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View Full Version : Pamela & Kelleigh - - Let's dish



ccouch
01-24-2010, 02:00 AM
So, I'm very curious about this whole couponing thing. I understand the principles behind it, and have read some of the info blogs that you've linked up before. What I don't understand is how you figure out all the deals. Do you have site(s) that you frequent so you know what's on sale & where to find a coupon that you'll need? Do you just get your sales papers and then go in search of coupons that'll work with what's on sale? Tell us how you do it, pretty please. :flowers:

You gals have really inspired me and I want to give this a go. It seems so crazy how much we're spending in groceries although I consider myself to be rather thrifty.

Many thanks for whatever help you're able to give us :D

donnawells
01-24-2010, 03:49 AM
Christine, you could also check out the blog of a friend of mine, Debbie Hill (http://debsobsessed.blogspot.com/). She became really into couponing and saving etc. etc. and seems to be doing a great job working the system!

jacinda
01-24-2010, 04:18 AM
Couponing doesn't work in New Zealand. Would be great if it did though - my grocery bill is always huge.

ShabbyShaz
01-24-2010, 08:49 AM
No coupons here either I am afraid. Kelleigh is the queen of couponing here. You might like to check out her blog too.

kelleighr
01-24-2010, 11:12 AM
Heavens, no, we don't do this all by ourselves! There are a ton of coupon blogs out there written by women who do all the work for us. They even link up the coupons to use so we can print them off! They tell us exactly how much we will be paying at the register, etc.

The bottom line is that you wait for a sale, THEN you use manufacturers coupons and store coupons (at the same time) to stock up on something at rock bottom prices.

I purchase 4 Sunday papers a week (although I've been slacking lately) for the coupon inserts: Smartsource, Redplum, P&G. Sometimes, if I know we are going to my in-laws, I will only buy 3 and ask my MIL for hers. My Sunday only costs .99, so it's no biggie. You could always ask neighbors for theirs, but I haven't worked up the courage yet.

PLUS, I print internet printable coupons. AND, keep my eye out for coupons at the store, AND load my grocery store club card with ecoupons. Many stores do ecoupons. You should go online to your store's site to see if they participate in Cellfire or Shortcuts. (Safeway and affiliates do!)

My favorite coupon sites right now (sorta can't coupon without them):


The Krazy Coupon Lady (http://www.thekrazycouponlady.com/) - They have a 10 Days to Become a KCL (http://thekrazycouponlady.com/10-days-to-become-a-krazy-coupon-lady-day-1/) series that is awesome! They taught me everything, and they post the grocery store deals.
Money Saving Mom (http://www.moneysavingmom.com/) - posts the deals, plus has some awesome, inspirational stories about their financial journey. They just finished saving 100% of a down payment for their first home! (She's migrating her site to WordPress today, so click back later if you can't get in right away.)
Hip to Save (http://hip2save.com/) - sometimes cheesy, doesn't usually post the grocery store deals, but always lets us know about the freebies we can snag. She is the reason I saved 50% on toys at Target in December. (Hello?)
Really, though, you want to find a coupon blog that is local to you and tells you about stores in your area. For me, that would be Frugal Living NW (http://www.frugallivingnw.com/). I live in Oregon, and these gals post deals for the Oregon, SW Washington area.

There is a gal who is just starting up a Frugal Map which will list all of the coupon blogs by state. It should be up to date soon! (She just launched it last week, I think.) http://thefrugalmap.bargainbriana.com/

The reason you want to find a local blog is because they will list stores in your area (duh) AND you can read the comments to see what other locals are saying about specific stores. Maybe a certain store is all out of the .10 pancake mix, so you don't need to bother going to that one, etc.

kelleighr
01-24-2010, 11:27 AM
Some of you will say, "But there are never coupons for what I buy!" That's what I used to think, too. PLUS, I thought that the coupons were only for junk. What I've discovered is that those inserts sneak in healthy coupons, too! If you don't like the junk coupons, give them away or become a "coupon fairy" by leaving them next to the item at the store!

Here is a list of the things I will never pay for again or won't pay more than .25 for:


disposable razors
toothbrushes
shampoo, conditioner and styling aids (although sometimes I rotate with stuff I paid money for)
boxed cereal (my spending limit is .50 - and that's for Kashi!)
granola bars - Nature Valley (and the nut clusters)
Hunts tomato sauce
cake mix, brownie mix, cookie mix, frosting
Nabisco crackers (Wheat Thins/Triscuts, etc)
Progresso Soup (which I never bought before couponing)
Pancake mix
canned green beans
canned corn
frozen veggies (green beans, peas, mixes, etc)

There's probably a ton more, but you get my point.

By saving money on these things, I can afford to spend money on more fresh produce and natural/whole foods. (And, there ARE coupons for those, but do you really need them? Good grief. You're spending 98 for a head of lettuce. That's not going to break the bank.)

I'm getting Kraft Cheese for free today! Hee, hee! STOCK UP time!

kelleighr
01-24-2010, 11:35 AM
Oh, and just a tip - I never used to buy brand names (Green Giant, Yoplait, etc). I always bought the store brand, thinking I was saving money. What I have learned is that the national brands (those with the coupons in the inserts) go on sale MUCH more frequently than the store brands, and when you hit a sale + coupons you can get those national brands for a LOT less than store brands.

One day, I was standing in front of the Cream of Mushroom soup at Walmart. I was looking at the Campbells, which was on sale (without coupons) for .48 a can. Good price, no matter who you are. The lady next to me stood there for a minute or so and then reached for the Walmart brand, which was 78 a can. SAME thing, except she didn't even consider Campbells because she thought it would be too expensive.

