Archives for category: Coupons

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P.S. And I PROMISE to get up pictures and details of the recent Strawberry-Palooza over here. Freezer jam and strawberry-rhubarb pie!

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First off, I must say the week after being sick is probably one of the best ones. Mainly because after spending a week on the couch sleeping and barely moving and feeling utterly unproductive you have a week with sudden new found “energy” (although still not up to par, it’s far above last week!). I feel so accomplished already :).

Especially after my Walgreens shopping trip. The first reason being is I walked there. I’m blessed to live in an area where a lot of what we need is within walking distance. I’ve been carefully considering where I drive to and what I can feasibly walk to with gas prices on the rise. I thought Walgreens was a lot farther than it was, so I was a little hesitant to walk there, but I’m glad I did – it only took ten minutes! Totally worth the exercise and less gas use!

And the second reason is that I SAVED (56.4%!) – (I know, not as impressive as some of the crazy couponers, but I think I did well considering what I got!)

The first -most amazing deal was the Dove deodorant. Walgreens was having it on sale for $1.99, and I had a coupon for $2 off one and $1.50 off of two. I would have just gotten the one for free, but this happens to be the only deodorant I can use, so stocking up (for about 83 cents each!) made sense.

The Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom was on sale for 89 cents each. Not an amazing steal, but good nonetheless. It’s an easy go-to staple for us when we don’t feel like cooking (tuna casserole – the easiest meal ever).

Carefree was a pretty good deal for name brand. They had it on clearance for $1.19 and I had a 50 cent off coupon. (Though, I’ve seen this cheaper).

The other items where (inexpensive) splurges. We don’t really need toothpaste or any more body wash (really, we’re stocked up for years if they all last – some might have to be donated…), but with my recent research on all the chemicals in our cosmetics on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, I really am wanting to push us into the less-chemically stuff. Hence my purchase of the Burt’s Bees Body wash (sulfate, paraben, phthalate, and petrochemical free) and Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. (Both rate relatively low on the chemical hazards on Skin Deep compared to their main-stream conterparts).

The Burt’s Bees Radiance Exfoliating Body Wash was in the clearance section for $3.99 (on the Burt’s Bees website it retails for $8). And the Tom’s of Maine happened to be on closeout for $3.19 (originally priced at $5.29). Both of these were extra purchases, but happy finds :). It just goes to show that if you’re really interested in reducing chemicals there definitely are ways to do it for less!

(Side note: I read an article today on Healthy Child Healthy World called “What to Do About Chemicals in Pregnant Women: All Products are Eco-Products” that most babies are born already with 200 industrial chemicals in their bodies. There’s something wrong when our babies are being born with harmful chemicals already in their little bodies.)

And on a second side-note: we’re getting farm-fresh eggs from one of Chris’ co-workers – I’m super excited! (And they’re not too much more expensive than the non-organic eggs in the stores :))

As helpful as coupon blogs are, I always seemed to have a problem with them – they mention coupons and deals that I would never have any interest in. Several weeks I realize that it would be much better if I did the tough work myself because couponing is not very helpful if you’re buying just what someone else’s family is buying if it doesn’t really fit your own personal lifestyle.

So I bit the bullet and tried to figure out the best way to do it for my household. I knew my coupons needed to be organized because the number one problem I have is not remember what coupons I have and buying something when I had a coupon or not using the coupons before they expired. So last weekend C and I hunkered down and input all of our coupons into a spreadsheet (Google Docs so we could both input at the same time). Here’s an example of what our’s looked like:

We put the essential information into our sheet (Brand/what it is for, the value, and when it expires). It takes a little more time up front, but it’s a method that I think will work well for us. We can sort the list by Brand or expiration date, print it out, and carry it with us to the store. That way, if we find something on sale, we can easily look up whether we have a coupon for it. We organized the coupons into a coupon filer by expiration month. The most shuffling through we’ll have to do is looking through that month to find the coupon.

Why didn’t I use some databases already available? For one basic reason: too much information. I don’t want to browse through a database that has millions of coupons that aren’t available in my region or are for things that don’t pertain to us (like dog food). And, I find it very helpful to have a printable copy of my coupon list to bring with me. Sometimes stores have unadvertised sales that I otherwise wouldn’t realize I had a coupon for. (Unless you’re a crazy couponer and are able to memorize your stash – that’s just not me).

So the first BIG step in becoming better couponers has been set into place. (And really, it doesn’t take too much effort once you have the database set up to enter in the new coupons each week – just remember to delete the ones you’ve used!)

What methods have you created or adopted for your own use?