Monday, March 22, 2010

Friends are the best!

I wanted to blog about my friend, mentor, Esther Philips. Esther was my youth leader when I was a teenager in high school. She and I hung out at her husbands parents house and ate fudge in the green house that her in-laws owned and sold plants from. She and her husband, Bob taught me a lot about the Bible, life and corny jokes. :) Esther and her husband were co-leaders with Jay and Kathy Stephenson. I love them so much too.

After I graduated from youth group and became an adult myself, my youth leaders became my good friends that I went to for advice or just friendship. I love them a lot of I always hold them close in my thoughts and prayers.

Esther recently got into couponing and saving her family money every week with her savvy shopping skills. She would post about it on her face book page and that got me thinking about trying this myself. I asked her how she did it and she gave me a TON of advice. I read over her advice but got frustrated when I went to the store with a few coupons in hand and realized I no longer get double coupons where I live and that the stuff on my list were still too expensive after the coupons. I didn't think about it again until recently. I have another friend who also loves to use coupons and she told me about hip2save. I realized that there are more ways than one to learn something. The Internet is a wonderful tool if you use it right. I re-read what my Friend Esther wrote to me and then I went to YouTube and watched videos on couponing and I learned so much that I was excited about going shopping and could not wait to see how much I could save. That shopping day was a few posts down and I think I have gotten progressively better every week. The hip2save site has a cute series of videos called "follow Me Monday" and that is where I realized that "Oh my, I can watch videos on this stuff too!" You see, I am a visual learner as well as a hands-on learner. I need both. I can read something but them I need to do it and watch it being done before it clicks sometimes. I was a 4.0 GPA student in nursing school but I give a lot of credit to my professors who taught us visually as well as tactically. (I did, of course study really hard too.)

Anyway, I wanted to say that my friends have really supported me in a lot of things in my life and I am so thankful for them. My friend Esther wants to start a business giving live seminars on how to do the coupon game and win big at it. I think she will do a wonderful job!!

One thing that Esther taught me that really helped me to start out right that first week I did well, was that I should not go into the store with a list made out of what I have chosen to eat that week. I need to first look at and study the fliers and see what is on sale, gather coupons for only things on sale and then plan my menu around that. When I was planning a menu first I was limiting myself. I find it much easier to plan my shopping now if I wait to plan a menu till last. :)

You do not need a store that doubles coupons to do well at this 'game'. It is fun to see how much you can get for so little every week. I think while so many people have been suffering a little financially, this is a wonderful thing to learn. I was never really a thrifty person. Drives my husband a little batty. My husband now waits for me to tell him what I have saved every week and I think he may even be a little proud of me. ;P

My Publix shopping today!

I wanted to post this photo real quick of what I got today at Publix! My bill would have been $130 at full price but after sales and coupons I paid oop (out of pocket) only $53!! I saved $77. The cashier was excited to announce it loudly to me. It was very funny. :)

I am not sure if you can see here but I have 8 boxes of Arm & Hammer tooth paste that normally sells here for $2.99 a box and I got them for $.25 a box. I also got 2 packages of New England Coffee at a BOGO so I paid $2.75 a bag. I went to CVS before Publix and got a couple tubes of tooth paste, free. I also paid $3.97 for a couple jumbo packs of Pampers diapers, each! Not bad. :)

While I was in CVS I saw a girl at the front of the store going through her binder of coupons. I was standing in line waiting so I decided to tap her on the shoulder and tell her that I was excited that I was not the only one who walks into this CVS with her binder of coupons ready to snag lots of deals. She thought it was great. :) I think I made a new Friend, but, I never got her name. Oh well, next time. ;P

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I love CVS!

This was from my trip to Target. I got the hand soaps free as well as the 8 bottles of shampoo. Getting the cereal got me a $5 target gift card to use on anything in the store. Total for trip was $16 but the cashier was sick and did not ring in all my coupons. I did catch $2 of it and the customer service man gave that to me so only $14 spent out of pocket but if I paid closer attention it would have been only $12. I caught another $2 mistake after I was in the car. Oh well, I learned a lesson. Pay attention when cashier is ringing in the coupons. :)

My CVS trip. The powered toothbrushes cost about eight dollars and change each and the manuals were a little over $4. The total for the trip came to $46 but I only paid $4 for all of it. :)

I am not sure I will ever have to pay for toothbrushes or toothpaste or even deodorant for that matter, ever again!! I paid $16 for $40 worth of items @ target. Yay. Then, at Publix, I spent $51 for about $96 worth of groceries. Not too bad. I think I could have done better though.

I can't wait to see what is in the Red Plum and the Smart Source tomorrow. :) Every week I have gotten coupons for a free item in the paper inserts. Last week it was that new no-sugar sweetener called Ideal. I got 4 boxes, FREE. The week before it was Marcal products and the week before that it was Greek yogurt. Love this couponing!!

GREAT FIND: I found a coupon on the Internet through Hip2Save for Cetaphil. It was a $5/1 coupon. I printed it two times and found the 8 ounce bottle of it for $5.24 at Wal-Mart. I paid $.24 each!! I had never used it before and so I have now started using it and I really LOVE it! My skin is not breaking out at all and it leaves my skin so fresh and clean! I think it smells like my babies shampoo and I love that smell. Very subtle. It does not affect my allergies at all. I think Cetaphil cleanser for the face is a keeper!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Shopping and what I got!!!

Here is a picture of all the groceries I purchased yesterday at Publix. I spent $55 and got $99 worth of groceries. I think that is pretty good. Last week was better. I saved over 60% last week and about 50% this week. I am happy though. My husband loves this. he likes to hear about how much of his hard earned money I didn't spend on shopping days now. :)

My coupon Binder..