For the record, I had a coupon (and there were a ton of them out in November!). I bought 4 cans of Cream of Mushroom/Chicken for $1. Hee, hee! STOCK UP time!!

neenee
01-24-2010, 12:31 PM
I am a mad crazy lady today so I don't have a lot of time to post but, wanted to pop in and say that like, Kelleigh, I am a coupon diva! I have been using The Grocery Game http://www.thegrocerygame.com for 4 1/2 years now and love it! It has saved us so much money! It is not a free service, it is like $25.00 per quarter for me to get 3 store shopping lists for my area. I have HEB (grocery store), Walgreens and CVS. They offer lists for just about every area in the US (I think).

We will never pay full price for groceries and/or toiletries and cleaning products again! When I do *happen* to run out of something and have to buy it full price....it hurts! Seriously!

And....the founder of The Grocery Game just happens to be fixing to appear on The Food Network this weekend. Hopefully you haven't missed it! This will tell you lots more about the couponing game.

Watch Teri on Food Network's "Unwrapped"!
January 23rd, 24th and 25th.
Check your local station for time.

twentytinytoes
01-24-2010, 01:05 PM
OOooh this is interesting. If you would have asked my last month how much we spent on groceries in a given month I would have thought maybe 500-600 but the other day I went through and actually added it up and was SHOCKED to see that in 1 month, 30 days we spent 1,041.93 And we didn't even really buy anything major or anything that we don't normally buy.

ccouch
01-24-2010, 01:22 PM
Thanks for the links, girls!
I am going to DVR the Unwrapped episode. Seems like I signed up for a trial w/ The Grocery Game a few years ago, but ended up canceling it.

I read through your blog, Kelleigh (and Pamela), and noticed that you shopped alot at Safeway. I didn't know what that was until I googled and discovered that another store here, Randall's, is in that same company...or something like that. It looks like I'll be able to get alot of the same deals. I visited Saving with Shellie (http://www.savingwithshellie.com/) last night and printed a bunch of coupons. I'm going to head out in just a bit and I'll report back :D

cherpea
01-24-2010, 02:15 PM
Dang I wish coupons happened here in NZ but sadly they don't and our grocery bill a month is $1200NZD (about 850 USD) to prove it... and thats just with the four of us! I hate grocery shopping as a result!

donnawells
01-24-2010, 02:16 PM
The Money Saving Mom link isn't working. I found a fan page on Facebook but the link to the main site isn't working from there either. Must have a glitch in a server or something. But anyway, there IS a FB fan page and there might be others that have fan pages.

sinead
01-24-2010, 04:16 PM
I'm looking at Kelleigh's list and thinking I have to get serious about this. I played with it a bit, but need to get serious!!! WOW!

kelleighr
01-24-2010, 08:30 PM
The Money Saving Mom link isn't working. I found a fan page on Facebook but the link to the main site isn't working from there either. Must have a glitch in a server or something. But anyway, there IS a FB fan page and there might be others that have fan pages.


She's migrating her site to WordPress today, so it's probably down because of that! Keep checking back!! Crystal is the reason my blog gets so many hits! I :heart: her!

ccouch
01-24-2010, 09:59 PM
ooooh, this is going to be ADDICTING!!
Here were my super-great deals today:
Honey Nut Cheerios - 50 cents a box, 2 boxes
Lever 2000 soap - free (will donate cause we don't use this kind)
Quaker Instant Oatmeal - free
Annie's Mac & Cheese boxes - free, 2 boxes
Dove deodorant - 2 for 5.50, then got $2 cash rewards
which I spent on Scott 6 pack paper towels - $1.49 after coupons and cash rewards applied.

WOO HOO! I also got several things on sale, but these were the super-great deals.
We've been spending about $700-800 a month on groceries, and I'm hoping to shop smarter, plan better and cut this in half.

donnawells
01-24-2010, 10:03 PM
Good job, Christine! I agree that it's addicting.

kelleighr
01-24-2010, 10:31 PM
ooooh, this is going to be ADDICTING!!
Here were my super-great deals today:
Honey Nut Cheerios - 50 cents a box, 2 boxes
Lever 2000 soap - free (will donate cause we don't use this kind)
Quaker Instant Oatmeal - free
Annie's Mac & Cheese boxes - free, 2 boxes
Dove deodorant - 2 for 5.50, then got $2 cash rewards
which I spent on Scott 6 pack paper towels - $1.49 after coupons and cash rewards applied.

WOO HOO! I also got several things on sale, but these were the super-great deals.
We've been spending about $700-800 a month on groceries, and I'm hoping to shop smarter, plan better and cut this in half.

Woot!! Awesome job! Don't be surprised if you find yourself posing your groceries for photos! My husband doesn't even flinch anymore. It's crazy addicting to coupon!

AND, did you see my current grocery budget? $200 a month for a family of 4!! :giggle: Pretty amazing, huh?!

melwilson
01-24-2010, 11:07 PM
AND, did you see my current grocery budget? $200 a month for a family of 4!! :giggle: Pretty amazing, huh?!

WOW! I just went and printed myself some coupons...I think I might try, too!

sinead
01-24-2010, 11:28 PM
Dang, Kelleigh, that's probably what we spend for a week!

Do you go to several places, though? I don't know if I have time for all that...there aren't enough hours in the day as it is. lol

mzkellyb
01-24-2010, 11:30 PM
I've been wanting to try this for a while, and I really need to start soon. I have a friend who has just started to clip coupons (I've been using coupons since I was married, habit from my mom, just not utilizing the savings as I could have been) so I'm hoping to try out Von's (our Safeway) with her. Hoping to get into a habit of going to 2-3 stores at a time with her to keep me company and keep me motivated. lol

kelleighr
01-25-2010, 12:29 AM
I love that so many of you are excited about trying couponing!! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!!

