Well, a few months ago Jared took me up on it. I went to a free class and the girl showed us how to easily organize coupons- which, by the way, is not a lot of clipping- and how to find the deals. I am using the website http://www.grocerysmarts.com/. Basically, you use coupons and buy things that are already on sale so that you are paying cents instead of dollars. I now get 5 copies of the Sunday newspapers so I can get 5 times the good deals. I don't care so much about the news as I do about the coupons.
The class was very exciting and I could not believe how easy it all seemed. Well, I finally had enough coupons this week to give this coupon-shopping thing a try. It definitely seems to have paid off, as evidenced below:
I paid about $14 for all of this, which costs at least $85 to your average shopper. (If you can't tell, that's 6 boxes cereal, 24 rolls TP, 5 packs fancy women's razors, one men's fusion Gillette razor, 1 toothbrush, 1 toothpaste, 1 box bandaids, 1 deoderant, 1 sunburn lotion). I could have gotten at least $36 more of free stuff, but the stores were out of them.
Though I got such great deals, it did come with a price. The price? My time. I spent easily 5-6 hours this week figuring out what I was going to buy and where I was going to buy it. (It shouldn't have taken so long but I am a novice). Then I spent at least another 2-2.5 hours traveling to stores, only to find that all the sale items were sold out. It seems that unless you get there at 4:00 a.m. you're not going to get the free stuff- even if you go on the day they get the shipments in.
I learned my lesson and I'm not going to try and get free stuff all the time. It's just not worth it. I'm going to shop when I shop and if they have the free stuff, great. If not, I'll still get great deals. Plus, I'm making sure to only buy things that my family will actually use, so I'm not going to be one of those people who takes home 85 bottles of free mustard. That's just rediculous.
Is all of this worth it? Probably. I'm sure that this will get easier for me. I really DO want to save money for our family and I'm going to try and make it work. I have a one-year subscription for the newspapers so I'm going to give this discount shopping thing a year's try. Then I'll re-evaluate.
And, I promise, this is not going to become a blog where I just tell you all the great deals I got. I merely wanted to say that I am now trying this new thing and it is taking up all my extra time. That is all.
Happy shopping. (or, stressful shopping, if you're me!)
Funny you should bring this up! I just got invited to a coupoing class next week and I was trying to decide if it was worth my time to go... I can't say I'm willing to spend that much time compiling though. Thanks for sharing your experience.
I tried that for a while....not my thing. But if you spend the time, it's a great part-time job! :-) You get some awesome deals and stuff for free! (toothpaste, cleaning products, toothbrushes, etc.) Good luck! Have you seen that new show Extreme Couponing?
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