Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: My First Coupon Haul

It seems that every where I turn, people are talking about couponing.  I've seen blog posts, news stories, and friends chatting about how much money there is to be saved by clipping coupons.  So, I've decided to take a stab at it.  Nothing extreme, mind you.  Just a chance to save my family a few dollars.

First, I got organized.  I put together a binder very similar to the one I saw HERE.  However, I don't plan to take my binder into the grocery store, so I used a regular three-ring binder with plastic pocket dividers and baseball card sleeves.  Simple.

I snagged this zipper pouch from my son.  He barely used it last year, so it was in good shape.  I keep my pens and a calculator in there.

These pocket dividers are for me to keep store specific items in.  This blue one is for Krogers.  It has the sales flyer, a list of all my digital coupons that are loaded onto my Kroger card, my shopping list, and the coupons that correspond to that week's list.  I have another divider for Target and Dollar General.

And these are the baseball card sleeves.  My son got a binder with 100 pages in it from K-Mart for $19.99.  He gave me about 20 of the pages and we were both happy.  I have one page for each of my categories, which I got from the Kroger website.  That's my main store, so it works to use their coupon categories.

Once my husband saw how serious that I was about couponing, he set about to giving me a brand new pantry that would accommodate all my stockpiles of food.  Ha ha!  Seriously, though, the pantry I was using was a whopping 26" x 38".  So, we converted a half bath into a new 58" x 67" pantry.  Yayy!!!

The wall you can see is the shorter of the two walls.  I can't get a photo of the other one, but it is larger and holds all my canned goods, baking items, extra sodas, paper goods, and much more.

Ok, so are you ready to see my first haul?  I shopped the Wednesday weekly ad at Kroger, and I used my e-coupons, Sunday newspaper coupons, and 10 for $10 Kroger specials to get all of this.

These 23 items would have cost $63.45, but I paid just $29.25.  That's a savings of $34.20 or 54%.  Wooo hooo!!!  Next time, I'll be able to save even more by purchasing more of the 10 for $10 items.  I didn't really get how much you save with those items, so I purchased 10 total by mixing and matching.  Next time, I'll get 10 of each item and see how that works out.

This was my first trip, so I'm feeling pretty good about my savings.  And, best of all, it didn't take me very long to organize my list and my coupons.  I'm hoping to keep learning more ways to save, quickly and simply of course.  Do you coupon?  Do you have any great tips to share?  I'd sure love to hear them.


Cassie_lu said...

congrats on your savings. This is something that I would love to really do but i just over whelmed.

Angi Barrs said...

I'd love to see you post on the tips and tricks of saving that much. I get so confused but really want to try it. Fab savings on your haul! :)

Melinda Spinks said...

Love the new pantry Aphra and if you continue to make such wonderful savings each time you go shopping you might have enough money to bring the family to Australia... woohoo, you can stay here for FREE... no coupon necessary. :)

L.B. said...

Love your new pantry!Congrats on the major savings. Good luck as you go forward!

mustangkayla said...

Way to go ! I need to make a binder like that. I get tired of thumbing through all my coupons trying to remember what I have when looking at sales ads.

Amy E said...

That's a GREAT first haul!! I've been an "extreme" couponer for about three years. I'm one of those people that get almost all their groceries for free. I think my record so far was $287.00 in groceries for free PLUS I walked out of the store with $8 in credit (Catalinas)!!!

I'm in the process of melding my love for couponing and my love for scrapbooking into a blog I started a couple of months ago...where I can use the techniques I learned from couponing, to get most of my scrapping supplies uber cheap or free!!

Let me know if you need any couponing tips. I've written lots of tutorials on friend's couponing blogs, and can point you in the right direction if you need it!!

amyis300 AT hotmail DOT com

Michelle said...

Pantry looks awesome!!! I am not an extreme couponer, but I do use them. I think the most I have saved has been about $40. I went to Target this week, and saved $26, but spent $60 something. I love Melinda's comment. Too funny!! You should too. You two would have a blast!!!

Texas Cattlewoman said...

I use to coupon. Would save somewhere around $200-$300 a month. But shortly after I moved to Central Texas both Dallas and Houston papers stopped shipping the Sunday paper with the coupons in them to Central Texas. Said they had to reduce shipping costs! :-(

The only tip I can give you because your following my steps when I couponed heavily is when your buying the 10 for $10 products make sure you check the expiration dates on food. You know your family's habits and usage. Example buying 10 would take my family 12-14 months to eat that much mayo. Now with grown kids in college I use a jar every three months when they are in school. Always remember safety first in food handling. ;-) From a rancher who helps grow your beef! And what I wouldn't give for a Signature Store in Waco....forty minute drive to HEB.

Heather Landry said...

My suggestion is to add CVS drug stores into your coupon rotation! (If they have them in your part of Louisiana!) And to check out the newsletter from this site...

Welcome to couponing Aphra!

mommyof5kidz said...

Awesome for a first time!!!
I agree with Heather...add is worth it.
I went shopping on the day after Thanksgiving to that one store only, got over $200 worth of toys/gifts with my extra bucks AND stocked up on detergent, deoderant toothpaste etc...and spent a total of about $20. You just have to plan your trip utilizing all of your coupons...and some store coups. CAN be used in conjunction with manufacturer coupons.
My friend's house burned and we went in, used coupons, cvs bucks, and combined the in store sales, and walked away with 8 downeys, 9 tides, and various other detergents etc... We washed ALL their clothes (7 people worth) and spent less than $10!
Also, .35 cent coupons are AWESOME when tripled. THE MOST VALUABLE coupon is the 35 cent ones. make sure that you use those on triple coupon days. :)
Have fun! make a game out of hubby would give me challenges on how much to save each time I went, and it was fun to show him I could! LOL
>>>Now he just expects it! *MEN*<<< LOL

Rachel said...

check out money saving mom online, and if you ever shop at WalMart-they will price match any other store and you don't even have to bring the ad-just tell them where it is cheaper. You can even use coupons from other stores-Target, Kroger, whatever at WalMart. Just make sure to put a store coupon with the item as it has to be rung up with the item.