Thursday, February 26, 2009

Couponing Really IS Worth It!

In the spring of 2003, I purchased the Sunday paper for three weeks in a row, clipped the coupons, and organized them in a coupon file. I took the coupons with me to shop and found that I may have saved $3 a shopping trip by using coupons. It was NOT worth the hassle!

This past November, I happened upon Kroger's Mega Sale. Wow. All these items at the lowest price I'd seen in a l-o-n-g time, and if you purchased 10, they took an extra $5 off your order! So I stocked up. Along with small amounts of other items, I got five pounds of ground beef, six boxes of cereal, and ten boxes of Toaster Strudel! I went to a thrifty forum to post the good deals I found, only to find someone else talking about even better deals. They used coupons for the super cheap items, and the coupons doubled, and then they got the $5 off for every 10 items purchased! And they stocked up, getting 20 lbs of ground beef, 15 boxes of cereal, and 18 boxes of Toaster Strudel. Oh, so THAT'S how you use coupons!

I started clipping coupons that next Sunday. By December, I was getting a good collection of coupons, and discovering other sources of coupons. I was using the coupons and matching them to sales, but I wasn't really spending less money. I was using the money I saved to start a stockpile. Now with a stockpile, I don't need to pay full price for anything at the grocery store (except for milk, eggs, and fresh produce.) I use the food in my freezer and pantry for my meal-planning. When I see a good grocery deal, I go stock up on those items, but don't buy things that aren't great deals. I have enough health-and-beauty items that I'm now able to start donating the free ones I get to local charities. I send my expired coupons to military families overseas (since they can use them up to 6 months after the expiration.) Even so, I've lowered my grocery bill by 40%, and I anticipate that my spending will continue to drop as I learn more.

If you think couponing might work for you (and you can't wait until my next Thrifty Thursday post to find out more), I suggest you visit Thrifty Mama's Coupon Basics for Newbies, Hot Coupon World's Couponing 101, or download Coupon Mom's free eBook "Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half". Remember, the Sunday paper is not the only source of coupons. Check your mail for the Red Plum coupons. Get coupons from the blinkie machines at the grocery store. Print them from the internet. There are lots of coupons out there. Use them and be a good steward of the gifts God has so graciously bestowed upon you.
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?" - Luke 16:10-11

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