I have in the past been skeptical about coupons. I would use them if I had an exceptionally good one, or if I remembered to grab it on the way to the store. Then, a couple of years ago Andrew had the paper delivered and I realized that I could use a few coupons to save a couple of dollars. I would eagerly look through the Sunday paper and pull out the ones I thought I would use (most of which I never actually did use). When we moved we stopped our paper delivery and thus my coupon use stopped. But over the last few weeks I have stumbled across a few websites that offer the ins and outs of couponing, deal finding, and freebies/samples. I have been impressed and inspired.
Wait now, does that mean I am now crazy giant stack of coupon lady who buys everything that I have a coupon for even if I don’t need it or ever use it? NO! I have found this new coupon use to be time consuming and brain numbing. But what I truly find crazy are the people who stop at 4 different stores every day of the week to make sure that they are getting the best of every deal. My time is worth so much more to me!
That being said, there is definitely some money to be saved, and fun to be had. I have found lots of freebies and samples and it is fun to get a pack of gum in the mail or a small can of paint. I have also gotten free photo books, hair color, full size shampoo, magazines, chips, yogurt…. prescription eyeglasses!!!
So I decided to get semi-serious about the couponing. Try it out, see if I like it and if it is worth it. Throughout the week I collected coupons, planned my meals according to the sales and learned tricks from other fellow $$ savers. Wednesday I put it into action and stopped at two stores (Rainbow and Target which are right next to each other). I spent $207 and saved $72!!!! That’s a lot of money people! I am definitely a beginner and you will read way better success stories from others but this is me taking just a couple of hours to prepare and then a couple more to shop.
I also have fallen in love with websites that offer a “deal of the day”. Many services and major products are sold at 50% off (sometimes less, sometimes more) and it is a great way to help your family get the opportunity to do things you wouldn’t normally have in your budget.
If you look on the right hand side of my blog you will see several categories of links. I have added a new category called “Money Savers” and have linked up a bunch of blogs and sites that offer a ton of help with finding deals. Most all of the blogs have Facebook pages as well that run like little communities with everyone helping each other with questions and keeping updated on the latest finds.
A few of my favorites to get you started:
The last one there is based in the Twin Cities, MN area for all you locals. Let me know if you have any sites that you think should be added to my sidebar, or any super saver tips!