Here it is, my coupon binder. I will make a new post with the groceries I bought yesterday and the savings I was able to acheive. :)

I have this binder seperated out into different catagories like baking, meats, fruits and veggies, health and beauty (I have to sub catagorize that one becasue I have way too many different things in there like make-up, tooth paste, shampoos, tooth brushes, meadicines...ect) breads and cereals, snacks... you get the picture. I got some baseball card pockets to house the coupons to keep them organized and to allow me to see them easily. I have dividers to seperate the catagories. My binder is a cloth zippered binder with lots of pockets. I also have a green pencil pouch to hold the coupons I will use for a specific shopping day. That way they are all right there.

I go to 3 different stores so I have my shopping list and the coupons for that specific store paper clipped to the list. I do this 3 times for all three lists.

I love this binder meathod as it allows me to be organised and I can weed through the various coupons so much easier than I did before when all 100+ coupons were in one large envelope. Now, if I see coffee on sale in a store I go to the beverages section of my binder and look for the coffee by flipping through the few pocket pages and it takes me seconds to see what I have on hand.

I keep a pair of scissors, pen, highlighter and a calculator in my binder.

Coupon Binders are the best!!!

I made a coupon binder today. It took my a little while but it is sooo worth it!!! I went shopping tonight and saved $95+!!! I spent about $90 so I saved 50% today. I was a little tired and I know I could have saved more and spent even less if I was feeling better. I have been a little flakey since yesterday. I will take a photo of my binder and post it soon, along with my groceries for tonight and the total savings.

I love my coupon binder so much that I am thinking of putting them together for anyone who wants and NEEDS one. I will add them to my Etsy store when someone orders one and save it there for you. :) You will save so much time and money and they make is so easy to flip through coupons while you are browsing a store. I will sell them at a great price and it will pay for itself with your first visit to the grocery store!!! The savings will add up. It is wonderful!!! If anyone wants one, send me a comment with your email and I will email you about them. you can get a zippered binder or not and it can be any color you choose. I can even make really cute preppy ones!!!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Grocery game!!

I happened apon a website that is called the gorcery game and it is fabulous! It takes all the guess work out of your couponing and shopping lists. It is not expensive compared to what you will save every week. Let us say you save $50 (or more!) a week then that is $200 a month at least. (I know you will save more but I am being conservative) I have 5 stores I am using so that is $10 every 8 weeks for the first store and then $20 for the other 4 every 8 weeks. that is $15 a month plus I am gonna sunscribe to the Sunday paper for about $1 a month so that is $16 a month I pay to save a minimum of $200 a month. How exciting is that!!!?

Please, if you sign up (even for the trial period which is FREE for 4 weeks!!!) use my email as a referral so I can get free weeks. Thanks everyone!!! You will be amazed at how much FUN grocery shopping can and will be once you try this whole coupon thing!!!!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Grocery shopping with coupons!!

Lady Speedstick
2 packs Dentyne gum

Total paid with tax $1.86!
Plus, I got a $1.00 Walgreens coupon to use on anything in store on next visit. So it is like I only paid $.86!
Total saved was $3.77. ( or $4.77 if you count the $1 back coupon I can use next time) I would have paid $5.63 I used store coupons with MFG coupons and store sales.
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2- 24 packs of Zepherhills water.
2 -Arm & Hammer laundry detergent
2- mens Speed Stick Deoderant
1- softsoap body wash with moisturizing beads

Total with tax $15.95!

Saved $22.38! Plus I got $7.00 CVS store coupons to use on anything in store for next purchase. So it is like I only spent $8.95! I used BOGO coupons along with store sales and a $5 CVS coupon from last visit. Total would have been $38.33!

to "Hip2Save"PUBLIX: 4 boxes Cinnamon Toast Crunch 17oz
4- 64 oz bottles Juicy Juice
4- jars Ragu (1lb 10oz) spaghetti sauce
4 boxes of whole wheat spaghetti
Pepperidge Farms Goldfish
2-Aveeno Baby Shampoo
Thermacare neck heat wraps (3 pack)

I Paid $28.93! (Saved $33.89!! Total would have been $62.82) I used mfg coupons along with store coupons and BOGO's. We do not get doubled coupons here and I do have to pay tax but I think I still did pretty good. :)

Hi Ladies!!! I am soo super excited to tell you about something I am learning to do. I have never really used coupons because I found them to be useless. For example, I would find a $1 off coupon and go to the store to get this item and find that it is a $7 item and I only went for that one thing so I would usually walk out empty handed. Well, I found this FABULOUS site Hip2Save and I have been learning so much from Colin, the site creator. She is so fun and witty and knows so much about using coupons. Check out the site and let Colin know what blog sent ya. ;)

I went shopping on Monday this week and I just had to show you all what I got and how much I saved!! I am learning about price matching and combining coupons and stacking and all that great stuff!! I took only a day and looked through the flyer's of Publix, CVS and Walgreens. I went into the stores as well and grabbed the coupon books they have at Walgreens and Publix. (Publix will accept competitors coupons by the way!! Call yours to be sure first but most do.)I also bought a Sunday paper for $1.75 to get the coupons in there. I have pictures on here of what I bought and a description to go along with each of what it would have cost without the coupons and sales and what I actually paid! It was so fun to see how much I could get for as little as possible.

I have to tell everyone that Colin visited a girl named Sarah from Tampa, FL that reads Colin's site and they went to Publix together and got $258 worth of stuff and paid only $3!!! There are 2 videos
you just HAVE to watch. It is amazing! I aim to achieve this someday. :)

OH and I want to give a shout out to Colin @ Hip2save!! Hey Colin. Thank you to her for teaching me all this great information. :)