I have been couponing for about 7 months now and while I can't say that I am absolutely in love with clipping coupons, I can say that I am in love with how much money we save. I don't have time to go into detail about my process (kids need lunch!) but it goes something like this: clip coupons on Sunday and from computer, match them up with ads from newspapers (RiteAid, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Albertson's, Walgreens), look at couponing blogs for any rock botton deals I may have missed, and then hit the stores. On average, clipping and organizing my lists takes about 2 hours and of course it takes a little extra time at the store, but let me tell you, if I only couponed for diapers, it would be so. worth. it.
I have stockpiles of everything from diapers to wipes to toothpaste to shampoo to facial cream to shaving cream to frozen/canned veggies, to meat, to eggs to organic Mac N' Cheese, to cereal and on and on. Michael keeps reminding me that he doesn't need more deodorant, but when you get paid to take it home, I can't resist. :) Once our garage is organized, I'll post pics of my stockpile. (And, no, I am not one of the crazy coupon stockpile hoarders. I clip coupons to feed our growing family and simply, to save us money!)
The Krazy Coupon Lady's organizational system is what saves me: I have a binder organized into 32 different specific sections with a table of contents and tabs to make my coupons super easy to find.
Here are a couple pics from this week's super awesome trips. For time's sake, I only usually go to Fred Meyer and one other store (from the list above). This week I was able to hit almost all of them, thanks to less going on in our schedule. Before coupons, the two pictures of things below would have been almost $350 on sale. This means that the actual retail price is more than that. Below is everything from Woolite, detergant, cleaners, organic veggies, diapers, 6 Children's Ibuprofen, milk that will be turned into yogurt, my favorite dark chocolate and tea, and high quality cleansers and shampoo. My total OOP (out of pocket) was less than $100 (not including Register Rewards I have to use the next time I head out). That means that my coupons alone saved me almost $250. Some of my favorite purchases: I was paid $1 for the contact solution (coupon + rebate), paid .50 for the the Carefree liners, the shampoo/conditioner was on sale for $5 a piece, but I got them for .50 a piece and the Olay ProX System and cleanser I got retails for $50 but I got it for $20 (this was the biggest ticket item I got, but it is reusable - I normally wouldn't spend this much on face stuff).
Most of this will go to our stockpile, because when we run out of something I would rather go grab toothpaste from my cupboard that I paid .25 for a year ago than go out and pay $2.99 when I actually need it.
But despite the big savings on our grocery bill (I have cut our Costco bill by 2/3 and our other groceries by at least 1/3...not to mention that I am coming home with twice as much) what couponing has really taught me is the value of a dollar. When I take my precious time away from family and my home to clip .50 here and $1.00 there I can't simply turn around and spend that savings on just anything. And, as a result of couponing we have cut other things out of our lives, things we thought we needed - cable, extra shopping, the gym - and we are being a lot more conscious about the little purchases, along with the big. I am reminded through my efforts that we are stewards of the gifts God gives us and that He charges us to use them wisely.
If you would like more info on couponing, check out some of these sites. And although it may be work in the beginning, it is so worth it!
The Krazy Coupon Lady
Frugal Chic Living
Zaycon Foods (where I buy organic, hormone free chicken and beef at ROCK BOTTOM prices. and it is SO good).