buy a $25 dollar gift card, get a $5 dollar one free, or buy three gift cards, get another one free. If you have the cash up front to do it, it saves an average of 25% for the rest of the years entertainment and eating out costs. I think true coupon clipping is something that costs TIME, something I don't have a lot of. If you count my hour as $15.00, that hour doesn't save me that much in the long run. Better for me to use it for relaxing, family time or actual work. Also, we don't get the newspaper now, so adding that cost of $2.25 for the Sunday paper means I have to get at least 17.25 for one hour of clipping back from those coupons- which I never have. I'm great with folks in front on me using coupons, I like to commiserate with the check-out people after a long haul with a crazy coupon lady and their 5 screaming children, but it just hasn't been worth it for me. (Yet).
 
lawyerclm 
Dec. 15, 2010 12:12 pm
Some clerk at the Publix grocery store in Gainesville, Florida told me they banned ladies like you from coming into their store and doing what you did. I love what you do and wonder-can Publix or any other store do this? I would go to another store!
 
Dec. 15, 2010 12:16 pm
@Sabrina.. yes, Kroger, Fry's and Fred Meyer are all the same company. I think they have more chains too.. @bakingnana... yes, I spent all yesterday afternoon thining about that poor lady.. I burst into tears in my car going home. They literally looked as if they had so little and were struggling. I didn't think that they thought they may have been stealing her wallet.. but geez, she wasn't a likely target. I'm amazed at how many people I see in the grocery store that are off looking at something and leave their purses in their carts.. unsupervised.
 
Dec. 15, 2010 12:20 pm
Our grocery circulars come on Wednesday, sales start Friday. So I plan my menu around the sales. I clip coupons for only those items I NEED to buy anyway, and still compare the prices of the items after the coupon with "non-sale" brands and often find the coupon item would cost more. I keep my coupons in chronological order so it is easy to see if I am using them efficiently. I buy so little processed food anymore that I find my big savings are paper goods, shampoo, detergent and pet food. We have self scanning here, so I am always sure prices are correct. Great Blog, Rebecca!
 
Bravehrt 
Dec. 15, 2010 1:38 pm
I confess, I'm a crazy coupon lady too. My family hates to accompany me to grocery stores now days. I employ most of whats been written above but I wanted to add something else. I keep a mental list of what I consider "good" prices for items. For example in my part of the country a good price on whole chickens is 69 cents per pound, pasta under 75 cents per pound etc. This helps me know when to stock up. I am also guilty of buying things just because they are free or just a few cents even if I don't really use the product. I've always rationalized this by telling myself I'll drop them in a food donation barrel. Thanks for the insight from the cashiers perspective, I always try to be as organized as possible. I also try to warn anyone getting in line behind me that my checkout might be lengthy - or I let them go ahead of me if they only have a few items. Happy couponing!
 
NARDOLINO 
Dec. 15, 2010 2:14 pm
I wish I was the crazy coupon lady. My husband just came across an article about coupons not really saving you money, so he doesn't support my new coupon clipping habit. *SIGH*
 
lisa r 
Dec. 15, 2010 5:17 pm
My name is Lisa and I am a krazy koupon lady. ;-). I have binder. Can't help myself, I work full time but still manage to find time to coupon. I save most of my money on toilettries, but I did walk out of target 2 weeks ago with 190.00 in groceries for 83. I am only a couple of months into it so I am still learning new things. One thing that I learned that is do valuable is what is called stacking coupons. Ex. Store coupon 1.00 stacked with manufacturers coupon 1.00 = 2.00 off of that 1 item.
 
lisa r 
Dec. 15, 2010 5:19 pm
Correction: I have A binder.
 
Dec. 15, 2010 7:23 pm
After trying many methods for saving money on groceries over the years. I have discovered what works for me. I buy VERY few products that are name brand. If I can find a store brand of something that is what I buy. I buy certain things that we must have online, like ethnic sauce mixes, coffee beans(which I roast myself) and bulk tea(we drink a lot of tea). Everything else I buy local, usually at the Asian chain grocery store, because the price is MUCH cheaper and usually the quality is better. Every Sunday night I check online for the local grocery store ads for the following week and plan that weeks menu by what is on sale. I don't buy brand name cereals, juices, cookies, crackers or breads. I try to make these things myself at home if possible. Yes, this entails a lot of work every week but I feel like this is a part of my job as I no longer work outside of the home. During the season I also grow fresh herbs and vegies in my garden to save a little money. I guess what I'm trying to say is you should figure out what works for you in your situation and go with that. This is what works for me. I spent about 350 400 dollars for every 2 weeks to feed 4 adults. I provide breakfast and dinner at home and a to-go lunch everyday. This allows my hubby and I to travel on occasion and stay at some very nice places. : )
 
Bits 
Dec. 15, 2010 10:55 pm
Any luck with online coupons too or just the pamphlets we get from our local grocery store?
 
