Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Coupon Post

9.19.12

I've written a couple of coupon posts, but when it came down to tracking them down and linking them back to share with everyone? Too much work than it's worth. Plus there have been a few changes in my couponing adventures, so I thought that starting over on a new fresh slate would be best.

So. Where do I begin.

Lets first talk about the changes that I have made. To begin wtih, I don't coupon for grocery items anymore. Prior to us going organic about a year ago, I used to be able to buy a lot of bulk grocery items for really cheap, if not free, by using the coupons. And for those going that route, YOU STILL CAN. However, since making these big changes in our family, we are strict as to what we buy. Mainly frseh fruit and veggies, meats, and organic products. And unfortunately, coupons for those sort of items just don't exist it.

Now, that doesn't mean that I can't find other ways to save my family money. Because afterall, the next high ticket items are the miscellaneous toiletries and paper goods that are a necessity in this household. Such as; toothpaste, toothbrushes, TP, paper towels, shampoo/conditioner, body wash, shaving supplies, and so forth. The list is quite long. Which means the dollar bills add up quickly.

And the great part? I am able to get most of these items for FREE! The next bext thing? $1.00 or less! Well, the next best thing would be 1 penny, but that's hard to find these days :)

So $1.00 for something that originally would cost me 4.50? Please and thank you.

Okay, now enough of all this jibbar jabber from me. What you are all really here for {for those that have stuck around} is to find out how YOU can coupon and get these free items.

I'm not going to go into great big detail about how you do it, as I think I would confuse the bajesus out of you all... but I will give you pointers. Websites. And places to start. Then you, my friend, will have to do additional research. That is, if you are serious about all this.

Where to start?

Buy the Sunday paper. IF. Very important here. IF you plan on buying grocery items. If you don't? I wouldn't waste your time. I am no longer subscribed to mine, and well, that saves me about $50.00 a year. Listen carefully to what I am about to say next.

Buy coupons in bulk. IF, and only IF you plan on buying items in bulk that will last you a while. For me, it's all the toiletry type items. If you do plan on buying groceries with coupons, just be aware of expiration dates. And also coupon policies by your grocery stores, as they have become very strict to limiting you a couple identical coupons.
Where do you buy coupons in bulk? Two places. www.ebay.com  and www.coupondede.com . When do you know where to buy from? Depends. Coupondede is awesome if you want to buy a lot of random coupons. 5 coupons of this, 3 of that, 2 of that, and so forth. There is a limit of $5.00 that you must spend before they will ship coupons. So keep that in mind. Ebay though? Great for a general bulk purchase. Usually comes in a set of 20's. So for instance, I purchased 20 coupons for Tresemme $3.00/2. Paid 1.50 with free shipping. Then I ended up saving $50.00. So 1.50 in order to save $50.00? Steal.

Sometimes though, you are better off buying bulk from www.coupondede.com . Sometimes people overcharge on ebay and will try to charge you $8.00 or more for a bulk of 20 coupons. I always have a rule of 1.99 or less. With free shipping. For 20 coupons.

Next, know the ads ahead of time. This will help you prepare for which coupons to purchase/use. I only shop at CVS and Walgreens {since I don't do grocery items}, but I will list here all the sites that are available to you to find out the ads ahead of time for all stores.

CVS: www.wildforcvs.com, www.iheartcvs.com {will show ads in advance}
Walgreens: www.wildforwags.com, www.iheartwags.com {will show ads in advance}
Grocery+ Drugstores: www.krazycouponlady.com, www.southernsavers.com

CVS: They have an extrabucks program. Extrabucks to me is like cash. I see them as cash because you can spend it on anything in the store. Heres the trick, DON'T spend it on just anything in the store. Use your bucks every week to build on them by using it towards items that will give you more extrabucks backs. Therefore, you are no longer using your own cash to get free items. Initially, on that very first transaction, you may have to spend money. But remember, you get that money right back in bucks! And treat them like cash too. They expire in 1 month!

Also with CVS, I have multiple cards. One for my family, one for my mom, and one for my brother. I see it as I shop for the whole family. Now, I have a CVS on every corner of every street by my house... so I can make 3 stops in 30 minutes and be done with my couponing.

Another key point about couponing, DON'T LET IT TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE. Don't become obsessed. Don't let it take up all your time.

I have now learned to literally take about 30 minutes planning my trips for the week, and about 30-45 during the trip. That means I spend on average about 1 hour to 1.5 hours A WEEK. Total. Couponing.

And end up saving anywhere from $50-100. So? Is 1 hour of my time worth $100.00? The answer is YES.

