Friday, May 1, 2009

Couponing - the first month

Total money we spent in April on groceries:

We budget $300. In case you're not doing the math, that's only 61% of our budget. And I think I can do even better than that next month. In addition, I bought a bunch of items we didn't really need right then, because they were on sale and we were beginning our stockpiling.

This month, I gave the whole "couponing" thing a shot. I didn't really think it was worth it until my friend Tiffany started posting about all the amazing deals and free stuff she was getting doing it, so I decided to give it a try too, not expecting much.

It's been really great, actually. 

Long gone are the days of going to the grocery store and paying $150 or $200 for one trip a month. Now, I go to a few stores a week and spend about $10 each time for a lot more stuff than I was getting for my $10 before. I'm really actually enjoying playing this game!

Sure, the cutting and organizing the coupons is quite a bit of work, but having the blogs and websites we have these days have made it almost effortless to find the right deal with the right coupon.

My favorites are (in order of how much I like them) Southern Savers (for Kroger, CVS, and Walgreens), Couponing 101, (for Tom Thumb, Brookshires, and Albertson's), and Craving the Savings (Sprouts and Market Street). 

Coupon Tom also has a searchable database of coupons, which comes in really handy. 

Southern Savers also has a basic price list of what you should be paying for stuff with coupons (varies some based on region), which has proved very helpful for me!

It's become kind of a game to me now; I got 12 reams of paper for $4 at Staples. I got 12 items at Kroger and was paid $3.66 for it. I've gotten a bunch of free stuff (shaving cream, asprin, etc.) at CVS with their Extra Care Bucks (ECB) program. The only downside is kicking myself when I pay too much for something.

Give it a shot! You just might like it!


Abigail Hutchinson said...

Oh man you are doing soooooo great! I wish I could find a site to help out w/ our dang grocery store, but we only have HEB a small chain only in like Texas...They are getting much better w/ the whole coupon thing though!
Keep on savin girl! Ya'll might just be able to take a little vacation from all your savings! hehe!
Have a great weekend!

Courtney and the Boys said...

Oh, girl, you had me at "couponing." I started a few months ago and I consider myself a failure if I don't save at least 55% on my grocery bill. I saved 70% a couple of weeks ago. Plus, being organized like that makes it a WHOLE lot easier to breeze through the grocery store with two little rascals tagging along. :) You go girl!

Tiffany said...

Oh, you've put me to shame! I didn't even track how much I spent in April, but I plan to do so in May.

How many meals per week do you eat at home on that budget?