Dec. 16, 2010 1:03 am
I use all coupons, online, magazines, news papers. The trick is to combine what store has the offers with that week and use you coupons for maximum savings. There are so many websites on the net advising how to make the most out of this concept. Save you so many $$$$ but be warned it gets addicted and YES you do overshop...
 
Dec. 16, 2010 6:44 am
I sort of became a coupon lady after my son was born because I was always looking for Similac, Huggies and Gerber coupons. I use a website called Southernsavers.com and they help explain how to coupon and how to use manuf coupons along w/ store ones. I also get the Sunday paper and clip what I can use. I don't get religous about it, but it has saved me on things for my son and now I understand how to use them to save on my grocery bill. I plan to have another garden next year so that should cut down on the produce part of my bill. And store brands can be just as good as name brands.
 
Dec. 16, 2010 3:42 pm
I have recently turned into the crazy coupon lady too! In the chicogland area there are many women who blog about the best deals of the week (supercouponing.com, mashupmom.com, hip2save.com) which makes it SUPER easy! I just log onto their websites and see what deals work with what I need/will need in the future! Today I got 3 tubs of Tribe Hummus and some lunchables completely free! :) Love it and it barely takes any time!
 
Dec. 16, 2010 5:13 pm
I've also heard that you really don't save with coupons but after reading your blog, I am very eager to give coupons another try. Although I shop at Walmart for the convenience and they have always matched any sale price from another store,for an item I was purchasing, I did not know you could also use coupons on the same item. I can't wait to see how much I can shave off my monthly grocery bill. Krazy Coupon Ladies Unite!
 
pamj 
Dec. 16, 2010 6:07 pm
Here in New York we have Wegmans and Tops and a new place called price rite, I found that price rite is the cheapest of all 3. but, they don't take coupons, Wegmans and Tops do, but Wegmans prices are way too high! Tops is a good place to use your coupons , but , the store brands are still cheaper . I still cut them out and take them along with me,just in case I find a deal
 
Dec. 16, 2010 11:31 pm
Welcome to the Coupon World! :D I love it myself. I clicked on your blog post with a bit of trepidation, expecting a rant. So I was pleasantly surprised. Ever been to hotcouponworld.com? :)
 
Dec. 17, 2010 7:06 am
OH Rebecca - I have fallen off my coupon wagon, haha! I've got stacks of coupon inserts that I just dont have the energy to cut and organize...UGH! I know the savings - its incredible. But, I've gotten tired of the same stuff...I'm getting pickier in the sales that I will jump on. I did read an article about food prices increasing 25% or something like that....so - pain in the bum or not - I will get back to the couponing. You just gotta be smart with them....wait for the item to go on sale and go to a store that lets you stack or double :) Nothing beats the feeling of getting something for about 75% less than you'd normally pay - or better yet...a money maker!! whoooohoooooooooo!
 
Dec. 17, 2010 7:25 am
Rebecca, you might want to also check out the magazine All You. For the month of January the magazine features $55.44 in coupons. The coupons are for some food items abut also for toiletries and cleaning items. I figure that I get the magazine for free! Oh, and they also have a page of special online coupon codes for additonal savings. Happy couponing!
 
eat2live 
Dec. 17, 2010 10:55 am
Does anyone know of any good online coupon websites for groceries that I actually buy?
 
Dec. 17, 2010 1:26 pm
I LOVE COUPONS!
 
woobiesmom 
Dec. 17, 2010 2:32 pm
I love love love this post! And for all you coupon clippers out there, right along with me, I have a question. Have you heard of the online shopping site where you get the Walmart gift cards to shop with? And did you know...(I just found this out) that Walmart price matches? This "Shopping system" is fantastic. I watched a video of a woman using this system and her coupons and she walked out with almost $200 worth of groceries for just under $20. Can you believe that? If someone could show you this system, would you be interested? I am seriously thinking of joining but I really want to know if others are as interested as I am. Does it sound good to you? I guess you could answer here or email me at woobiesmom@live.com. Thanks a bunch!!!
 