Common Items you should expect to pay for:
Diapers: $3-4 a pack
Wipes: $Free- $1.00/pack
Toothpaste: free- 50cents
Toothbrush: Free- $1.00
Mouthwash: Free
Shampoo/Conditioner: $1.00
Body wash: Free-$1.50
Toilet Paper: Varies- but about $3.00 for 12 pack
Paper towels: same as TP
Razors: Free- $2.00 {valued at 12-16 shavers}
Nailpolish: Free- $1.00
Lip products: Free- $1.00

How do you do this? Use your coupons in combination with the deals at CVS/Walgreens! For instance, nail polish was on sale for $5.00 a piece. Each one you get $3.00 back in Extra Care bucks. Which brings it down to 2 dollars. Then combine that with a 2 dollar off coupon. You get nailpolish for FREE! This is often offered on Revlon nailpolish at CVS. OFTEN friends.

So there goes my coupon post. All kind of mumbled jumbled together. Again, this isn't the post that is going to make you an expert by any means. Just a start. An idea. A glimpse of what you CAN do. And like I said, does not mean you need to spend lots of time doing it. And I no longer have to go through the newspaper and clip coupons. All that is done for me by the coupon service/ebay.

Easy enough? I hope so! And the little high you get when you come home? So worth it.

Okay. Time for me to go climb into the hole of embarrassment. There you have it. I'm a dork.

16 comments:

  1. Couponing is amazing! I love getting deals. We too don't do so many of the grocery items, because we have been eating differently too, but for toiletries oh heck yes I coupon.
    Myranda
    www.prettylivingpdx.com

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  2. I love coupons! I also post my Commissary trips (for military) and I have found that other military wives love them! People who don't use coupons are just crazy ;)

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  3. We coupon as well - even my husband has gotten into it a little bit :) I use them for groceries, but only for the stuff I would buy anyway (cheese, pasta, etc). It's tough to be a hardcore couponer and eat healthy! We're all about the paper goods/toiletries for cheap though. I love those same sites, especially wildforwags and wildforcvs - soooo helpful!!

    http://young-southern.blogspot.com/

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  4. No, No, No ...you are NO dork! I just would like to go with you some time .... let me know if we can arrange that! :)

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  5. Man, its really too bad this kind of thing doesnt work in Canada!
    We arent allowed to use coupons to get smoething FREE unless the coupon is specifically for a free item. Its also against the law to coupon stack and most places here don't even accept printed coupons, which sucks.

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  6. I coupon a little and love the looks I get when I walk away with freebies :)

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  7. You are not a dork! This is so helpful and good to know. I'll take any advice on saving money!

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  8. I didn't think I could love you any more but then I saw this post! I'm the same way... I coupon for the household / toiletry items... we stay away from the processed / packaged foods so those coupons don't do much for us. The savings add up and it's SUPER helpful to pick up these items for free. My favorite? When a shampoo / conditioner / toothbrush is on clearance at CVS and I have a coupon. Seriously? Makes my whole day.

    Wow, I just geeked out in this comment. Sorry!

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  9. I didn't know coupons could be Ordered/bought online!! Thanks for the tips!!

    (and you are not a dork!! This post was SO helpful!!) 😃

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  10. Thank you so much for posting this i am wanting to start but just don't even know where..now i have better idea thank you!

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  11. ahhh that is SO cool! i really wish I could learn to do this! it just seems so confusing to me! and nothing is better than free haha! XO

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  12. I love it too! Love that you still coupon! It's amazing to see what we can get for free/cheap! Especially diapers and baby stuff!

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  13. theres no shame in couponing, I dont understand why more people dont use them. ITS FREE MONEY PEOPLE!!! lol

    but hey thanks for this post I didnt even think about buyer coupons on ebay, and that made me think about selling coupons on ebay and I totally just made $15 off of coupons I wasnt going to use! score!

    thanks again
    the sweet life of a southern wife

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  14. You are not a dork! I love couponing. And what is dorky about saving money?! I can hardly go in to buy anything now without thinking how much I would save with a coupon. I've been doing it now for almost 2 years. It is hard to keep a balance between time spent and money saved but it does get easier and faster the more you do it!

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  15. Thank you so much for doing this post! You make it MUCH easier to understand!!!

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  16. Thanks for sharing these tips. I have kind of given up the idea of couponing because, like you, we don't benefit from any of the grocery ones since they aren't for things we buy. For whatever reason, it never occurred to me to do it for just the other items. I'm going to give this a try! :)

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