Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Coupon-ing Part 2

I may be no good at this. In fact, my first attempt I think I can classify as a failure. Last Wednesday when the Safeway ad came out, there seemed to be some great deals, and there were. They had 12 packs of Pepsi buy 2 get 3 free, plus CRV in California, and some other great prices. So I went through my coupon collection and some online databases to see what I could find. I managed to snag some craft cheese for only $0.69/each which was great, I bought 10 cases of soda just to stock up on the great price, which gave me a savings of $37.74 on the soda alone. But I'm horrible when I shop alone. I walk through the aisles and pick things up here and there that I don't need, which usually aren't on that big of a sale, and those add up so quickly! For instance, I bought a package of fresh bagels, and they only lasted me 4 days before they had mold on them. I had only eaten two of the six. And I paid full price for them. In the end, according to my receipt, I paid $95.75 and saved $84.83, 48%, BUT Safeway marks up their groceries so much I'm not sure if it was really that great of a deal. I was hoping to not spend more than $50. I overshot that goal by a ways.

I don't know how these people do it! So much self control! I guess it also helps that most of these women live in two income homes and can afford to stock up on things when a great sale comes along. I only get paid once a month, and after paying all my bills, I'm left with barely $300 to cover groceries, toiletries, and anything else I want/need for the next 30 days or so. And when I go grocery shopping and spend $95 on the first, I'm not left with much. I need to find these really great deals where people walk away with free stuff, but I can't seem to find them!

I'm also learning that unless you live near an Albertson's (and if you live anywhere in northern California you DON'T) you can't really do much. Albertson's seems to be the only grocery store that doubles coupons, gives "catalina's" which are like register rewards, or store credit for your next purchase, they also round coupons up to $1. So these people can go to Albertson's with a coupon that's only listed as $1 off a particular item that's on sale for $2, and the store doubles the coupon's value to $2 off, they get that item free! I can't find any stores in my area that double coupons or round the value up. I don't live near any supermarkets that are generally cheaper such as Win Co nor is there a Dollar Tree that sells groceries anywhere near me. I would have to drive 30 miles to get to one, and then the cost of gas to make the trip outweighs any savings I may gain at said store.

ALTHOUGH, I think I did have one success over the weekend. CVS was having a sale on L'Oreal Color Vive shampoo, 2/$5. I also had two $1/1 coupons, which brought the total down to $3 for both, or $1.50/each for a bottle of shampoo that is normally $4.99. Over 50% savings. I currently do not have a working printer at home or else I would have printed 2 more coupons and gotten 2 more bottles to stock up. I thought it was a very good price.

I have also begun to sign up for free samples and coupons everywhere I can. Proctor & Gamble's website is offering many free samples that you can choose from and they will ship them directly to you. It takes up to 6 weeks, but hey, they're free! And why pay to try a product you may not like when you don't have to.

There's a great website you can join for free that is a database for tons and tons of coupons. It's Hot Coupon World and there you can search by brand name, key word, what type of coupon - ie printable, peelie, etc - I have found that very helpful. I've been looking at store ads and if I see something that's on a really good sale already, I try to find a coupon for that product to get it for as little out of pocket as possible. I'm still in the beginning stages, but I'm not giving up. I need to start saving and I know any money I can save will help.

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