adventures in couponing
ok, so one of the biggest reasons why i was excited about working locally was that i’d be able to dedicate more energy to cooking and healthy eating – you know, since my food options wouldn’t be based on whatever is in the hotel lobby or airport (hint: granola bars, candy and mcd’s). for the past few months i’ve actually been going to a new and exciting place – the grocery store! my first few visits were pretty unproductive – throwing some fruit and yogurt in the cart, going home and ordering take-out. i was pretty sure this wasn’t how it was supposed to be done, so i started doing a little research. this probably sounds ridiculous to those of you who have always cooked at home, but my entire “out of the nest” life has been on the road, so these are skills i am severely lacking. luckily my husband is a terrific cook, but i still need to make sure we have the proper ingredients in the house to make anything beyond hot dogs or pancakes happen.
while i can share lots of different things i’ve been doing in this area, today i’m focusing on a recently trendy topic: couponing. one night of stumbling upon the show extreme couponing and my competitive nature set in – i wanted to save money, even if it was only 50 cents. don’t get me wrong, i am certainly not interested in doing what those people on tv do, but what could it hurt to clip a coupon or two on sunday mornings?? fast forward a few months, and now i’m totally hooked. while i’m not doing anything ground-breaking, i now totally dig going to the store. does anyone have any suggestions of other things i could be doing? here is my current approach:
1. i only get coupons out of the sunday paper. i bought a groupon for a years subscription for $1/week. my rationale is that if i can save $1 a week or more, i’m doing ok.
2. for anything non-perishable, i buy it only when it’s on sale AND i have a coupon. publix’s buy-one-get-one-free sales are a necessity. today’s bargain was 10 low-cal gatorades (32 oz) for $10, plus i had a coupon buy 10, get 5 free. score!
3. i trade coupons with my friends – many of my friends have kids and therefore they want all those coupons for diapers, snacks, baby food, etc, which i do not need. we all clip our coupons and then drop the leftovers in each others mailboxes afterwards. the other week there was a coupon for the brand of dog food we use (buffalo), and i snagged as many of those as i could!
4. very important – i only cut coupons for things i would normally buy. i’m not filling the pantry up with “good deals” for the heck of it.
florida is not a double coupon state, but i can only imagine what it would be like if i had those benefits too. if you search on google for couponing all this craziness comes up – websites trying to teach you how to be a great couponer…this is a little too much for me, but are there any quick and easy ways to get coupons besides the paper?
every week i call my mom and tell her how much i saved at the grocery store. today it was $30 on a $100 order. really it should’ve been better, but i splurged on my new favorite summer drink, smirnoff blueberry lemonade. no sales or coupons there!