Saturday, October 31, 2009

Couponing Progress = 0

Some of you dear friends are dying to know how my couponing is going.  Well, it isn't.  But that doesn't mean we haven't been talking about it around here.  For evidence, I submit Amy's school assignment for today, in which she was to write a paragraph using five of her vocabulary words:

Some people have a hard time discerning that they spend too much money. Others are cautious and conscientious about spending, and have a limited amount that they'll spend. Others would like to spend less but they can't comprehend the system of using coupons. It seems ominous to them and soon the desire to learn wanes to a lower caliber. From their perspective couponing is for ladies that live in big cities. So after she tries and fails, the average lady will become content with her grocery spending and her paramount concern will become finding a different way to save money.

Well done.  She went above and beyond the call of duty and used eleven of her words. 

I am not doing as well.  I can't get the hang of the schedule.  Grocery ads out on Wednesdays, drug store ads out on Saturdays, right? No. Wait. That would be Sundays.  Before I get my act together the next ad is out. And all those expiry dates. I have a hard enough time getting my church letter out on time once every other month

A friend sent me this link today. This one.  Some smart woman back east only buys what she can get for free or near free.  She spends, on average, $4 a week on groceries for her family of six. !!! We have six.  How does she do this?  How does she get anything free, coupons or no?  Say you have a coupon for 25¢ off spaghetti.  Even on triple coupon day that spaghetti is still going to cost about 25¢.  The manufacturers of the cheapo brands don't print coupons, and the way normal people (that's me -- I'm normal, right?) use coupons, it is cheaper to buy the off brand with NO coupon than it is to buy the name brand with.  I don't get it. 

And THEN, this woman has a members-only website where you can see all the deals, plus a forum with more deals.  It's only $1 a year, but how much money do you think she makes in one year just from this?  She's an enterprising soul.  Why didn't I think of that?  I'll tell you why.  It's because the inside of my brain looks like this:


...Most of the items on sale at CVS/Walgreens/RiteAid/Target are things I never buy.  Guess if I figured out how to get it for free, I'd buy it.  Okay, I'm not a complete dummy.  I did okay in college, and I did pretty well in math.  Maybe I'm only text-book smart, and not real life smart.  Is that it?  Don't answer that. Maybe I'm not even textbook smart anymore.

I never used to care much about coupons.  I thought they were kind of a bother, and not worth the trouble. But lately I have been praying for a way to add to the household income without leaving the house. Is the Lord showing me that the answer is not to get more, but to spend less?  I can go for that if he'll fix my wiring.

Maybe I need to start a local couponing club.  Anyone interested?  We could help each other figure this thing out.  Come on, friends, move on out here to the desert where it's nice and warm all winter, and we'll all get rich on couponing. Merlynn Randall, you are appointed president of our new club. We'll call it Cactus Clippers, or something like that.   (Help.)


  1. I have been "doing" the grocery game for going on 3 years now! My husband and I both love to cook and we often cook for others too! Before I started using the grocery game, I used to spend an average of $900-$1000 per month on gorceries (a family of 3). That totally sounds absurd, but it is true. I track all of our expenses through Microsoft money, so I looked back 3 years, did the math, and to my shock, it was accurate.

    After doing the grocery game for almost 3 years, I look back on a average of $500 per month now in grocerys, a savings of $400-$500 EVERY month! I do get many items for free or next to free with BOGO coupons and BOGO sales. If you have 2 BOGO coupons you get 4 things for free!

    Also, I NEVER buy generic, as there is no coupon for it! So, I save that much and only get premium products, even organic sometimes!

    It is not a scam, it is real! check out the website and forums for MANY testimonies:

    There are many tips I can share on how to make this effortless and painless, if you are interested, let me know. Couponing can be fun!

  2. Well, you know Sally, I'm with you. I was trying unsuccessfully the other day to clear a space in the laundry room for some lightbulbs and happened upon a shoe box that I used to make a nice neat little coupon file - opening it up, most of the coupons had it 2006/07. I haven't tried since! I'm just no go at this coupon thing and we don't get the paper either. Nothing I use is ever on coupons. And now that I'm finishing a book on longevity, I feel conviced to eat fresh fruit, veggies, beans & rice... what are my chances to get coupons on those things? How did that lady in the video get coupons on seafood anyways? Most coupons are on highly processed junk or expensive brands that just brings the item down to the price it should start as anyways. Big deal if I can get $1.00 off cereal if I buy TWO boxes, I'm still spending what? $5.00 or so? Or what good is a coupon if it expires within the next 5 minutes? I think people like that Cathy come from a different planet. I just don't get it.

