Sunday, July 22, 2012

First Day Couponing :)

Today was the first time that I ever went couponing alone. I have subscribed to the Charlotte Observer BUT I did not get my paper today. Guess my order still hasn't processed. Sigh. Instead, Kevin bought two papers for me from a box this morning before work.

I've become slightly obsessed with Southern Savers. This website makes it SO easy to get started with couponing. The woman who runs it, Jenny, even goes as far as to make lists of the best deals for the week along with the specific coupons you can use for that item. She puts the starting price AND the price after coupons. She has videos about each store (except for Food Lion...what's up with that?) and has made it really easy for me to get started. I've found other coupon sites to be slightly cluttered and difficult to understand. Southern Savers is the BEST website for couponing by far!'

To start, I went to Southern Savers and created my shopping lists. Because it is Sunday and a lot of the new sales started, I wanted to try out couponing at several stores to see how it works. I decided to start with Walgreens (because Kevin works there), CVS, and Food Lion (I NEEDED CHICKEN BREASTS!!!!!! Otherwise, we weren't going to eat dinner). Jenny's website allowed me to check off the items that I intended to buy, gather the necessary coupons, and head out the door. Very easy planning is necessary when you have a 13 month old!

Anyway, I started at Walgreens. The only reason that I really started there is because, somehow, Kevin had my card in his pocket this morning. I kinda needed that in order to go grocery shopping! Lol! :) Also, they had TP, Cascade, and milk on sale this week. Needed to pick that up. Didn't use any coupons here but I did get a 12 pack of Cottonelle Ultra Care (double rolls), 2 60 oz. bottles of Cascade, 1 gallon of milk, and 4 candy items for $14. The milk was on sale for $2.99 and the Cascade had been clearanced for $3.79 a bottle. :) Not bad for 0 coupons.

Then, I went to CVS. I really like the fact that CVS is like it's own magical happy place that only accepts one currency: ExtraCare Bucks. :) So, I went in and got two Starbucks Refreshers (2/$3) and some Stayfree pads ($2). I had a coupon for $2 off any Stayfree item (which is why I got those) and got $3 ECB back. That whole transaction was essentially FREE! Then, I got two pouches of Hershey's Simple Pleasures chocolates. They were on sale for $3 per pouch. I paid with my $3 ECB, used a $1 off coupon, and got $2 ECB back. I had to pay sales tax...but they were essentially free as well. Not too shabby for my first time!

Finally, I went to Food Lion. I had a few coupons that I was saving for that store in particular. Here's how I did in there:

2 bags of Ruffles, 1 bag of Classic Potato Chips, 4 packs of chicken breasts, 2 containers of SPAM, Oscar Meyer Deli Selects Honey Ham, Oscar Meyer Deli Selects Oven Roasted Turkey, 2 packages of Jimmy Dean Sausage, 2 packages of Dole Salad Blends (Classic Iceberg and Very Veggie), International Delight York Peppermint Pattie Creamer, 6 frozen pizzas, and 6 frozen pizzas.

Before discounts: $118.05
MVP discounts: $31.05
Coupon discounts: $39.30
Paid: $48.20 (~59% savings!!!!)

That's not too shabby considering that I'm not an experienced couponer and I've never done it before (by myself). I've only gone with someone once and I was so nervous about it! I'm glad that I got stuff that I actually needed and that I'll use. I didn't want to go get 12409 packages of floss or something that I would never use! It worked out wonderfully and I know that I'll be shopping this way for the rest of my life.

Thank you so much to Southern Savers for making this so easy for newbies! :)

--Andi :)