Do you play the “coupon game?”

November 5, 2010 at 8:46 PM 7 comments

I am trying to figure it all out, and attempting to commit it all to memory since saving money has become even more important and necessary lately. I also want to play this game considering the extraordinary amount of money my friends save each month on groceries doing just this. With a semi-large family (8), we spend a great deal each month on groceries alone. I guess if I had a good grip on all of this coupon stuff a long time ago, we would be in better shape now, but…I can’t go back.

So, here goes:

BOGO’s get 2 coupons, 1 for each item…you can use two coupons for the same item if one is a store coupon & the other is a manufacturer coupon (this is called “stacking”). Some stores will match/accept competitor’s coupons, but you need to check first.  That’s all I know, and it’s not much, but it is a start. 

Using just those few tips, I went grocery shopping (mini-trip) with the intent of purchasing only those things on the list that I had coupons for…and guess what?  The cashier harassed me a little, saying that the things I was trying to do were not SOP, yet she humored me anyway and a bill that should have been about $80, was only $37!  I admit, I was a little intimidated by the cashier (as anything new is uncomfortable until you’ve mastered it and can speak confidently on the subject), but I was also encouraged by the savings of MORE than 50%!!! 

Please share your tips and your confidence with me!  I want to keep doing this!  =)

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Entry filed under: Home Life, Modesty Matters.

Rooster or Hen? Are you going Christmas shopping on “Black Friday?”

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Melissa  |  November 5, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    I’m afraid I won’t be very encouraging. We have a family of 7 and are always trying to save money. We tried doing the coupon game but quickly discovered that couponing is not the way. The majority of coupons are for prepackaged foods and junk that aren’t good for you.

    What works best for us is to make sure we cook from scratch as often as possible, go without as much as we can, buy in bulk (but only if it’s cheaper) and stay away from fast food! (We are also learning to make our own clothes! ;-D)

    Every day I’m learning to make all kinds of items at home….everything from homemade yogurt, bread, bagels, granola, jam, applesauce, oven fries, pizza, cake mixes, soups, salad dressings….to household cleaners and detergents….to gardening (free food!).!

    My grocery/household budget is approximately $300-$400/month. I am able to achieve this goal when I menu plan, freeze meals, cook from scratch and watch prices.

    Sorry I can’t be more help with the coupons.

    Reply
    • 2. modestmomma  |  November 6, 2010 at 8:49 PM

      You both make great points! Thanks so much for your input! We, too, cook from scratch often and it absolutely saves money. I really enjoy doing it too! There is a certain satisfaction to knowing you made something yummy and satisfying from scratch, and that it, alone, took care of your loved ones. I guess I am just hoping to save even more money using coupons.

      I’ve made my own soy milk for the last 3 years, and discovered many uses for the left-over bean mash. For starters, I can use the left over okara from the soy milk as a ricotta cheese substitute in ziti or lasagna (You would never know!), although I’ve never made my own pasta sauce. I make bread from hard white wheat berries (Yes, I’m a grinder ☺). The entire family LOVES my applesauce, and my pizza. I can even make a mean chocolate (non-dairy) cake. I am working on yogurt. (The first batch was really and truly awful!) So, I guess I am still somewhat of a newbie in the scratch arena as my skill set is a bit limited. I am open to learning, though!

      …but I love my cereal, my fresh fruits & veggies, and meat. I’ve got to have my meat. (I have a really bad diet soda habit, too, but I digress.)

      On my last shopping trip, Fiber ONE Clusters Cereal (my absolute favorite ♥) was BOGO at $4.99/box. I had a dollar coupon for each, so I ended up paying only $1.50/box! I think I bought 4 sets. Then, I had a coupon for $2.50 off of toilet paper. Gatorade was BOGO and also had an in-store coupon (My sons drink this at soccer all the time.) I didn’t really buy any junk food, but I do see your point about pre-packaged foods being the biggest focal point for coupon manufacturers. After all, they’ve worked really hard over the last 20 years trying to convince us all with commercials that “they” do it best. For the most part, we (as a generation) have no clue how most things are made, or even that we can make it ourselves. And we can do it better and cheaper, too! For example, I LOVE that my bread has only 5 main ingredients and is still asked for at every family gathering. Try picking up any store-bought bread and looking at the ingredients label – enough said, right?

      I do save money with making my own laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dishwasher detergent. I have by no means perfected the dishwasher detergent for my machine and hard water, but from what I understand, not all machines are created equal. My neighbor likes it “as-is.” I have attached the recipes my family uses. Perhaps they’ll be helpful to someone.

      For now, maybe I am already doing all that I can. Baby steps.

      Reply
      • 3. Jenny  |  November 7, 2010 at 1:33 PM

        Check out the latest bathroom cleaning tips from CH 9 (goes along with the recipes above):
        http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/life/9-bathroom-cleaning-problems-solved-2403158/

      • 4. Emily  |  November 16, 2010 at 11:04 PM

        I love coupons…we are a family of (7) and I bake my own bread and do most cooking from scratch….but I’ve saved a lot of money on other things we purchase -tp, razors, shaving cream/gel, toothbrushes, kleenex, diapers for shower presents…so start small and don’t be discouraged. I will never be able to have the rock bottom budget some people have due to things we avoid (articial anything), but coupons have stretched my budget and allowed me to bless others. (The free items I get we don’t use I donate to charity or give to friends experiencing hardship). The biggest thing I have learned to do is stockpile when items are at their lowest prices.

        Just learned about your website/patterns and I’m looking forward to making the simple skirt with my daughter (12) later this week.

      • 5. modestmomma  |  November 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

        Welcome! I am so glad you’ve found us. Thank you for the encouragement!

  • 6. Lisa  |  November 6, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    I do use coupons and get them from target’s website and couponmom.com. I agree with Melissa on the junk food & amking your own food from scratch (I love sneaky chef!), but I find that I can still save big $$ on things like toilet paper, toothpaste etc.

    Reply
    • 7. modestmomma  |  November 6, 2010 at 9:01 PM

      I sure hope I get a “Sneaky Chef” book (or two) for Christmas!

      Reply

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