Saturday, April 10, 2010
Doin' the deals
So for the last several weeks I have been following a few different blogs on frugal living and homemaking. I have really enjoyed reading how other women approach different aspects of being a homemaker. Sheesh, what an old fashioned word. It turns out the forgotten art of homemaking is alive and well and anything and everything you might want to know about the new hip homemaker is a just few clicks away. One piece of this that is of particular interest to me is the whole world of couponing.
I used to subscribe and pay for a service which would track store sales and coupons and match them up to generate a weekly "list." But thanks to www.frugallivingnw.com, www.moneysavingmom.com, www.thriftynorthwestmom.com, and www.thriftyandthriving.com I have been able to do some amazing deals the last two weeks. And these awesome ladies do all the tracking for me. And I don't have to pay them. I just follow their blogs and voila, sweet deals on groceries.
Two weeks ago I actually went to a coupon class offered by frugallivingnw.com author Angela. Not only was the class super informative, but she made it fun and doing the deals like a game which helped me be not so intimidated by the information overload of it all. She had great ideas on organizing too, which as you know is right up my alley. She defined the goal of couponing to be to get brand name items either free or significantly cheaper than their generic counterparts. Also, couponing is about stockpiling up on items when they are either free or very inexpensive rather than buying them when you need them at full price.
So here's what I did last week.
I went to Walgreen's and Fred Meyer. At Walgreen's I bought a box of Post Shredded Wheat cereal, an Airwick iMotion Starter Kit, a Reeses peanut butter cup candy, and a pack of Wrigley gum. After store sales and coupons, I spent $0.81.
At Fred Meyer I bought two cans of Cambell's cream of mushroom soup, a box of envelopes, a bag of Halls cough drops, and a 5 pound bag of flour. I spent $3.08.
The grand total for last week was $3.89.
This week I was a bit more adventurous and went to three stores. First I hit up Walgreen's for a box of the new U Kotex panty liners and three 2-packs of the new Pilot Frixion gel pens. After store sales, coupons, and a rebate from Pilot I actually made $3.93. No kidding. They actually paid me to take the stuff home.
Next was Fred Meyer. Right now they are having a deal where if you buy ten of the participating items you can get a free movie ticket, 15 free mp3 downloads, or free ringtones. Knowing Jason is planning a "guys night out," I went for the movie ticket. I bought one box of fruit snacks, 4 bottles of Sobe Life water, 1 box of Snuggle dryer sheets, 2 bags of Kraft shredded cheese, and 2 tubs of Smart Balance butter spread. After store sales and coupons, I spent $11.18 and got one free movie ticket. Lets say a movie ticket is worth about $9, I figure those groceries actually cost me around $2.18.
Last was Safeway. I bought a 46 oz. V8 Frusion, two gallons of milk, a package of Johnsonville brats, one Colgate toothpaste, a bag of fish crackers, one Knorr chicken and rice side kit, and a package of crab. After store sales and coupons I spent $8.53.
The grand total this week for all the stuff in the photo above (minus the crackers and one Sobe which my boys are enjoying while fishing at the park) and the free movie ticket was $15.78.
You might say its a lot of work for not that much in return. For us though, living on one income, we are always trying to make our dollars stretch as far as we can. And for a girl who gave up her lab coat for legos and laundry baskets, this has become a super fun way I can do something to support my husband in providing for our family. So thanks ladies, I'm having a blast doin' the deals!