Sinead, when I first started, I used to go to a couple of different stores. Walmart (not a super) and Safeway are in my small town, so they are the ones I frequent the most. Albertsons and Fred Meyer are about 20 minutes away, so I rarely shop there. However, today I picked up 17 bags of shredded cheese (which freeze nicely) for . . . uh . . . about -$2.00 (as in I made $$). I drove 20 minutes to take advantage of THAT deal. You better believe it. Mostly, though, I shop at Safeway (which is Randalls, Vons, Kroger, Dominicks, etc.).

When I first started couponing, I set our budget (since we didn't actually have a budget before then) at $400 a month. Since couponing, I've realized how much money I can save, and that the extra money was being spent on junk.

See this post to get the low down on that: http://kelleighratzlaff.com/2009/11/i-might-be-the-coupon-queen/
This post tells you how I did the first month: http://kelleighratzlaff.com/2009/12/a-grocery-budget-update-and-shoppin-safeway-again/
We use the cash system so we don't overspend:
http://kelleighratzlaff.com/2009/12/free-envelope-template-and-a-tutorial/

Hope some of that helps!

sinead
01-25-2010, 01:01 AM
Thanks, Kelleigh! I'm in the process of using your envelopes to make a little folder (like Sung made) to organize my coupons and my regular shopping list. I have broken down my list into store aisles/areas, and I'm going to have a laminated list "page" (with a checkbox so that I can put a check in if I have a coupon!) and then an envelope right behind it with that aisle's coupons. In my head, it's going to be awesome--we'll see how it all turns out! lol Once I get that all set up, I'll go read that Krazy Coupon Lady site. hehehe Anything that I can do to reduce my grocery budget will help me meet my budget every month, and that'll be awesome! :D

kelleighr
01-25-2010, 11:25 AM
Sinead, before you put a lot of time into making a teeny-tiny coupon organizer, check out my binder. If you are going to get crazy, you'll want a big binder.

I just cleaned it out yesterday, so it's not very fat right now! The yellow binder is leftover from my teaching days!

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab123/tdcteam/Kelleigh/binder1.jpg
http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab123/tdcteam/Kelleigh/binder2.jpg
http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab123/tdcteam/Kelleigh/binder3.jpg

If you want to get a handle on your budget, I highly recommend spending cash on your groceries. Make up 4 envelopes, one for each week, and put your budgeted amount in there. Be aware of what you are spending, and only spend what is in the envelope for that week. Try not to borrow from other weeks. Try it for a month and adjust your budget (up or down) as necessary! It's amazing how your mindset changes when you pay with cash!!

Pamela Donnis
01-25-2010, 11:49 AM
Ok, well didn't get on the computer yesterday and looks like I missed all the fun!!
Ditto everything Kelleigh said.

We are spending $200 a month for our family of 5 on groceries AND toiletries. And I have SOOOOOO much more food in my pantry and freezer than I did when I was spending $400+ a month. And we eat healthy too. My husband is diabetic, so we have to.

My blog is still under construction, but I'm trying to put a lot more about couponing and then actually cooking WITH those coupons. www.pameladonnis.com (http://www.pameladonnis.com)

Pamela Donnis
01-25-2010, 11:51 AM
My coupon binder looks like Kelleigh's. And YES, you will collect them quickly, so I'd say start with a binder.

Pamela Donnis
01-25-2010, 11:54 AM
I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO jealous of Kelleigh's cheese deal. I live in a small town with only Walmart, Kroger and CVS. So I have to miss out on a lot of the great deals that are going on at other stores, but still, I do get some great scores, and am able to keep our groceries to about $200 a month. Yay, more spending money!! LOL. Actually, more $ to pay off debt, but whatever.

Pamela Donnis
01-25-2010, 11:54 AM
Oh, and if you haven't noticed already, Kelleigh and I are ADDICTED. Its soooo fun!

ccouch
01-25-2010, 02:13 PM
I went to Walgreen's today (fully equipped w/ coupons & tips!).

3 packs of huggies supreme: on sale & with coupon - 6.99 each
total w/ tax - about 23.00
PLUS - $5.00 cash back in register rewards

next purchase:
Chex Mix - sale price + coupon 50 cents each (x4)
CoffeeMate creamer - sale price + coupon = 49 cents each (x4)
dozen eggs - 99 cents each (x2)
used $5 cash back & paid 92 cents oop (out of pocket)

so....all that for $24. woo hoo!!

The sweet, friendly cashier at the cosmetics counter told me always to come to her. She didn't mind at all doing multiple transactions and would help me anytime. :D Score!!

kelleighr
01-25-2010, 02:20 PM
Eeek! Pictures!! We need evidence!

sinead
01-25-2010, 02:29 PM
but I want my pretty book... ;) lol
hehehe I hear ya, though!

ccouch
01-25-2010, 03:25 PM
Eeek! Pictures!! We need evidence!

oops! Eggs were used to make Camille's birthday cake already & the Huggies are currently on Lily :giggle:

cherpea
01-25-2010, 03:48 PM
Christine you could always take a photo of Lily's butt and the cake.... hee hee

Pamela Donnis
01-25-2010, 04:32 PM
YEAH Christine!! Wooohoo! LOVE the diaper deals as I buy way too many of those.

sinead
01-25-2010, 05:04 PM
Do diapers work out cheaper if you buy them at these sales than at Sam's/Costco/BJ's? I figured out our per diaper cost at Sam's...need to look at that again.

ccouch
01-25-2010, 05:41 PM
Let's see with the sale & the $5 cash back, the Huggies Supreme were 22 cents each. Not bad :D

cherpea
01-25-2010, 07:28 PM
Sinead what I found with the girlies when they were in nappies that sometimes the "cheap store brand" didn't work out so cheap when the girls wet through them, wetting clothes, sheets, blankets, beds etc...

so I found some that I knew were good and kept getting those when ever I saw them on sale and made sure that friends who were working in town would ring and ask if I needed any if they saw them at a good price... was cheaper in the long run...

