Couponing Mythbusters

Some of you know that I’m cheap frugal (it’s the new politically correct term-ha!). I love deals and coupons make me do a happy dance! No, we don’t financially ‘need’ to, but it’s fun to go to a store and walk out with 3 bags of stuff having spent .07 or .09! Seriously, yesterday the clerk had to adjust one of my coupons down or the store would have owed me money! I’m telling you, it’s addicting!

Now, I am not one of those people that will only buy items if I have a coupon for it. I try to be reasonable and we get what we need. But, I do try to take note of the items that we use on a regular basis and get those items on sale/with coupon if possible. Also, I don’t drive all over town for each and every deal–not even close. I have about 3-4 stores that I frequent on a regular basis (with or without coupons) and those are the stores I combine sales with coupons. As long as I’m there, I may as well pick up the deals! If I miss a deal, no biggie. Sometimes, it’s just not worth the trouble of driving to a specific store or dragging my 1 yr old out of the house to save a few dollars.

Believe it or not, I’ve gotten some flack for using coupons/saving money. I find this very strange that someone would critique another for saving money, but hey, each to their own. I think some of the ideas that people have about couponing are misguided. Here’s some of what I’ve encountered:

Couponers actually spend more money…I suppose that could be true if the couponer isn’t paying attention and buys just to get a good deal on something that they don’t normally use or want to try. Frankly, if it’s an item that I’m getting paid to take, getting free, or only paying a few pennies for, I’ll take it and if I’m not going to try it, I’ll donate it to someone who wants it. Otherwise, I don’t get it as I think it’s wasteful and someone else who can use it may come along and get a good deal on it. In that case, if I have a coupon, I’ll probably leave the coupon by the product so someone else can take advantage of the deal.

Couponers only get wierd stuff. Um, sometimes!! LOL! My lips are plumping from a new product I got free as I write this-I’m not kidding. (Do I look any better?? Maybe a little more Angelina-like??! Ha!) Again, if I want to try it or my hubby agrees to try it, I’ll get it if it’s free or a few pennies; otherwise, it stays on the shelf. (If you can catch my hubby, ask him about the espresso energy drinks I’ve gotten for him for free. You have to catch him first though!) The other thing is that I’ve tried new things and really liked them! (Isn’t that what manufacturers are wanting??!) No, typically, I still won’t go buy it full price afterward though. I’m aware that sales/coupons typically run in 12 wk cycles, so I’ll wait until the deal comes around again unless it’s a necessity or something we really want.

I don’t have time. Really?! For me, it only takes about a half hour or so a wk to match up the coupons with the store ads (with help from a few websites) and I save TONS of money. It is totally worth it to me. I honestly get ‘paid’ quite a bit for that half hour of time.

You only get the strange or generic brands. Actually, this is totally untrue. I don’t use many generic brands. Maybe I’m a brand snob in some ways, but I’m picky about diapers, toilet paper, kleenex, detergent, shampoo/conditioner, etc. In the end, I can get the name brands that I love cheaper than the generics anyway, so why go with a generic?

What do I do with all the items? Um, use them! Just kidding. I stockpile so when I need an item, it’s here and I don’t have to go out at the last minute and pay full price for it. I have enough shampoo to last about 6 months or more, toilet paper for a few months, hand soap, laundry detergent, dishwasher tabs, etc, that I got paid to take, was free, or which I paid very little.

I had my father build shelves for me to put the items on in our basement. I rotate out the items so the older ones gets used first just like a store does. I have to say it is really nice to be able to put together a recipe and have all the ingredients without always having to run to the store (not that this doesn’t happen ever, but it’s less frequent).

Also, my family LOVES it as when they come, I typically have a big bag for them filled with the items that I know they like that I got for free or very cheap. It’s fun to see them dig through the bag(s)! And, I use some of it for presents if I know the person will like/use the items. We donate items too. There are food pantries and other places that can always use extra toiletries and it feels good to be able to give them away.

Here’s one of the deals I did combining sales and coupons at Cub Foods this week. I got all this:

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for $4.22 and I’ll get a free DVD from buying the Corn Flakes!

Yes, that’s 5 boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, 3 Ken’s Salad Dressings, 2 grapefruits, & 1 gallon of milk. I saved $19.36 on this transaction which is 82%. And, I received .02 off per gallon of gas at Holiday for our next visit there.

That is the beauty of couponing! I’ll be sharing more deals and how I did them as we go along. In the meantime, use those coupons!!

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One thought on “Couponing Mythbusters

  1. You’re a smart lady!

    My parents always had a pantry in their basement in Michigan, right alongside their upright freezer. They’d buy a side of beef and freeze it. They’d buy both frozen and non-perishable food items in multiples when they were on sale. They canned some veggies, jellies and jams.

    Their frugal habits came from Depression-era shortages when certain food staples could only be obtained with government coupons. In my mind, the new frugal trend is just a return to older, smarter ways.

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