Dec. 17, 2010 5:32 pm
Not to minimalize the whole rest of the blog - but the cimment that caught my eye was, "It's official, I really have become my mother." I remember my mom at the beach, at the end of the day, sitting under the umbrella with a big floppy hat and my dad's shirt on, a towel over her legs, zinc oxide on her nose . . . Fast forward twenty years - we went to a church picnic. We hadn't planned to go, so we weren't prepared. After a while, I could feel my arms frying! So I sat in a chair with a towel draped over my arms to keep them from burning any more. People kept walking by, asking if I was nursing a baby . . . As I sat there, I realized, "I am my mom!" That is an "ouch" moment (=
 
Dec. 17, 2010 5:33 pm
And, by the way, I used to try to use coupons, but at some point I realized that I bought a lot of stuff I wouldn't normally buy, simply because I had coupons . .. I was not good at it! (And, like you, I had a pile that never got used and eventually was tossed when they all expired . .. )
 
Suzanne 
Dec. 17, 2010 8:08 pm
I have been using coupons for years and follow the grocery store sale ads. Usually end up with more food than I can use. Love giving the extra to those who are in need. A blessing for them and me!
 
Suzanne 
Dec. 17, 2010 8:44 pm
Keeping up with coupons can be a chore but is is worth the time. Put them in some sort of file. I use a 4 by 6 index card box and use the cards for dividers and label the categories. Try to cut and file your coupons every week. At the first of the month go through your whole box and take out the expired ones. Most usually expire at the end of the month. I even take them to work sometimes and use that time to organize my coupons. They call me the "coupon lady" and are always asking whats on sale and I give them some of the coupons that I might not use. Look for rebates. Sometimes you can even make money on an item. Drug stores have a lot of rebates. Don't feel bad about using the coupons, the store gets reimbursed including a handling fee. The only stores that might lose money on coupons are those that double the coupons. I have saved much money over the years with having 4 kids. Happy couponing!
 
Dec. 17, 2010 8:54 pm
Hello all, I am Rebeccas coupon clipping sister. Much like Rebecca, I have had very sucessful weeks, as well as very unsucessful weeks since we started this adventure. On our unseucessful weeks, we make ourdelves feel better by finding exceptions to the rules :) Thats the wonderful thing about being in charge of your own contest. I have learned so much lately. Well, let me rephrase that. I have always known how to shop carefully, but I used to just make one excuse after another why I didnt look at all of the sale flyers and shop only the deals when it was much easier to just stop by winco one day and buy everything that we needed for the week. No coupons, no sales, but winco has great prices right? Yes, they do, but since my husbands recent layoff, and quite frankly even before that, I NEED to be watching my budget more closely. So I have been "store hopping" for the best deals. Now I plan our meals for the week around what is on sale or I have a coupon for rather than what looked good as I cruised the aisles. Its working really well. I have more food stocked in my cupboards and freezer than I normally do, and I am spending AT LEAST 50.00 less per week on food! Yes, you read right, I am spending less and getting more! I even made the comment to my husband the other day that I think we are eating better since our competition started! I had no idea that I would have such great sucess with this! I am even shaving some off. So far this week, I have spent a little under $60.00 for my family of five, ad we dont need anything else! Why in the world have I been throwing my money away all of these years? I cant change that, but I can sure change the future, and I will not go back to my old ways....I have been converted...I am a crazy coupon lady too!!!
 
Dec. 17, 2010 9:24 pm
How smart! And hilarious! You wrote so detailed; I could actually see the coupon lady at the register with her stack. It kinda reminded me of the lady at the bank with the $200 dollar bag of pennies. X) Keep up the great work!
 
Dec. 17, 2010 9:25 pm
I too use my coupons like a supermom that I try to be. It can be exhausting when it takes me 3 hours to go through every aisle. The kids refuse to go shopping with me anymore. When I get free stuff that I won't use, I donate it to the local food pantry. Don't hoard it if you won't use it but don't pass it up either. I have also had people follow me to see if I have any leftover coupons. If they are about to expire and on an item that I wont use, if I see it in someone's cart, I will offer it to them. It is like handing someone money. It is kinda fun. The kids think it is embarassing to see me hand out coupons but they dont go with me anymore anyways.
 
Dec. 18, 2010 2:44 am
I've always loved coupons, it's like a little game for me. The internet has really been a game-changer, too. Now, when I come across a product I really really like, I can send off a quick email to a company and tell them how much I like their product. Usually I get extra coupons directly from the manufacturer, great high-value coupons better than the sunday paper! I've done this with Amy's Kitchen, Morningstar Farms and FreshPet most recently. I also like to leave high-value coupons for items I never buy on the shelf with the items, for a shopper who does use that product. Payin' it forward never hurts! Happy Holidays to All! *tink*
 
mitonurse 
Dec. 18, 2010 3:45 am
What a great discussion! I'm a couponer, too; goes up and down how much time I spend and organize vs. super busy weeks when I'm less disciplined. I sometimes think the silver lining to this awful recession is that frugality has become fashionable again. Always was in my family (my mom's an old Vermonter) but lots more people are catching on. Good luck to all with this and a wonderful Christmas to all who celebrate it. Dawnmarie, I loved your story of giving out coupons to other shoppers!
 