NOT so time expensive...

I am so envious of you all who have like a $200 (us) grocery bill per month... which with the exchange rate only works out to be about $300 NZ... does this include all your meat, veg, milk etc though?

kelleighr
01-25-2010, 07:50 PM
Cheryl, for me the $200 a month is for all groceries (meat, veggies, milk and more) plus all home and personal care products (cleaning supplies, shampoo, etc.). This is definitely NOT the norm, though. The typical household spends $600-$800 a month. We're just weird, and we LOVE it!

sinead
01-25-2010, 11:51 PM
Cheryl, I agree about the diapers. I only use Huggies or Pampers (depending on the price and which hiney I'm covering...different butt shapes require different diapers around here. lol) and not the store brands because I haven't been happy with their quality.

Pamela Donnis
01-26-2010, 05:44 PM
My $200 includes all food and toiletries. I have a separate budget for diapers since I have to buy so dang many (2 in diapers and one in a nighttime Pullup). We also have another category for eating out, but this is usually only once a week or less. But, like Kelleigh said, that's not normal for most families. In fact, before I started couponing I was easily spending $350-400 a month on groceries and didn't have nearly as much food as I have now.

Pamela Donnis
01-26-2010, 05:54 PM
And to answer the diaper question, I used to always buy generic brand because they were cheaper. Even with a coupon name brand isn't always less. The trick is waiting for them to go on sale (which they do, typically every 6-8 weeks), then swoop in with your coupons and stock up on enough to last you until the next sale.

In December I spent about $75 on diapers. (We usually allot $50 a month.) I bought 10 packages of Huggies, using a coupon for each package. But then I submitted a rebate (which got me $7.50 back) and I also bought enough to qualify for a deal that Rite Aid was doing that month which earned me a $20 gift card as well as a coupon for a free package of Huggies. So using that coupon (which should come in the mail any time now), that gives me 11 packages of Huggies diapers for $47.50, which works out to be just over $4.30 a package. Generic brand diapers (with the same number of diapers in the pkg) would be $7+ each. So, I feel like I got a good deal. And I still have several packages left for next month (although I will swoop on diaper deals when I find them because I anticipate needing them for quite a while still!)

sinead
01-26-2010, 06:07 PM
That sounds like a good plan, Pam, and it makes sense. I've got 3 in dipes, as well, as Maggie had to go back into nighttime pullups again because she was having accidents and I'd rather buy those than wash sheets and comforters EVERY day. I wish Katie would hurry up and potty train; soon, I hope. ;)

mzkellyb
01-26-2010, 06:18 PM
I'm heading to Von's (our Safeway) and Ralph's today after I get the kids from school. I'm hoping that my math is right and I'll spend less than $20. I'm not getting much, but it's the last day of this weeks sales and I'm going have have all 3 kiddos with me so I didn't want to push it. lol

hauntedonecat
01-26-2010, 08:48 PM
I just started this past weekend! I've got lots more learning and investigating to do, but so far am thrilled! Anyone in the suburbs of Chicago, Jill Cataldo of SuperCouponing is our local coupon diva :D

mzkellyb
01-26-2010, 09:35 PM
I'm not sure if I figured out the pricing wrong or what, but I spent just under $30. lol But not too bad considering at the 2nd store there were 3 impulse purchases because the other store was out of their cereal so they needed something for breakfast. Poor kids had little in the breakfast dept this morning. At Von's the receipt said I saved 63% and I know I saved at least 50% at Ralphs so even though it wasn't little to nothing, it was still cheaper.

sinead
01-27-2010, 01:59 AM
Is Aldi worth driving 27 miles (about 35 min) to shop there? That's where our closest is...

hauntedonecat
01-27-2010, 02:05 AM
I think so----they've changed a lot over the last 2 years--around here they still can't be beat price wise on dairy products and canned goods. They've really expanded the meat department and have a much larger variety now.

nativescrapper
01-28-2010, 06:53 PM
I thought I would try this today. Look for coupons and try it out this weekend. But I have a problem or a question. Will the stores take the coupon if the coupons are a little poorly printed. My inks decided to give up after printing one page. You can read it and all but the the color photo is no longer color and its just a little faded...you think they will still take them??? Mostly food stuff to buy from Walmart.

kelleighr
01-28-2010, 08:00 PM
I thought I would try this today. Look for coupons and try it out this weekend. But I have a problem or a question. Will the stores take the coupon if the coupons are a little poorly printed. My inks decided to give up after printing one page. You can read it and all but the the color photo is no longer color and its just a little faded...you think they will still take them??? Mostly food stuff to buy from Walmart.


As long as they scan, you should be fine! Most couponers recommend printing on fast draft in B&W anyway!

kelleighr
02-19-2010, 04:12 PM
I'm writing up an article on couponing right now. Have any of you really gotten into it since we talked back in January?

