Basics for Beginners: I visited my sister this week, and she was a self-proclaimed “abysmal failure” in the world of couponing. So, she asked me to help her this week. Here’s what happened in her words:
I am definitely proof that anyone can coupon. Unlike my sister, I do not have a photographic memory. I can’t add/subtract or multiply to save my life. I definitely gravitated towards the more creative artsy side, whereas my sister was always the practical one. So, I’d tried to read the blog and felt like a total failure. I’d get up to the counter, the cashier would ring me up and I’d either a) stand there like a moron and forget to GIVE her the coupons, or b) have gotten all the wrong things and the coupons didn’t match. I was also totally baffled by how in the world my sister could post these amazing things – like saving 80% or more on groceries. So, here’s a testimony from a total space cadet that is now convinced, I can actually coupon, do it well, and what method works for those of us on the more creative side of life :).
MYTH: I can do as well as what my sister posts at the beginning of my foray into couponing.
FACT: I can only do this well after several months of stocking up coupons and faithfully printing off the coupons she references (check out the side bar for some of these).
MYTH: All drugstores have the same prices.
FACT: Apparently I am extremely poor living among people who are WAY too wealthy for their own good. When my sister’s Walgreens in Winston-Salem has GoodNites go on clearance, they and most of the country mark them down to $2. MY Walgreen’s marks them down to $9. BIG DIFFERENCE. Even my CVS was a few cents higher in price in some things than my sister’s.
MYTH: All I have to do is walk into the drugstore and look for the little hanging signs that say rebate, sale, Extra Care Bucks, etc.
FACT: My store owners are morons. I have to pick up a sales paper at the front of the store because most of the time they haven’t hung the little signs. Now that I KNOW this – I won’t spend forever walking up and down the rows hunting for little hanging signs.
This is the part I’m REALLY, REALLY excited about! My sister walked me through the first couple of stores, and then, at the end, she hung back and I took the lead. And (now, remember we were using her coupons for a lot of it). We went to CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Lowe’s Foods, Harris Teeter, and Walmart (which she will post about soon). We SHOULD have spent – $344.52. We ACTUALLY SPENT $51.76. THAT’S A SAVINGS OF OVER 85%%%%%%%!!!!!!!!!!! WOW! I did it!!! Check out our picture! (This is actually only part of what we bought. Remember my space cadetness – I left a lot in the refrigerator and on the counter.)
WHAT METHOD I’M GOING TO USE AND WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND FOR THOSE A LITTLE LESS ORGANIZED THAN MY AMAZING SIS:
1. I have 3 children – a 2 year old, and 1 year old twins. First, I’m no longer going to try to do this with 3 children with me. Period. Maybe one store here and there. Nope, not going to happen. They hate me by the end. And I don’t really like being with them at that point. So, for the sake of our relationship – I’ll be going solo.
2. While I’m at HOME, I’m going to print out my little list from her site, highlight the ones I’m getting, and put my coupons in an envelope and only carry that into a store.
3. If my store owners are pandering to the way too wealthy – that doesn’t mean I’m going to buy that item. I like the cheap side of life a lot better. So…when it’s marked up at my store, I’m either going to question it – or (novel concept) NOT buy it. And with my little list – I’ll know what it was supposed to be :).
4. I’m going to store up on the free stuff.
5. I realized my sister doesn’t buy every great deal on the list every week. She only buys the stuff her family eats and the cheapest stuff and waits on the rest. So…that’s what I’m going to do too.
SO…I’m TOTALLY sold on couponing. You can do it too!