YAKTY 
Dec. 18, 2010 9:15 am
I am also a crazy coupon lasy...have been for 11 plus yrs. I average about $75/wk for a family of 6...so it can be done! And about the coupons you don't use....find some couponing buddies and trade coupons. I don't have a baby but do have a dog...trade the Pampers coupons for dog food!
 
Dec. 18, 2010 9:24 am
Not only am I a crazy coupon lady, but I'm a cashier at a grocery store. I really like to see people save money. Not only is it like "free money" for the shopper, but for the store as well! We get reimbursed PLUS 8 cents per coupon for turning them in to the manufacturer.
 
Dec. 18, 2010 9:45 am
I need more good sites on the web to print out coupons. anyone know of other ones not mentioned above? Thanks, Jazzelise in Florida Can't find grocery stores here that double coupons!!!!
 
Grams 
Dec. 18, 2010 1:18 pm
Came back to see if I could snag a few more ideas and continue my renewed enthusiasm to get serious about couponing again! Really APPRECIATE those who leave coupons you don't use on the products on the shelf!!! Have done this and also have redeem some left by others!! THANKS AGAIN!!! Am currently off work at the moment so I can take this time to get organized so when I get back to work it will BE easy to keep going without taking too much time to stay that way!!! As some have mentioned, it can BE more work than it seems to BE worth, but with a bit of organization, won't let that happen to me, BEcause my time if valuable too!!! BakE Well my friends!!!! (thanks for the reminder to send e-mails to manufacturers too! - have gotten some GREAT discounts and MANY FREE PRODUCT COUPONS in the past - and anxious to see more in 2011)
 
Grams 
Dec. 18, 2010 1:22 pm
that would BE "IS" valuable too!!!! not "if"? LOL oops! and I have "redeemed" some left by others.....really need to PROOFREAD BEtter!!!! Oh well, guess the message is there....THANKS EVERYONE!!!!!
 
Pamela Parker 
Dec. 18, 2010 2:14 pm
Someone above asked also, but can yo provide references, advice, sites and tips for those of us just venturing into this brave world? In the past, it seems the coupons were always for unhealthy or pre-fab types of foods I wouldn't have purchased anyway..... Some hints would be greatly appreciated - or books, resources...... Thanks!
 
Dec. 18, 2010 2:18 pm
I too am the crazy coupon lady arguing with the cashier and the manager if need be and my kids are covered in whatever was fastest to hush them for 5 more minutes, lol and I am also the lady who will peruse YOUR items on the belt be you in front or behind me and if I have a coupon I know you can use it will be handed to you, sorry, they really should have a support group for us, lol.... My kids also know that if there isn't a coupon for it and its not on sale its most likely not going home with us, and they will look through the flyers with me!
 
gail 
Dec. 18, 2010 5:09 pm
Coupon crazy can save you money. I was never very good at it maybe saving $10-$15 if I worked really hard at it. But, my daughter works full time with two young daughters went to an all day seminar last winter. It cost her $20 and she was really dreading 8 hours of talking about coupons....BUT she enjoyed it and came away with some great tips and instructions for using coupons. At first she was spending about the same amount of money, but she was getting more groceries....now both of my daughters are coupon crazy and because they get so much for less money there are weeks when they only have to buy perishables. They said they have never spend so little and had so much in the house to eat.
 
gail 
Dec. 18, 2010 5:14 pm
Oh...and they keep their coupons organized in a notebook with baseball card sleeves...those you would use if you collected ball cards...they just keep all of the same type items together...they even have a page for restaurant coupons. All of the coupons you get in the Sunday paper coupons have websites like "Redplum.com" where you can get most of their coupons...and most of them you can print off two of each.
 
gail 
Dec. 18, 2010 5:19 pm
both daughters work together and know what coupons they have and what stores have the best deals each week... Walgreens, Kroger, Publix.....and if you have CVS Drugstore...it tells what items they have on sale that also have coupons in the Sunday paper. I once luckily got a large bottle of Nivea body wash for $-0.01. Yep...the store gave me back one cent. The body wash was $3.99 and my coupon was $4.00.
 