MariKoegelenberg
02-19-2010, 04:47 PM
I did one trip and I spent $ 52 and saved $ 57 lol. But I have not had time yet...my coupons just keep piling up!

heathert
02-19-2010, 05:37 PM
I don't usually buy enough brand stuff to make it worthwhile, I don't think... Plus it's 26 miles to the nearest big grocery store (Fred Meyer), so I don't get out very often. However, I'm super-psyched that Trader Joe's just opened up shop in Corvallis (only about 1.5 hours away *lol*)

nativescrapper
02-19-2010, 06:23 PM
I tried it the first time at the end of January. I saved $17.00. I was so happy about it. Then I did some for printing from the internet and also got the Sunday paper. I saved $78.00 a couple weeks ago and last week I saved $7.00. So Im using it still. But I wish I could get bigger coupons...lol.

nativescrapper
02-19-2010, 06:24 PM
I was also going to ask this question. Are you allowed to use 2 coupons for one item? I never tried it at the store but I thought I would give it a try next week.

heathert
02-19-2010, 06:36 PM
It often mentions on the coupons if it's only supposed to be for one product, or once per purchase, or whatever...

ccouch
02-19-2010, 06:47 PM
Some stores will "stack" coupons, and actually take more than one coupon for a single product. For example, at Walgreen's you can use a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on one product. I think the Krazy Coupon Lady site that Kelleigh listed has some of these pointers :D

Charla
02-21-2010, 11:21 AM
Kelleigh (and Pam?), do you want a challenge?? I'd really like do to this, but every time I read your solutions, there are a million problems that still show up for me. But I want to give this a try for the next week or so (more if I see any success at all, I'm sure :giggle:) I really want to see if this works for us. :D

Here's what a grocery trip looked like last month.
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/berekah_44/DSC_1688.jpg
It cost $205 :blush: which is more than usual. A usual trip averages $150.
You can see that we do buy some processed foods (though when Hudson gets past this separation anxiety period, we can drop the silly frozen pizzas).
We get organic:
milk, eggs, cereals, fruits, veggies whenever they sell them (which is most of the time).
Our store doesn't usually reduce meat's prices when they almost expire, and never sell breads or dairy when it's expiring.
We don't buy at the store:
toothpaste, deodorant, or most cleaners (get them from Melaleuca and/or make them with vinegar at home).
We just plain don't buy:
anything by Campbell's, cookies, boxed meals, Ramen, most yogurt brands (Stonyfield is okay, and I've just signed up to get their coupons).

Sunday papers here cost $2.25. We used to get the coupons from MIL (or her mom? I'm not sure) and could only keep one or two a week. The rest were things we don't bring in the house.

So where would you start??? I'm open to suggestions, but these are the things I'm up against and the reason I've been reluctant to start.

kelleighr
02-21-2010, 12:28 PM
Well, for starters, those DiGiorno pizzas can be purchased for about $2.00-$2.50 w/ coupons. I see Welches (totally a coupon item), Organic Valley milk (coupons: http://www.organicvalley.coop/coupons/), McCormick - there are coupons around the holidays, but I buy my spices in the bulk section of certain stores for, literally, pennies. Pickles - coupons, Raisin Nut Bran - I got 3 boxes for free once with my coffee - a coupon thing. I can't tell what is in the middle, but I think I see jam (which I make myself) and are those tomatoes? Totally a coupon food.

We can DEFINITELY work with this. What store do you shop at? And, what state do you live in?

And, have you asked the butcher about marked down meats? My store puts them out Wednesday mornings and they are usually gone by noon, so you might be missing them. Marked down yogurt is VERY hard to find at my store because there are so many people grabbing them before I can! LOL!

Someone above had a question about stacking coupons. Yes, you can stack a store coupon with a manufacturer's coupon, and if your store doubles, you can double the manufacturer's coupon, AND if your store has a club card, you can use e-coupons. All on the SAME item. One per purchase means one manufacturers coupon per item. So, if I have 4 cans of tomatoes, I can use 4 manufacturer's coupons (plus 4 store coupons and 4 e coupons, etc - you get it?).

KyRainbow
02-21-2010, 12:49 PM
This is soo something I want to get into, but I get so lost, and I don't really know where to look. Our town doesn't have a Sunday paper, and the ads, which come out on Wednesday, don't have coupons in them. It's really intimidating to figure out how to get started.

kelleighr
02-21-2010, 12:55 PM
Something else to consider: Sometimes it is worth it to buy the food that you wouldn't normally buy (and donate it) so that you can get the coupon overage to pay for the food you DO buy. Check out these blog posts to see what I mean:

http://kelleighratzlaff.com/couponing/getting-my-groceries-for-free/
I bought some canned soup (even though I typically make my own) and used the overage to pay for the items I needed, like veggies and milk.

http://kelleighratzlaff.com/life/i-love-free-groceries/
My hubby will only wear Alloy Deodorant, but I "bought" 8 Right Guards for free, and "made" $1 each time.

gonewiththewind
02-21-2010, 12:58 PM
Kelleigh ~ just hands down ~ you are my coupon idol. You are such a sweetie to share all these tips! Thanks!

kelleighr
02-21-2010, 01:00 PM
This is soo something I want to get into, but I get so lost, and I don't really know where to look. Our town doesn't have a Sunday paper, and the ads, which come out on Wednesday, don't have coupons in them. It's really intimidating to figure out how to get started.


Our ads come out on Wednesday, too, so I just run into the store and pick up an ad. I don't buy Wednesday papers!! What store do you shop at, Sally?

And, Charla, The Krazy Coupon Lady has some really fun ideas for getting your inserts for free. Obviously, you can ask your friends and family for theirs, or you can ask at coffee shops and restaurants if you can recycle their papers and pull the inserts, or you can dumpster dive (http://thekrazycouponlady.com/2010/02/dumpster-diving-101-how-to-dumpster-dive-for-coupons.html)! (Our Sundays only cost .99, so I buy mine! LOL!)

Charla
02-21-2010, 01:44 PM
This is awesome! Thanks! I'll read through your comments more closely in a little bit, but I'm really excited that you already saw ways to save without us changing the way we buy!!
:dance:

I live in NY and shop (exclusively) at Wegmans (if you lived here you'd understand why :wub:) Tops, the only competitor, is LOUSY!! We do our shopping Tuesday nights :) I'll have to ask about the discounted meat when we're there next time :good:
I don't think our bulk section has spices, but I'll look into it. 95% of the bulk section is sweets :hey:

Charla
02-21-2010, 02:20 PM
Kelleigh, I'm really excited about this!!

