Couponing in a Busy World (making it worth while)

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I’m about to have a newborn, we’re moving into a new place, I work 40 hrs a week. I want to save at the grocery store, but I don’t have the time, money, or mental capacity to extreme coupon. It seemed so great the first week, now it seems overwhelming and burn out is on the way. So I have narrowed it down to a few sites and a few stores that work for me. I think I’ve gotten it to a place where I can keep up on a regular basis and the time I spend Couponing and shopping is worth my savings. Sure I could get 10 things for $5 after coupons from 3 sites and a rebate from having their rewards program…. But do I actually need those things and do I have the money to front and do I have the time to go do all that this week? If the answer is yes, awesome. If not… I need to step back before I burn out.

When first starting in the world of coupons I highly suggest doing tons of research, try different sites, clip every coupon, shop at six different stores, get loyalty cards, go all out. Then in a week or two step back and evaluate.
Which stores did I actually save on things we use? Which stores were easiest to match coupons and sales? Which sites did I find most useful with repeating information from other sites? We’re the coupons I printed worth the ink and paper? We’re the coupons I clipped worth the price of the Sunday Paper? Was my time well spent or did I miss out on something else I should have been doing? Did I stay within my budget?

Here are some resources I use and enjoyed the advice from. Find what works for you!

Shaw’s Coupon Match Up

Couponing for Beginners

When Things Go On Sale

The Krazy Coupon Lady

In the end I narrowed my shopping down to a few stores. I’m still waiting on BJ’s to see how that goes and if I get a membership. I clip from Sundays Paper (which I get free from my MIL) and print coupons I know I will use from coupon.com. I like CVS best of all the drugstores that have reward cards. I use Shaw’s as my coupon/sales match (they double coupons under $1.00). And Walmart and Save A Lot are my go to stores for cheap everyday basics. I occasionally pick up something on sale at Hannaford and will buy produce at the Farmers Market when in season. It may not seem like a list narrowed down, but I don’t shop at all those places every week. Shaw’s and CVS for weekly coupon deals, then biweekly at the places where my grocery list items are most on sale.

I don’t have it perfected by any means, and I’m sure I will learn and change as I go. For now it works with my budget, family, and lifestyle. No extreme burn out. Savings on things we need. Sounds like a win, win.

Here is a breakdown of my Couponing this past week. Some of the deals were Absolutely amazing, some were ok. I also bought a few things without coupons that are not listed.

Fiora TP 12 pack
Regular $6.99
Sale $4.99
Coupon $1/1
Final price $3.99

Zaterans Rice
Regular $1.69
Sale 10/$10
Coupon $0.50/2
Final Price $0.50

Quakers Chewy Granola bars
Regular $2.99
Sale $1.99
Coupon $1/2
Final price $1.49

Barilla Spaghetti Sauce
Regular $2.79
Coupon $0.75
Final price $1.29

Organic Blue Corn Chips
Sale $1.99
Coupon $1/1
Final price $0.99

Wheat Thins Chips
Regular $3.69
Sale 2/$5
Coupon $1/2
Free 12 pack of soda with purchase of 2 nabisco products
Final price $4 for 2 bags of chips and a 12 pack of soda

Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Regular $2.79
Sale $2.50
Coupon $0.75/1
Final price $1.00

Greek yogurt
Regular $1.25
Sale $1.00
Coupon $1/4
Final price $0.75 each

Yoplait
Regular $0.69
Coupon $1/6
Final price $0.53

Jennied Ground Turkey
Regular $6.28
Sale $3.99
Coupon $0.75/1
Final price $2.79

Fresh cut watermelon
Regular $3.99
Sale $2.99
Coupon $1/1
Final price $1.99

In the end I spent $46.04. Saved $37.88. 42% savings. $11.80 of that was in coupons. It wasn’t great, but every little bit helps. I try not to spend too much time or obsess over it. So for about 20 min worth of work all together I saved almost $40 on our grocery bill.

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