Dec. 18, 2010 6:39 pm
I wasn't really interested in coupons until I hurt my back and went on medical leave. I now feed a family of 3 plus at least 10-20 percent of what I spend in food goes to charity. I am not only the annoying crazy coupon lady, I'm also only at the grocery store on double coupon day. I end up feeding the family for about $30 a week. Plus I donate to my fav. domestic violence long term living shelter. I have turned into my grandmother, but it is not such a bad thing :)
 
Dec. 18, 2010 6:41 pm
Also, shopathome.com has a printable coupon section where there are 5 different lists of printable coupons you can look through aside from what you get in the paper.
 
sewlady003 
Dec. 18, 2010 11:26 pm
Nice blog...I've been a crazy coupon lady for at least 30 yrs. BTW, the extras that you get in freebie offers can be donated to a local food bank or women and childrens shelter. It's a nice way to be able to contribute to others even on a tight budget.
 
Dec. 19, 2010 5:23 am
I would like to do the whole coupon thing but the thing that aggravates me is that it's only my husband and I and most of the coupons are buy 2 or 3 and get something off of that. Why would I use those coupons when I only want one? I wouldn't buy 2 or 3 of something because it would go bad before I could get to use it???? Any suggestions would be great... thanks!
 
Dec. 19, 2010 7:53 am
MYCHYNA, most coupon items store well, but you can still save on things like Health and Beauty, trash bags, cleaners,..etc.. Also, the idea is to organize your coupons and match up sales with coupons. You may not need 3 boxes of cereal, but if you get them for 50 cents a box when the deal adds up, then take 2 and give one away to a neighbor or relative. You are still spending less on 3 than you would on 1, and you can always buy one that you could crush up and, say us to make muffins (which you can freeze). Cvs saves me thousands of dollars a year, we will never run out of anything they sell because you can get everything free at some point in the year. My husband spent $50 on a coupon organizer for me 3 years ago...it sits in the shopping cart seat and holds thousands of coupons. We saved it's cost hundreds of times over. People really do appreciate free stuff, and if you don't know anyone, keep a tote that you fill and donate to your local shelter. Tax deduction :)
 
andee 
Dec. 19, 2010 12:08 pm
Great blog I too clip coupons. But I have a hard time keeping them organized. One of our local grocery chains (Dominicks) accepts expired coupons which means I can never throw any of them out even tho none of the other stores accept them.
 
RMLITTLE 
Dec. 19, 2010 12:25 pm
I love your blog! I use coupons when life isn't too crazy. I found that couponmom.com was a great place to start. I once heard her suggest searching for the store name, the word "deals" and the date ( 12 19 )the sales start in your regular search engine. I was able to find a blogger who matched up the store ad with available coupons for a local store. For those looking for printable coupons, try coupons.com, redplum.com and smartsource.com. dealseekingmom.com also offers some organic coupon links. Check your store web site to see if they let you add coupons directly to your store card. I know that Kroger and it's affiliates do this with Cellfire.com and shortcut.com. And to find bloggers in your area, try www.bargainbriana.com and the frugal map. Seriously, I don't pay for toiletries any more! How exciting is that?! And the local food bank gets the free extras I can't help but buy! Hope this info helps you find sources to make it easier to save.
 
JULIEJ8 
Dec. 19, 2010 1:01 pm
How are you ladies saving so much and getting stuff for free? I spend anywhere from $150 - $180/wk, take my coupons, and buy store brands. I may be lucky to save $5 or $6 max. What's the secret?
 
nunu17 
Dec. 19, 2010 3:41 pm
I too am a crazy coupon lady, have been for about 1 1/2 years now. I have been known to save up to 50-75% of my total, sometimes more. I take advantage of double coupons, I stockpile, I shop the major drug store chains and take advantage of their programs such as CVS "extra bucks". Check out websites such as hotcouponworld.com, they teach you step by step how to stockpile and shop to your best advantage.
 
ElaineB 
Dec. 19, 2010 3:52 pm
I just happened on this blog and really enjoy it. I'm a casual couponer and am now teaching a simple class that hopefully will get others interested in couponing. The coupons are FREE MONEY!
 
Dec. 19, 2010 5:06 pm
I have to admit, I have a hard time with coupons. They are usually for things I wouldn't normally buy, or do not save me as much as getting the generic or the bulk size would. More power to you if you have found a working stategy though :). Wouldn't mind some pointers..
 
