Being married to an Actuary I've never been much for using coupons. I'm so used to hearing, "Babe just because it's on sale, doesn't mean your actually saving money" that it I became anti-newspaper coupons. In my experience the coupons that come in ones local paper are usually for over-priced, over-processed products, that one has to buy multiples of to actually save. However, with all the buzz on facebook about the TV show "Extreme Couponing" (Which I have never seen) I made an "impulse" newspaper purchase at Starbucks this morning, and boy am I glad I did.
That one newspaper saved me, wait for it, $66.37! If your anything like Robert (my actuary husband) you're probably wondering, "How much did you spend to save $66?", wait for it, only $112. Totally cool, right?
So how did I do it? With a lot of organization, a little bit of math and some major will-power. Seriously, I really wanted to save $11 on four Dove product. To me $11 seems like a lot to save, but to me $6.50 seemed like I lot to spend on something I just didn't need. Making my first tip to amateur couponing
1. Learn When To Say No--Sometimes you just don't need to spend to save.
Before I went out to use my coupons, I looked at all the sales ads to see what stores would offer me additional saving. It took a bit of planning, a little extra time, but well worth the extra savings. Making tip number two
2. Get Organized--Look through the sales ads, will Walgreens or CVS offer you the best deal on that $2 off coupon.
And finally bust out those old math skills and maximize your coupon power. I found I saved a lot of extra money by doing some basic math to compare how much I would save with both a coupon and say a CVS Buck. It took a pen and paper and a little brain power, but it definitely helped in increasing my overall savings. Making my final tip
3. Do The Math--Make sure to add in all savings opportunity, i.e. Walgreen rewards and CVS Bucks.
Now comes the fun part what did I get with all those coupons?
At CVS I bought: Pantine shampoo and conditioner, men and women's Speed Stick, and two bottle of Whisk laundry soap for only $13.67 (savings of $21.79)!
At Walgreens I bought: Four Pringles, two Twizzler candies (roadtrip snacks), two Colgate toothpaste, two Reach toothbrushes, two packages Stay-free and a four pack of Duracell batteries for only $13.46 (savings of $25.41)
At HEB I bought: A weeks worth of groceries for only $74.79 (saving $19.17)
Since I still think most the "food" coupons in the newspaper are for over-priced, over-processed foods, I don't imagine to ever save too much shopping for groceries, but it's nice to know when I need something--I probably can save some money on it!
I'm by no means a coupon expert, but I'd love to have some more Extreme Couponing fun--So tell me your couponing tips?