Monday, August 11, 2008

Can coupons be fun again?

My grocery budget has been so tight recently. I'm definitely noticing the higher prices, even though I am still a devoted *coupon lady.* :) Tonight while I was shopping, after staring at my coupon binder for a few minutes, the guy behind the meat counter asked me if I was a CPA. Ha!

But even a stay-at-home mom like me knows that coupons DO pay off, and every little bit counts, right?

I started couponing about 2 years ago and have been pretty consistent with it. But with the higher prices recently, it hasn't been nearly as fun. Know what I mean? When I use coupons and STILL come in over budget, it's pretty disheartening. Week. After week. After week. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but still.

And we don't have THAT low of a budget. I am not a $40/week Money Saving Mom, or anything! We like to eat way too much, I guess. :)

So after weeks of going over what I intended to spend, tonight I prayed that I could find some good deals and get back into the groove of this. Rediscover the *joy* of couponing, if you will. :) And it was a good night! The Lord provided exactly what we needed - and under budget even!

Just thought I'd share...

CVS - 1st transaction
1 Alavert $5.99 - $4.00 coupon ($3 ECB)
2 Red Zone trial size body washes in clearance section marked down to $.75 each - $1 and $.75 off coupons that did not specify a size (there are tons of these, girls!)
1 Tide Simple Pleasures marked down to $4.97 - $1.00 coupon

Used $2 off $10 purchase.
Paid $3 in ECB and $1.27 oop. Got back $3 in ECB!

CVS - 2nd transaction (Candy deal)
2 bags of Gold Emblem candy 2/$3 - $1.00 Gold Emblem CRT that I got tonight
1 bag of Dove chocolates $3.00 - $1.50 off coupon
2 bags of M&M's $2.00 each - $.75 coupon

Used $2 off $10 purchase.
Paid with a $4.00 ECB and $.97 oop. Got back $5.00 in ECB!

CVS - 3rd transaction
2 Lamisilk foot lotions $9.99 each. Used a B1G1 free coupon and a $4.00 coupon. ($10 ECB)
1 CVS ibuprofen $3.29 - FREE CVS ibuprofen CRT

Used $2 off $10 purchase.
Paid with $4.50 in ECBs. Got back $10 in ECBs!

So all in all, after shopping at CVS tonight, I got several things I needed (laundry soap, body wash), some fun candy for our trip, and made a little over $4.00 doing it! Yay!

Granted, CVS and Walgreens have been good to me pretty consistently for a couple years now. We rarely, if ever, have to spend much more than pennies on household items. But where I've really noticed a difference is at the grocery store.

Feeding a family of 4, healthy or not, costs a ton! And when half my cart is filled with fresh produce, I know the bill isn't going to be pretty. But Hy-vee and Dillons did have some good sales this week - here's what I saw, in case you're headed out there soon too.

Red potatoes $.77/lb
Driscoll raspberries 2/$4
Green seedless grapes $1.48/lb
3 lb bag of Clementines $2.99
Romaine lettuce $.99

Dillons - Urish
Lots of half gallons of organic milk marked down to $2.00
Several containers of cherry tomatoes marked down to $.99
Several bottles of Tropicana pure juice marked down to $2.29
Horizon organic cheese sticks marked down to $1.00 (there were still lots of these left too!)
Tyson fresh drumsticks marked down to $1.24 for a package of 6 - I had a $.55 off coupon doubled to $1.00 = $.24
Cottonelle still $.99 for 4 packs - used $.25 and $.50 off coupons to get it FREE or for $.50 each
Pampers Little Swimmers packages on clearance endcap right next to eggs - not marked but they ring up for $3.99. Used $1.50 coupon!!!! Yay, we needed these for our trip! (probably 10 left)

We definitely have all that we need and more, but I still appreciate seeing God provide for our family. The difference may have been that tonight I was watching for it, waiting for Him to provide the deals...I don't know.

All I know is, He is good.

"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him."
Lamentations 3:25


Reagan said...

Yay! It's great to hear that testament to keep going :) The Lord IS good to us! Thanks for meeting me last night!

Eryn said...

i havent couponed in so long. i am glad others are still doing and getting great deals. i really need to back into walgreens. our "extra's" are beginning to get low. i havent done walgreens since autumn was born and we have been going on those extras for a year!

pampers coupons said...

well coupons can be lot of fun. Me and my wife run on limited budget for our household things. I've been using online coupons for a while. Great savings on small stuff. But you have to be careful where you find them because some stores won't take em but mostly are okay. Thanks again for the post. Keep 'em comin :)

A &J said...

It's good to hear how the Lord blessed your shopping trip.

I want to be good at couponing... my story sounds like Eryn's.

If I could get it down good enough to not cost me so much time and stress.

MagenRanae said...

I'm with Eryn too. I haven't couponed in a long time, and my supplies are getting low, but it's amazing how long we've been able to squeeze every drop of use out of the couponing I've done in the past!!

We've been eating out of our pantry/freezer for the last 2-3 months without shopping for real (I go to the store once every 2 weeks or so and buy a gallon of milk and the things to complete meals I already have at home.) I can usually do that with $15 every 2 I'd say our grocery budget is doing pretty good!

Now that I think about it, it's probably not too wise to deplete our stock when prices are going up...but, I sure do enjoy not having to shop every week! :) So, I guess you make trade offs!

Glad to hear the trip was encouraging to you! The Lord is so faithful in providing deals AND motivation!

The Almighty Betherson "Ninja" said...

i've been couponing in the last couple of months, and really enjoying the bargains...justin hears about what i got for free or nearly for free all the time and i feel sorry for him. but you're right about the food prices. i've got tons of laundry detergent that barely cost me anything, but i can't seem to keep the kitchen stocked without spending a fortune. most of the coupons for food require that you buy at least two of everything so then you're spending more than you would anyway. one thing i do love though is the homeland here. they double coupons up to a dollar! its funny that you posted about this and i read it tonight because i was actually just clipping coupons and looking over ads. i'm turning into "that" old lady!! :)

BruinsDoins said...

I'm glad you found some good deals, especially on the lil swimmers for your trip! Are you going to be able to see Brian and Stacy at all?

Summer said...

We don't have coupons in Australia so I just try to buy what is on sale and go to a few different stores to compare prices. I have noticed lately that the prices have gone up considerably and I haven't been able to come in under budget for the last few weeks. :(