Izblue 
Dec. 19, 2010 5:49 pm
I got quite the chuckle from this! There is a extremely crazy coupon lady in my neighboorhood too! She steals the coupons out of my mailbox every week. I've caught her a few times. Good for you for saving money with coupons, it's a fantastic way to cut your budget! ...just don't steal them from other people's mailboxs, it gets very annoying having to guard my mailbox and chase her away.
 
Dec. 19, 2010 6:15 pm
This is a great way to save money. Look for deals, and who cares if everyone is waiting for your coupons. Go to the next line.
 
pefair 
Dec. 19, 2010 7:14 pm
I have to tell you that living in smaller population areas tends to show how much bigger companies think of you. Just so you know, there are areas where Neilson (a company that does ratings on certain products in certain areas), does not show up. We are a large community but not large on their "radar". Neilson will do ratings on products in certain areas and those findings will find their way to the companies who are putting out those coupons. Needless to say, the larger the area the more coupons that are available. Point in fact is that this week, the week before Christmas, and there were no coupons in the Sunday paper! I have never seen this before! The week before Christmas and they don't put any manufacturer coupons out there! My family and I only recently started clipping since I have been off work. To not see coupons in the Sunday paper really shows signs of the times. I would think that these companies would want to help the economy by adding sales to the economy, but no. They want to make sure they make their numbers for the year, but if they invested more into savings for the customer they may realize more sales for the company in the long run. But that is my take on the situation. I like using coupons, but when manufacturers make the coupons so rediculous (save .25 on 3!), whatever. I would rather not even bother with them if they are not putting out actual savings!
 
Dec. 19, 2010 9:47 pm
Oh I hate to be stuck behind a crazy coupon lady. I guess that living in Boston and always in a rush got the best of me but I have zero patience for those people. I tend to do the self checkout lane anyways.
 
Grams 
Dec. 20, 2010 12:26 am
pefair - I live in a large area and I have found that the week before ALL holidays, there are usually no coupons in the paper? Seems odd to me too, but it has BEen that way here for many, many years. Happy Holidays everyone!!!
 
skylersmom 
Dec. 20, 2010 4:38 am
Oh my gosh, I so could have written this article. Every year my New Years resolution is to be better about money. To take advantage of all the opportunities there are to keep the money in my wallet instead of putting it in someone elses. I think it's a good idea to do it with your sister...kind of like dieting, it helps for someone to keep you honest. Thanks for a little inspiration...I hope it's enough to set me on the straight and narrow :; ). P.S. I'm a newbie commenter here, but I read all the time. Happy Holidays!
 
Dec. 20, 2010 6:43 am
For a cheap coupon organizer, I use the cheap photo albums ($1 at Target). I use a black permanent marker and write the sections I want (i.e. produce, frozen, etc.) in order of the store I frequent most often. I've had a guy stand behind me in line (and I thought he was getting upset) when I saved $40 and he said, "that's the most amazing thing ever!". Thanks for your post!!
 
kalasagirl 
Dec. 20, 2010 7:00 am
I hear stories like this all of the time about how people load up a grocery cart w/ $200 worth of groceries and then by the time they use all of their coupons they pay next to nothing for all of them. I live on a budget, use coupons and watch sales. There are three of us in my family and I keep trying to cut my budget down from $500+/mth for groceries but I like to stock up on sale items and buy multiple items so that I have a supply in my cupboards. I don't understand how you can live on $75/wk... I would LOVE to have someone "hold my hand" for a month to show me how to shop. I've always shopped like I live 100 miles from the grocery store. I like have all of the necessities in my cupboards so that when I want to make something I have it and don't have to go to the store for that one item...Do you have more specific advice for me?
 
Dec. 20, 2010 7:16 am
What I love most is having an on sale item teamed with the coupons and knowing that I will get a 5-10 dollar catalina back on my next purchase! Great way to save money...being a crazy coupon lady that is. And its also great considering the economy. Your blog made me smile. :)
 
Kathy 
Dec. 20, 2010 7:17 am
Great blog! I just bought a really nice coupon organizer. I included grocery items, misc house items & restaurant sections. This blog has so inspired me. It is just my husband & myself & I buy too much & waste too much. I am psyched! :)
 
earnhardtangel88 
Dec. 20, 2010 2:52 pm
I would love to find a nice coupom organizer.If someone knows where to buy one at please let me know.Thanks..
 
