Last week I got $171.68 worth of groceries.
I saved $89.91.
More than I spent.
And I am OFFICIALLY ADDICTED TO COUPONS.
And now you know where I have been the past two weeks. Couponing trumped blogging.
And I am FINALLY ready to tell my tale of having fun and saving money.
It all started when I was born. ( and yes, I'm going to take you back that far. It is necessary)
I was born with a coupon in my mouth. Instead of a silver spoon.
I was born in to a family of money savers. Thrifty. Penny Pinching. Practical folks.
My Mom was a pro at stretching a dollar. Which ensured that all eight of us lived a VERY comfortable life. Full of adventure and fun.
We went on amazing trips. We saw amazing sights. We practically grew up in Walt Disney World.
And thankfully her savings helped me to get my bow legs repaired and my buck teeth fixed.
Otherwise I would probably not be blogging right now as I would be an attraction at the circus.
Anyway, my point is this: I rebelled. It's what I do best.
I did not like saving money. I loved name brand things. I HATED coupons.
And so, I spent my teenage/early adult/older adult/and current OLD adult life spending money "like it grew on trees"
And then we bought our dream home. So, I calmed down a little. And I switched from Publix to Food Lion.
Every once in a while.
And I depended on Kev to figure it all out. To plan for our future.
And Kev would say:
" You know... there are these things called coupons. And they save money"
or " There is a website you can go to that will help you save money on groceries"
or " I will help you clip coupons if you are interested"
or " Please stop blowing our retirement fund"
And I would turn up the volume on the song playing in my head. And nod at him with glazed over eyes.
And would hope that he would never bring it up again.
But then one fine Spring evening, I had dinner with Kelly and Sarah. And they suddenly made it so cool to clip coupons and save money.
Like really the coolest.thing.ever.
So, I went to the website they told me about - www.southernsavers.com. And I registered for a class.
And my life will never be the same again. EVER.
Because I learned SO much in that class. It was worth every single second that I spent there that evening. And the $10.00 I paid to attend has paid for itself 100 times over.
For instance: Last week I received the following for FREEEEEE!
2 gallons of milk, 2 pints of blueberries, 4 boxes of ziploc freezer bags, 2 bottles of Aveeno shampoo, 2 bottles of Aveeno conditioner, 2 boxes of tea, 2 boxes of reflux medication and 2 Dijourno pizzas.
Just in ONE week.
And now to answer a couple of your questions... because I'm sure you are wondering..
1. Was it difficult to hand over coupons to the cashier? Yes. I was SO nervous and anxious the first time I went in to Publix. I think I was shaking. And I only bought ONE item. Because for some reason I was afraid they wouldn't take my coupon. But they did. And were so friendly about it. I called Kev the minute I walked out and told him how much I had just saved us. And he said "FINALLY!"
2. Doesn't it take a lot of time to "coupon"? Yes. I would say I spent about 6-8 hours getting ready for last week's purchases. But.... a. I'm treating it like a part-time job. and b. once I get every thing figured out and I'm in a routine, it will not take as much time.
3. But you LOVE to cook. Does couponing ruin your all time favorite hobby? Not at the moment. Because instead of making a grocery list around what I want to cook, I make the list around what the best deals are ( tip from Kelly). I'm still getting to shop at Publix which has the best quality meats and vegetables. I also have a VERY well stocked pantry with lots of spices and "accessories" for sprucing up my meals. And it is summer. I don't cook as much in the summer because I would rather be swimming. Or eating ice cream.
4. Aren't you loyal to certain brands? Well, yes. Kind of. I thought we would have a harder time of it than we have. We are usually VERY specific on what type of bread, meat, yogurt, pizza, etc. that we eat. But for the sake of savings, we have tried some other brands and have liked every thing so far. Except for eggs. I have an issue with eggs and I need them to be as organic as possible. I am willing to meet half way, though. And use Eggland's Best. It is the least I can do.
5. Do you always wear a swimsuit when you are swimming alone in your secluded back yard? I'll never tell. Just don't show up unannounced. It's best for the both of us.
6. Will you ever pay full price again? NO WAY!! Unless Kev demands some thing that is not on a deal. I have been taught to plan ahead - so, I stock up when the price is right and hopefully we won't have to splurge on any thing - because we won't run out.
7. What's for dinner tonight? 2 1/2 lbs of London Broil that I have been cooking in the crock pot all day with onions and gravy and mushrooms and egg noodles and rolls. All for $7.50. And it will last us for three meals. Thankyouverymuch.
8. Will this post ever end? Yes. In just a minute.
Mom - I know this post makes you soooo happy.
Kelly - I can't wait to see you again so we can trade stories and ideas. Thanks so much for all the info.
Rebecca - I crossed over to the dark side. My curiosity always seems to do that to me.
Kevin - I really want a red Kitchen Aid mixer and a super duper Canon SLR camera with a cool lens. Oh.. and a miniature pony with pink bows in her hair.
Melissa - I hope you will still be my friend.
So, that's about it folks. I'm officially a couponer. And I'm proud of it. And am looking forward to all the cool shoes I can buy with my savings.