  3. Are we long lost sisters? I have a hard time with all this couponing, too. I don't buy the paper so I don't get most of the ads, and most of the coupons are for things I don't buy. Even if I could get it for free, I don't know that I really want it. One box of cereal isn't going to go very far with 4 teenagers in the house. The last thing we need is a box of sugar bombs anyway.

    I'm working on trying to coupon more. One great site I found is What's so great about this site is that I don't have to clip and file coupons and then remember to take them with me to the store. They just go right onto your grocery savings card, so the next time you shop and buy the item, you get the discount! I was kind of skeptical it would work, but it did. They even have store brand coupons!

    The bad news is, they don't have a lot of variety, and don't change out the specials very often. I'm not sure why but I'm guessing it's because it's not popular enough yet for all the companies to jump on board.

    If you find out any secrets, let me know!

  4. I guess after living in N. Ireland for 7.5 years that I have really learned to love coupons here. Plus, I used them alot in the olden days before I moved to N. Ireland when my husband was only working 2.5 days a week. We used to buy a Sunday paper and buy according to coupons and got our fresh fruit/veggies and a bit of meat with a couple of dollars left for Taco Bell on the way home. Those were the days before children. Since then, I have two children and a dog. Thankfully the dog doesn't eat much. She only weighs 5 pounds.

    Ok, to help y'all out! I will start with the easy stuff. I will keep the complicated stuff for later.

    Walgreens: Take along another person. Get TWO ads at the store. Rip out the 3/$1 on Hunt Sauce. Go here and print of three Hunts coupons. Yes, you must play the game before they will give you the coupon. Hey, if you have kids... They will like this. Simple 1 minute game.

    At the end of the game it will ask who you want to print. Choose the Hunt lady. Print one and then backup the page and print again. Do this one more time (as this is all it will allow you to do!).

    You now should have in your hand THREE Hunts coupons and TWO Walgreens Hunts coupons. Give one to the other person with you. Now you go through the line with 6 cans and TWO Hunts coupons and One Walgreen ad coupon. The friend goes through with ONE Hunts coupons and One Walgreens coupons. You should only have to pay out the tax... Do we pay tax on this... I don't know.

    Now, you will have 9 cans of Hunts Sauce.. so the next time you make spaghetti you will be able to make some extra sauce...

    I will post some more when I see a good deal for y'all.

  5. Oh yes! I forgot this one at Walgreens. If you wear makeup and aren't fussy on the brand. Almay is doing this.

    Buy 1 foundation and get back $10 in register rewards. The foundation is $9.99. Also, if you need mascara. You get back a register reward of $5 if you buy the mascara. I got the $4 coupon out of the Walgreens Coupon book. I bought the mascara that was for $4 off and then bought the $5 register reward mascara and got 50% off the price of that one. Not a bad deal if you are needing mascara and aren't fussy about it being Almay. Plus then you will get back $15 for the next good deal at Walgreens.

    Yes, I will try to keep you up to date on that. If you want to do two seperate purchases. Get the mascara first so you can use the $5 RR (register rewards) towards the foundation. That way you will only have to worry about 1 $10 RR and not 2 RR.

    I hope this was helpful.

  6. I should have said that you need to look for the red labels in the Almay section. It will tell you which one is a RR makeup. That way you will get the right one. Any questions... Just ask.

    Have a wonderful day.

  7. That stinks about your Sunday paper. I would visit and type in your zipcode and find out what is available in your area.

    It tells you each week if there are coupons in the Sunday paper. Do your coupons come in the paper on another day? Here I only subscribe to Sunday paper and it costs $13 for 13 weeks, not too bad, cheaper than in the stores.

    I am pretty sure if you stuck to it you would find spending $10 a month on a paper is worth it. I always save ATLEAST $10 per store/trip more likley $20-$30 per store in coupons and then pair that up with the store sales and BOGOS, I usually save as much as I spend. I always floor the cashiers. I went to Walgreens once and my bill came to $90 and after all my coupons I spent $16. What a thrill that was!

  8. That is so funny!

    I, too, have coupons. I even take them to the store and buy the premium brand item that the coupon is for. Then I get home and notice I've forgotten to use the coupon!

    Oh, well. For me it's just easier to stick to no name brands, and we save a huge amount by doing that and shopping the sales.

    Annie Kate


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