:disco:

KyRainbow
02-21-2010, 02:40 PM
Kelleigh, I shop mostly at Kroger or WalMart. We only have 3 grocery stores here, the other being a locally owned Food Giant that is ridiculously expensive. But we do have Walgreen's, CVS, and Rite Aid, though I rarely think about "grocery" shopping there, kwim?

mzkellyb
02-21-2010, 03:06 PM
I've been trying hard to try to match up coupons with the sales, but I find that the prices here at our Wal-Mart (went to two actually) aren't the same as KCL posts for the match-ups on her blog. Sometimes it's still worth it so I grab it. I know prices vary by region, but I go in with my list & coupons all ready to grab everything and it's not such a great deal. lol I did make a good impression on DH though Fri. night when I drug him to Von's (Safeway) and even though we grabbed 4 2L's that I wasn't planning on buying we still spent less than $10. We saved about 57% I think according to the receipt, he was happy. lol

I do find though that I'm going to have to start waking up super early or suck it up and get the paper delivered on Fri, Sat & Sun to get the coupon inserts (I saw no option for Sun only delivery) - I went last Sun and there were papers in the machine, but not one of them had coupons in them - someone had cleaned them out. Very disappointing.

kelleighr
02-21-2010, 04:36 PM
Aw, that's terrible, Kelly! How irritating!

I buy my Sunday papers at Walmart, and sometimes they even have them on Monday mornings. Some papers have an early edition that you can pick up Saturday night, too. I'd buy them at the grocery store or other store to avoid the stolen ads problem.

Sally, Pam shops at Kroger!! You should make sure you are subscribed to her blog to see where she gets her match-ups!

Kelly, you are doing great!! I don't typically do many Walmart deals, either. Mostly because our Walmart has an inky-dinky food section that isn't the best quality stuff.

I've never heard of Wegmans, Charla. I'll have to look into it!

nclauri
02-21-2010, 07:17 PM
Okay, I am just starting. I spent several hours yesterday on the internet printing coupons. We do not live in a big city so the coupons and store choices are limited. We went to the military commissary, which tends to be cheaper and saved $26.50 on groceries. We still bought what we wanted, but we did change brands to match coupons. The commissary also has a lot of coupons on the shelves. My husband was happy. Neither one of us are shoppers. So I fell this was a good start.

kelleighr
02-21-2010, 07:27 PM
Wahoo!! That's awesome!! http://hip2save.com/ shops at the commissary! You should check her out! She even did a You Tube video of a trip!


Okay, I am just starting. I spent several hours yesterday on the internet printing coupons. We do not live in a big city so the coupons and store choices are limited. We went to the military commissary, which tends to be cheaper and saved $26.50 on groceries. We still bought what we wanted, but we did change brands to match coupons. The commissary also has a lot of coupons on the shelves. My husband was happy. Neither one of us are shoppers. So I fell this was a good start.

Charla
02-21-2010, 09:27 PM
Kelleigh, this (http://www.wegmans.com/) is Wegmans :wub:

scrapping simply
02-22-2010, 01:17 PM
This is SO AWESOME!!!!
I happened to find the Money Saving Mom blog around Christmastime, and decided I'd follow what she does that fits our families needs. I tracked what I saved in coupons/rebates in the month of January, and WOW!!!! We saved $106! The ones that I remember the most were getting free milk, and 2 free OLAY Quench lotions, and Pantene products for $1! It's becoming a game to see how what the next deal is that I can buy.

Going to have to follow your (Kelleigh, and Pamela) blogs!!!
Thanks so much for ALL the tips - looking forward to saving more :)

Charla
02-22-2010, 01:26 PM
I have to tell you...I'm SO excited! I found out on one of the sites I've been looking at this morning that Target is giving a $10 gift card when you buy 2 boxes of diapers. (Kelleigh, they don't restrict coupons for sales like that, do they??) As long as they don't, I have a manufacturer's coupon AND two coupons from the store! So I'll get $13.75 off the cost of 2 boxes of the awesome diapers!!! That's WAY cheaper than generic :good: :dance:

I'm signing up left and right for newsletters, which is very hard for me to do because I hate filling my inbox. But if I know it's going to save us lots of money, I'm okay with it :D And DH is fine with me sending lots of emails with links to coupons he needs to print!!

kelleighr
02-22-2010, 01:30 PM
Charla, what site did you find?

Charla
02-22-2010, 01:35 PM
uh, I'll have to go back and look. I have about 20 coupon-related sites open right now :giggle:

Yeah, I don't know where I got it from now, but someone mentioned Target having a sale on diapers and I don't know where that was now! But their site (http://weeklyad.target.com/target/default.aspx?action=entryflash&ref=sc_iw_wa_r_4_1_1) agrees with me :D

Charla
02-22-2010, 01:41 PM
oh wait. even using the three coupons AND the $10 gift card, their generic ones are on sale and cheaper per diaper. (.11695 per diaper versus .1819 per diaper)
:cry:
I don't know how much they are at Wegmans, though...they're not in the flyer and their site doesn't give a price. But should I just get the generics on sale???

kelleighr
02-22-2010, 01:43 PM
Yeah, I was gonna say . . . that's not a great deal! I haven't seen any huge diaper deals this week. Last week or the week before were pretty big, though. If I see anything, I'll try to remember to link you up!

sinead
02-22-2010, 01:44 PM
There's a deal on diapers.com right now, too...check that out, too. You can mail in your coupons, too, so they'll count. I have to work out which would be a better deal for me. ;)

sinead
02-22-2010, 01:46 PM
I think that the best deals I've gotten on diapers lately have been at CVS, though there's a sale at Publix (or was last week...I can't remember).

