Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Coupon Policy

So excited my coupon binder is all put together :)  I'll have to make a few more tweaks over the next few weeks, but I don't have coupons sitting in piles all over the place.  It feels so good to be organized!  And my sweet husband has volunteered to make the cover page for the outside of my binder, thanks babe you are amazing.

My next step is to print out the coupon policy for each store that I plan to shop with.  Why?  From what I have been reading most cashiers don't really know their own coupon policy: some stores double coupons, some stores combine coupons, and some stores have limits on coupons, etc.  (e.x. Rite Aid does not let you use B1G1 coupons with a B1G1 sale, according to their policy.)  Hopefully, this will allow me to avoid a confrontation with the cashier at the checkout. 

I have already had two minor hick ups @ Winn Dixie when my coupon wouldn't scan and @ Publix the cashier accused me of photocopying an internet coupon.  The cashier at Winn Dixie validated the coupon and entered it manually and I explained to the cashier at Publix that each internet coupon is numbered and since each one of mine had a different number there was no way I could have photocopied them. 

Having the coupon policy on hand is also a confidence booster!  I can walk up to the checkout knowing that the coupons I have are going to be accepted and no cashier is going to try to give me his/her version of the coupon policy because I'll have a copy of the store's policy in my binder.

KCL also suggests making an appointment with the store manager and going over the coupon policy with him/her and then having them sign it.  Not many cashiers are going to question a piece of paper with their store manager's signature on it!  It is something I hope to do in the near future.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Savings $$

Went grocery shopping today.  Our first stop was Publix.  My total was $85.44, and I saved $49.17 :)  My next stop was Winn Dixie. Total: $22.11, Savings: $10.28.  So, my grand savings for today was....$59.45! YAY!!

Publix had a B1G1 sale and I used coupons on top of the sale.  Two items = two coupons! (or, one coupon if it is off two items) I was able to buy two boxes of cereal normal price $4.45/ea @ $1.75/ea; Country Crock spread normal price $2.29 @ $0.34; Fruit Snacks normal price $2.93 @ $0.97; Toaster Strudel normal price $2.89 @ $1.50.

What were your best savings this week?

Back on Board

It has been over a week since my last post.  Why? I was sick and out of the game for awhile, but I'm back in it today :)

I'm headed to the store why my coupons in hand.  I've been keeping them in an envelope, but today I am going to buy the supplies needed to create my very own coupon binder.


Binder 3-4"
Page Protectors 38-40
Baseball card holders

The clear baseball card holders will hold my like coupons that will be categorized and placed into the page protectors.

These are the categories suggested by the Krazy Coupon Ladies...

1. Produce
2. Salty Snacks
3. Granola Bars & Fruit Snacks
4. PB & J
5. Fruit
6. Vegetables
7. Pasta
8. Soup
9. Baking
10. Breakfast
11. Prepared Sides & Rice
12. Condiments & Salad Dressing
13. Drinks
14. Refrigerated
15. Yogurt
16. Freezer
17. Candy
18. Baby
19. Reynolds Ziploc
20. Paper Products
21. Surface Cleaners
22. Laundry
23. Dish Washing
24. Miscellaneous (batteries, school supplies, etc)
25. Air Fresheners & Candles
26. Vitamins
27. First Aid
28. Beauty
29. Oral Care
30. Soap & Body Wash
31. Hair Care
32. Lotion
33. Shaving & Deodorant
34. Feminine Hygiene
35. Pet
36. Cold & Allergy Medicine

I think I will tweak this list to fit my shopping preferences, but this is the general idea for organizing your binder by category.  KCL also suggests organizing your binder by date. 

Do you use a binder? If not, give it a try!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Book #2

I started reading "How to Shop for Free".  Please if you are going to do any reading on couponing I would recommend "Pick Another Checkout Lane" to be your first.  The second book had some great tips to supplement the first book, but its not as interesting to read :-/

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Week 1 -- The Learning Curve


Welcome to my coupon journey :)

My name is Rosemary Graham; I am 26 and married to my wonderful husband Drew, and we are expecting our first child.  My husband is in the Army and we recently bought a new home in Alabama (near Ft. Benning).  With a baby on the way my husband and I want to work even harder to get out of debt.  We also want to buy a few things like new furniture for the living room and bedroom and of course furniture for the nursery.  But, we are already on a tight budget, so we weren't really sure what to do.

Everyone wants to get out of debt, save money, and buy that extra big ticket item that always seems just out of reach.  I want this too!  The last few weeks I have been brainstorming ways to help my growing family save money every month.  My first thought was a budget and my second was a small home based business making and selling diaper cakes.  Also, my husband is working hard for a promotion at work, thank you baby :) So, that will greatly help our finances.  But, what about the money we have to spend every month on the things we need.  How could I save more?

I’ve been bombarded by friends, family, Facebook, TV shows, and the internet.  What is everyone talking about COUPONS!  Yes, coupons have been around for 100+ years, but in the past few years they have made a comeback.  Everyone wants to be an EXTREME coupon cutter and save 75, 80, even 90% off their grocery bill.  It sounded too good to be true, but I thought any claim that a person could save an average of $600-800 per month on anything was worth looking into.  So, I googled it.

I looked at some sights that allow you to print off coupons and I used a few, but how were people getting all these deals?  I googled that too.  I quickly found that everyone had their own ideas about how to save big at the grocery store, but mostly people just wanted to complain that their local grocery store would accept a certain type of competitor coupon but not another type or that they didn't live near a store that doubled coupons or that their local store recently changed their coupon policy.  My head was spinning, and I had no idea where to begin! 

So, I went to and read some book reviews.  I found two that sounded good "Pick Another Checkout Lane, honey" by Joanie Demer & Heather Wheeler and "How to Shop for Free: Shopping Secrets for Smart Women Who Love to get Something for Nothing" by Kathy Spencer with Samantha Rose.  I started with "Pick Another Checkout Lane" because it was reviewed as a fun and easy read.  It is! And it has all the pointers I've been searching for to start saving BIG! (BTW it is an easy read.  I read half the book in a day, but it could easily be finished in one or two sittings.  I have been taking it slow trying to absorb as much information as possible.  I will probably read it two or three times before I am ready to pass it on).

My goal is to start small, save a little and over the next few months on my grocery bill and then start saving in the triple digits.  My short term goal is $100/month, but I hope to save way more than that once I get the hang of couponing.  This week I bought once Sunday paper.  After reading "Pick Another Checkout Lane" I now know that is not nearly enough, next week I plan to buy 4 newspapers.  I am also working on my coupon binder.  I have the list of what I need to buy and later this week I hope to get my binder all set up.

Today, I took what few coupons I clipped from the Sunday paper and headed to Winn Dixie.  This is not how a Krazy Coupon Lady shops, but our pantry and fridge is on the verge of empty so I had to shop either way might as well save a little while I'm doing it.  I saved $23.99 and spent $79.37. Ok, not so great! But, it was better than I expected my first time out with a fist full of coupons. (Thank you Drew for all your patience today at the grocery store).

I expect my savings to increase by leaps and bounds over the next few weeks so STAY TUNED!