Dec. 20, 2010 3:59 pm
Wow, lots of great comments! Sorry I haven't kept up on responses; the holiday season is coming up a little too fast for me! Belles, I can't believe someone would take that poor woman's coupons. I would like to think that a person would have to be in really dire straights in order to be desperate enough to steal coupons. What a horrible thing to happen. Just to address a couple of things; for those of you who asked how people can buy $200 worth of groceries and walk out paying just pennies, let me tell ya'--I used to wonder the same thing! Then I realized that these people aren't grocery shopping, they're "couponing" or buying things because they're on sale and have coupons attached, making them free or nearly free. It's just shopping for the sport of it. I don't know a single person that goes to the grocery store with a list of things that their family actually needs and walks out paying nothing. Personally, I'm thrilled if I save half. I plan my menus around things that are on sale at the grocery store, stock up when shelf items are on sale and I have a coupon, and I go to the store almost daily, which may sound counterproductive, but it completely eliminates food waste because we're only buying the fresh produce when we need it. If you can plan your meals based on the sales, you can easily shave half off your grocery bill! My store has a frequent shopper card, which also has "loadable" coupons that come right off the card. You may want to check with your local grocery store (or their website) to see if they have something similar. I think all the Kroger stores have them. I also use cellfire.com, which also load directly to my frequent shopper card. I have the Sunday paper delivered, and also watch for coupons in magazines and other publications including the junk mail that we get in the mailbox every wednesday. I've also found, for the person above that mentioned it, that there are hardly ever coupons in the Sunday paper before a major holiday; in fact I had our newspaper held last Sunday because I'd rather miss that issue than be disappointed when there are no coupons inside! I found my coupon organizer on Amazon, and it works fine. My last one was a cheapy from Walmart, and it was also fine. Coupon shopping takes a little effort, and a bit of organization, but it is so worth it! I went shopping today (with three kids 4 and under) and walked out paying $79 for our groceries (only $36 of that was actual food; the rest were household items, ie: laundry soap, dryer sheets, etc) and my total savings were $116.44. Stack those coupons! Only buy things that are on sale and you have a coupon for them, and ONLY if it's something that you use! Don't buy you don't need just because it's cheap; I'm not going to fill my cart with denture cream and depends just because they're free. Ya know?
 
Dec. 20, 2010 4:04 pm
*BTW, if you can get free denture cream and depends, and want to donate it to charity, that's a whole 'nother story. I've heard of many people that go "couponing" and donate their un-needed freebies to homeless shelters, food banks, send them to the troops, etc., and I think that is AWESOME.
 
Dec. 20, 2010 4:15 pm
--And oop, one more thing; If you only eat whole foods and clean your house with vinegar and water, coupons aren't going to help you much. I've yet to see a single coupon come my way for lettuce, apples, or bulk lentils. However, I have just recently found coupons for clementines, pom juice, coconut milk, and lots of organics; so you might want to give it another shot. If nothing else, everyone uses cleaning supplies, toilet tissue, and laundry detergent, so coupons can help you there. I even clipped a coupon just the other day for Mrs. Meyers all natural cleaners, which I use almost exclusively in our home. they smell wonderful, are completely biodegradable, and are all natural. Coupons are not just for cookie mixes, sugar cereals, and canned soup anymore!
 
Dec. 20, 2010 4:21 pm
My family calls me the Coupon Queen! I clip coupons, weed out expired ones, look for ones I have for things I need, and consider buying things with coupons that are about to expire, every week. I spend probably two hours making my menu for the following week and save at least $20 each week. I just wish I didn't have to do it (well, I don't HAVE to do it) but I wish there were more of the coupons I can load on my shopper's card, or that the manufacturers would just lower the prices so I could still save the money without spending the time!
 
TheCouponGh0st 
Dec. 20, 2010 9:14 pm
Rebecca"--And oop, one more thing; If you only eat whole foods and clean your house with vinegar and water, coupons aren't going to help you much. I've yet to see a single coupon come my way for lettuce, apples, or bulk lentils." Not always true for 3 months Target had a running coupon for $1 off any produce. I was able to use this coupon to get many fruits & veggies for nearly free. You couldn't but 5 fuji apples and use 5 coupons but you could buy 1 fuji, one red delicious, one gala, etc etc. Same with one red onion, one white one yellow, one organic. or One green bell pepper, one red, one.... you get my drift. I would shop there several times a week and was loving all the fruits and veggies for mere pennies on the dollar. I even managed to get enough to chop and freeze those that could be frozen for use through the winter.
 