Charla
02-22-2010, 02:16 PM
of course, since we don't have any Publix and very few CVSs!!

sinead
02-22-2010, 02:46 PM
Do you have Walgreens and Rite Aid? You can get those same kinds of deals there, too...
Seriously, though, check out the diapers.com thing. RIght now they have $10 off and free shipping for new customers, plus you can send in your regular coupons, too.

Charla
02-22-2010, 03:01 PM
I looked...two of my coupons are for Target, and the third is for the Cruisers. Their Cruisers are $10 more than Target's base price, so it would cost a lot more. And the cheaper ones are still more per diaper than Target's Cruisers OR Target's generics!
I'll keep an eye out for more sales there, though. Thanks for the heads-up!

Charla
02-22-2010, 03:02 PM
Yeah, we do have both of those (two rite-aids in a block. What the heck??) I'll have to look at both flyers. :good:

Dalis
02-22-2010, 06:07 PM
I need to do this, I am just very overwhelmed by all the steps that seem to happen before I can save money.

sinead
02-22-2010, 06:49 PM
and Charla, find out if Wegman's will accept competitor coupons. Publix does, so I can use Target coupons there.

Charla
02-23-2010, 04:33 PM
I don't think they do, Sinead. When Tops (the big competitor here) does triple coupon weeks, Wegmans does them too (at least that's what I think is going on :blush:) but I don't think they accept competitor's coupons. I'll look into it for sure, though.

Charla
02-23-2010, 04:34 PM
And Dalis, I'm so right there with you. There's just so much out there that you need to get figured out first!

kelleighr
02-23-2010, 04:49 PM
Step #1 - Take out cash for your groceries. Separate it out into 4 piles. Stuff 4 envelopes. Only spend what is in ONE envelope for the week.

Probably the most helpful tip I can give you, whether you use coupons or not!

sinead
02-23-2010, 07:01 PM
That's what I need to do for eating out, Kelleigh. The cash thing is hard for us because we use credit cards with rewards, etc., but I KNOW that it would help me get back on the budget. I've done better this month, but I'm still over (though not nearly as far over as I have been in recent months).

scrapping simply
02-23-2010, 07:12 PM
Could someone help me understand how to get double and triple value out of the coupons? Is this a certain sale that a store will have or do certain stores do it all the time?
I understand that the more coupon inserts you have the more products you can buy with several coupons, buy how do you get one coupon doubled and tripled?
THANKS! :)

kelleighr
02-23-2010, 07:45 PM
Sinead, we used to use credit cards for the rewards, too. Now, our reward is not having a huge bill to pay every month!

Amanda, some stores will double coupons. You should ask at your store.

Another thing you can do is add e-coupons to your club card (if your store does this). Check out your store's website for information on this stuff.

THEN, you can use a store coupon (like, specifically a Safeway coupon or Krogers or whatever) and a Manufacturer's coupon, and an e-coupon (which is invisible and the checker doesn't even know about it) and even a doubler, if the store does this. THAT is how you get lots of $$ off a single item. PLUS, if you have 2 of the same e-coupons on a card, it will sometimes take off both e-coupon amounts!

scrapping simply
02-23-2010, 10:35 PM
Sinead, we used to use credit cards for the rewards, too. Now, our reward is not having a huge bill to pay every month!

Amanda, some stores will double coupons. You should ask at your store.

Another thing you can do is add e-coupons to your club card (if your store does this). Check out your store's website for information on this stuff.

THEN, you can use a store coupon (like, specifically a Safeway coupon or Krogers or whatever) and a Manufacturer's coupon, and an e-coupon (which is invisible and the checker doesn't even know about it) and even a doubler, if the store does this. THAT is how you get lots of $$ off a single item. PLUS, if you have 2 of the same e-coupons on a card, it will sometimes take off both e-coupon amounts!

THANKS, Kelleigh! I'll check with my stores :)

Charla
02-23-2010, 10:47 PM
Just did a little research on our store:



~One manufacturers' coupon and Shoppers Club discount or store coupon may be redeemed on the same item. The combination of a manufacturers' coupon and a Shoppers Club discount/store coupon may not exceed the retail price.
~Only FOUR(4) manufacturers' coupons can be doubled on FOUR(4) of the same brand product per day. Additional coupons for the same brand product will be redeemed at face value.
~We do not accept manufacturers' coupons for free products downloaded from the Internet.

Pamela Donnis
02-24-2010, 06:03 PM
I'm SOOO your girl! I shop almost exusively at Kroger for groceries, but I'll go to Walmart occassionally. And Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens need to become your best friend for things like shampoo, deodorant, tampons/pads, cleaners, toothpaste, toothbrushes, batteries, diapers/wipes, makeup, laundry detergent, dishwashing soaps, and lots more.


Kelleigh, I shop mostly at Kroger or WalMart. We only have 3 grocery stores here, the other being a locally owned Food Giant that is ridiculously expensive. But we do have Walgreen's, CVS, and Rite Aid, though I rarely think about "grocery" shopping there, kwim?

Pamela Donnis
02-24-2010, 06:09 PM
This is good news Charla! Do you know what value they double to? For example, my Kroger doubles coupons up to $0.50, but some stores do $1.00.


Just did a little research on our store:

Charla
02-24-2010, 09:33 PM
They double up to $.99 :) I'm guessing a lot of stores (at least around here) do that, because almost all of our coupons seem to be for $1 for 3. :hey:

Pamela Donnis
02-25-2010, 09:19 AM
I will try to get a post written in the next couple of days about how to get coupons. I don't have any great paper deals like Kelleigh where I live, so I get them, ahem, other ways :).

And Charla, there are LOTS of printables available. That's awesome that they'll double up to $0.99. And I found this little article (http://www.mnn.com/food/markets-groceries/blogs/find-coupons-for-organic-products) about ways to get organic coupons.

