Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Couponing... back in the saddle

My Couponing Helper...
Wasn't she tiny?
I'm getting back into couponing again.

If you've been here for a long, long time, you may remember the days when I was obsessed with couponing.  It was back when Mae was teeny tiny and we lived in California.  I would clip coupons for hours, make a list, check it twice and then head to the store.

I would have a near heart attack as the cashier rang up between $200 and $600 worth of items... and then I would slowly relax as coupon after coupon actually worked and the number would dwindle down to a hundred... and then fifty and then forty... stopping usually around the twenty range.  Then I'd muscle a giant cart out to the car and triumphantly haul it into the house (here's an example of a trip that I blogged about).

Before we left California I donated about 75% of my couponing stockpile.  We kept the rest and haven't bought toothpaste or shampoo or deodorant or most cleaning supplies in about three years.  But lately when I open the door to the bathroom closet I've noticed that our ridiculous toothpaste supply is dwindling and all the free razors are gone.

So I sent Paul to get four Sunday papers these past two weekends and have been steadily clipping while Sadie is working on her handwriting during the mornings.  I'm not sure how possible it would be if Mae wasn't in therapy and Patrick wasn't my good little morning napper, but right now the timing is perfect.  I also check in at sites like Hip2Save.com a few times a day to see if there are any high value coupons, since those can disappear quickly.

Always ready to help!
It seems like I'm at a stage again where it at least seems possible to be organized enough to make it work.  This weekend I gave it my first try and saved about  25% off of our grocery bill, which isn't quite as impressive as my old couponing days, but which wasn't bad since I only had one week of coupons with me, and I only bought stuff I would have gotten anyways.

When I really couponing I "bought" (brought home) plenty of stuff we don't normally use, because it was either free or a money maker (when a coupon is over so you actually make money using it), knowing that we could donate it or give it to someone we know who would use it.
Paul used to joke that couponing was basically like my job, but I'm hoping by being super organized this time around it won't be quite so time consuming.  We shall see!

So, if you're interested in couponing, I'll probably be posting about it a couple times a month from now on.  I start by buying four newspapers every Sunday and once I have about a months worth clipped the fun really begins!

And if you have any couponing sites that you love I would love to hear about them!


  1. I'll be interested to see what your experience is with couponing! I tried it for a while, but found that I didn't save all that much. Most of the food I buy is staples: meat, cheese, flour, sugar, fruits and veggies, and so on, and coupons aren't usually issued for those. I might get some ideas from your posts, though--looking forward to them!

  2. Food is definitely the toughest because there aren't as many coupons for that. I have found that Target is offering coupons and discounts (they have a thing called cartwheel where you can choose something like 10 sales and print out a barcode) on things like eggs.

    My biggest savings, where things are free are almost always in things like household items or cleaning supplies or toiletries.

  3. Couponing in Canada is very different. There's no doubling or tripling. They dont come in every paper and when they do its on Saturdays. Most people ad match which is what I recommend if you are starting out even in the states. At least in the states you can find cheese or eggs or bread coupons (however rare). Ive only come across some milk ones but for organic which wouldn't save me money here in Canada.

  4. I've never lived anyplace where stores double or triple either! I'm so jealous of people who do!

  5. I don't use coupons too much any more because I don't subscribe to the newspaper, but I do go to hotcouponworld.com to use the coupon database. You can type in the name of a product to see if there's a coupon for it. It shows you which coupon book the coupon came out in (smart source, redplum, PG) and what date. If there's a printable coupon it will also let you know. I mostly use printables if I do use coupons at all!

  6. I know in Cali its rare but there are stores in Michigan that double. http://couponing.about.com/od/groceryzone/qt/dblcps_mi.htm

    Not sure about your area but you can always call and ask for the stores coupon policy as many dont post online. And there are bloggers who match up store ads with coupons to save you tons. They usually know about double and triple coupons.

    Target will also take both store and manufacturer coupons and ad matches. If that helps.

  7. I usually do use the online guides, but the only mention I've seen of doubling here is when we moved here there were signs telling us stores weren't doubling anymore. I felt like I'd just missed it!

    Florida was the worst though! Couponing there was what made me give it up for a while.

  8. I'll definitely have to search around a bit more though! Because if we have stores near us who do it that would be great!

  9. I don't know if they've expanded that far north yet, but HEB has lots of in store coupons for several things (around two dozen) that includes fresh food. I've seem buy one get one on meats and get two lbs of bananas free with vannila wafers and ice cream purchase.


I love comments and I read every single comment that comes in (and I try to respond when the little ones aren't distracting me to the point that it's impossible!). Please show kindness to each other and our family in the comment box. After all, we're all real people on the other side of the screen!