Dec. 21, 2010 5:55 am
TheCouponGh0st-Wow, great! I just started really using coupons a couple of months ago, and rarely go to Target, so I never saw this one. I did, however, find a Target coupon around Thanksgiving for 2 FREE bags of frozen Green Giant vegetables with a $25 purchase that my grocery store honored. What a great find you made!
 
loribeth143 
Dec. 21, 2010 7:59 am
Here's my hint for being an organized crazy coupon lady: buy a 3 ring binder and plastic baseball card protector/holder pages. Organize your coupons in the protector pages. Put the pages in order of the aisles of your regular grocery store. Take your coupon binder each time with you to the store. You can even buy a zipper pouch with 3 holes punched in it to fit the binder. Use it for coupons that you need to hand the cashier. It has made couponing so much easier for me! Noone thinks I'm crazy anymore, they are envious of my organization and money saving techniques! Try it, you won't be disappointed.
 
Dec. 21, 2010 8:34 am
Rebecca, my daughter has recently become an avid clipper. She is saving her family lots of money each week. She takes the free items that her family doesn't use and drops them off at a local shelter or into the food bank box at church...you could have a little more space in your pantry by donating some of those brownie mixes. :-) Happy Holidays!
 
highlyn 
Dec. 21, 2010 8:51 am
I never really bothered with coupons until I read a book this fall that changed everything. There are great free resources online that tell you when it is the best time to use your coupons to get the best deals, and by stacking your coupons you get stiff for free or next to nothing. I have enough toothpaste and floss now to last until next year and it was all free! That plus cookie mix, hot cocoa, soups etc. It helps to lower the grocery bill enough that we can afford to get lots of produce and organic things that we like and survive on unemployment. I learned the most at http://www.becentsable.net/, but there are many sites that helped me get organized.
 
Dec. 21, 2010 11:14 am
Coupons, cool!!
 
Dec. 21, 2010 11:59 am
My son, who is 19 almost 20, is a cashier at a local grocery store. He has taught me a lot about coupons.
 
Dec. 21, 2010 2:20 pm
i get the coupons and am at the point they sit in a stack and i don't even get to look at them. i don't have the time though i want to. i have a 15 month old who is all over me all the time. and when i get a moment to think between her and the older two and their father...... i can't even think long enough to look before i can't do it anymore. i hope i can start actually clipping and USING the coupons soon.
 
Tracie 
Dec. 21, 2010 6:12 pm
I have been a cashier for 28yrs and i LOVE customers with coupons! My pet peeve is when they don't have the correct items for the coupon. Please read your coupons carefully because I will. I understand you want to save money but not at the expense of losing my job. To the rude customers behind the coupon divas........you want 100% of my attention? WAIT YOUR TURN BECAUSE THE COUPON DIVA HAS IT RIGHT NOW! I love my job (smiles)
 
Laura 
Dec. 21, 2010 6:55 pm
Thanks for this! Due to a recent financial hardship, I have too become a crazy coupon lady and I'm not turning back! I hate to think of all the money I could have saved all these years if I had paid better attention. Good to know there's like-minded sane people, because I always feel so bad pulling out my coupons when there's a line of people behind me, knowing that they're silently cursing me.
 
Dec. 21, 2010 7:09 pm
I applaud your efforts!!! I have been the crazy coupon lady for over 3 years!! In fact, I paid for my recent wedding with my savings!! Depending on where you live, may I suggest you check out the website Savingsangel.com?? This website has been an absolute godsend!! In your post, you mentioned how you search the ads each week to compare them with your coupons. This website does this for you!! Each week, I look at my favorite stores' listings to see who has the best deals. Next, all I have to do is collect the coupons (the website tells me EXACTLY where to find them). My average savings are $50 to $150 each week!!
 
Grams 
Dec. 29, 2010 5:42 pm
Anybody see the new show on TLC tonight - "Extreme Couponing"? WOW!!!! I want to save but I don't need an addiction. Good tips but WOW!!!
 
Grams 
Dec. 29, 2010 7:04 pm
btw-Thanks to those who suggested using pages for Sports Trading Cards to organize coupons! Love that idea and I already have some as well as 3-ring binders to put them in - so............it's like getting an organizer FREE!!! GREAT start to my renewed efforts to save!
 
Nanabooboo 
Jan. 4, 2011 7:27 am
Well there you have it....you have all finally turned into your Mother. Remember when you all used to laugh at me for my cheap ways? Ok, I admit...I took it to extremes with the day old bread and dented can purchases....and I wasn't as organized as you are now....so I applaud you....Way to go Rebecca....Keep it up, and kiss those cracker covered grandsons for me... Love Mom
 
 
 
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My4NonBlondes

Home Town
Astoria, Oregon, USA
Living In
Leesburg, Georgia, USA

Member Since
Mar. 2003

Cooking Level
Intermediate

Cooking Interests
Baking, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Vegetarian

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