Pamela Donnis
02-25-2010, 09:54 AM
Before I started couponing I thought this too. I almost always grabbed the generic brand because it was cheaper. But now that I have learned more about coupons I've realized that MANY times the name brand is the cheaper one, sometimes by a LOT. Kelleigh has a good soup example in her article she wrote for The Daily Digi (http://thedailydigi.com/un-digi-couponing-101-without-the-junkfood/comment-page-1/). Typically, our goal is to use coupons to get the name brand for cheaper than the generic.

What grocery stores do you have close? A lot of times the "big" stores aren't the best. I get much better deals at my local grocer than I do at a big store, Walmart for example.


I don't usually buy enough brand stuff to make it worthwhile, I don't think... Plus it's 26 miles to the nearest big grocery store (Fred Meyer), so I don't get out very often. However, I'm super-psyched that Trader Joe's just opened up shop in Corvallis (only about 1.5 hours away *lol*)

Charla
02-25-2010, 09:54 AM
Yay! Thanks! Yeah, I can't justify paying that price for our paper (especially when I refuse to read their slanted articles :giggle:) so I'm thrilled to hear that!! And yay for coupons that will actually double :dance:

Pamela Donnis
02-25-2010, 10:16 AM
I'm ALWAYS up for a good challenge! I know Kelleigh already addressed some of these things, but yes, I can see you EASILY cutting your bill by half. And in my opinion it's okay to splurge on the things you really want (like organic produce) if you are saving so much more in other areas.

We do eat pretty healthy around here most of the time, although sometimes my shopping trips have a lot of boxed or processed foods. Like Kelleigh said, they can be good for overage. Plus, it's hard for me to pass up things when they are completely FREE with my coupons, so a lot of times I'll get them (and support my local store at the same time), but then I donate what I don't use. There are LOTS of people struggling these days that would probably be grateful for the boxed mixes or whatever. Same for toiletries. If you don't use a certain brand of deodorant or lotion or whatever, but you can get it for FREE, you could always donate it to a homeless shelter, or make up a basket for a college student, or something like that. I'll post some examples on my blog in the next couple of days.

Another thing, I do buy boxed mixes or prepared foods like Rice a Roni when I can get it SUPER cheap, but I'll choose the wild rice blend and then use it in my regular recipes. We don't eat those kinds of sides by themselves very often.

There are lots of ways to get creative with couponing and save a ton of money.


Kelleigh (and Pam?), do you want a challenge?? I'd really like do to this, but every time I read your solutions, there are a million problems that still show up for me. But I want to give this a try for the next week or so (more if I see any success at all, I'm sure :giggle:) I really want to see if this works for us. :D

Here's what a grocery trip looked like last month.
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/berekah_44/DSC_1688.jpg
It cost $205 :blush: which is more than usual. A usual trip averages $150.
You can see that we do buy some processed foods (though when Hudson gets past this separation anxiety period, we can drop the silly frozen pizzas).
We get organic:
milk, eggs, cereals, fruits, veggies whenever they sell them (which is most of the time).
Our store doesn't usually reduce meat's prices when they almost expire, and never sell breads or dairy when it's expiring.
We don't buy at the store:
toothpaste, deodorant, or most cleaners (get them from Melaleuca and/or make them with vinegar at home).
We just plain don't buy:
anything by Campbell's, cookies, boxed meals, Ramen, most yogurt brands (Stonyfield is okay, and I've just signed up to get their coupons).

Sunday papers here cost $2.25. We used to get the coupons from MIL (or her mom? I'm not sure) and could only keep one or two a week. The rest were things we don't bring in the house.

So where would you start??? I'm open to suggestions, but these are the things I'm up against and the reason I've been reluctant to start.

kelleighr
02-25-2010, 10:29 AM
Heather, Fred Meyer has a wonderful, huge organic section, and they have some awesome coupon deals. I got all of my free cheese (http://kelleighratzlaff.com/life/the-story-of-the-free-cheese/) from Fred Meyer. I would be THRILLED to have one close by!! (Not that 26 miles is close, though! Yeah, I'd definitely find a closer store!)

Charla
02-25-2010, 11:21 AM
I can see doing them if they're free and donating them! Can't do overage at Wegmans, but can get to 0! :giggle: I think Rice roni is just plain out (yup, see the monosodium glutamate AND autolyzed yeast extract :hey: (http://www.zeer.com/Food-Products/Rice-A-Roni-Chicken-Flavor-Rice/000006716)), but I'm okay with occasional other things that he can eat!

Charla
02-25-2010, 12:22 PM
I just blogged (http://tinyurl.com/ygbhqw6) about why I'm faithful to Wegmans :giggle:

Pamela Donnis
02-25-2010, 03:43 PM
Another idea is to go directly to the company (if you are brand faithful) and ask for coupons. More details here (http://www.forthemommas.com/coupon-alert/coupons-by-mail-part-2#more-23801).

vivie
02-26-2010, 01:47 AM
I used to coupon a ton when I lived in michigan...too bad they don't do that here in Europe!! I've had to learn how to shop for groceries differently here! SIGH!!!

SunshineTK
03-02-2010, 01:55 PM
While we were moving (pretty much all of January and February) I got out of the couponing swing, but I'm back in it now! My little brag for today - went to Target and scored!
Total retail = $60.27
Paid = $16.23
Total saved = $44.04 or 73%

My best deal? 2 Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower cleaner refills (yes, I really use the stuff) @$4.14 ea or $8.28
- $1.50/2 manufacturer Q
- $1.50/2 Target Q
B1G1 free manufacturer Q ($4.14)
= $1.14 or 57c each! WOO HOO!

Also ended up with 4 boxes of Kashi cereal, 5 boxes of Kashi granola bars and a whole bunch of other stuff!