Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Guest Post-Diana

I honestly don't remember how I meet Diana, I think my first real memory of her was at my wedding. She was Brock's aunt and uncle's neighbor. Diana eventually married Karen's (Brock's aunt through marriage) nephew and that was pretty much the beginning of our friendship. She moved up to Seattle right about the time I was leaving for California and was extremely delighted for us to move back and live 2 miles away. Sometimes when I am positive that I ready for motherhood, I borrow her little dude for the day and that fulfills my motherly needs for at least a good 6 months. He's full of energy and loves to steal stuff out of my purse when I am not looking. hehe 
Diana is a real thrift goddess. She know her way around the grocery store and always scores the best deals. She taught me her thrifty ways and I scored $20 worth of groceries for 5 bucks. I was on such a high after that trip. Next time I do it, I'm taking her along so we can go deeper into the science of couponing. Fellow readers, she wrote up a short intro into the world of couponing just for you!

On my drive home I saw someone standing at the corner intersection asking for money. This time, the sign they were holding intrigued me. It said, "A little can go a long way." I wondered, "If I gave this person $5, how far could they make it go?" I further challenged that thought by wondering, "How far could I stretch $5?"

With a meager five-dollar bill, which most people believe can only buy you a "5-dollar footlong" from Subway (before tax)-I ventured off to some nearby grocery stores to see what I could get. But, I didn't go alone. I carried with me my coupon book, which is really a photo album that works perfectly for separating my coupons into their specific categories.

Albertson's is a great grocery store because in many regions they provide "Twice the Value" coupons. These store coupons will double the value of your manufacturer coupon up to $1.00. So, when I used my $1.00 coupon, I actually received $2.00 off. When the TtV coupons are available, I am always sure to scour the ad and match up the best coupon deals with what my household currently needs.

My first purchase included 2 Dial Liquid Hand Soaps originally priced at .99 each and some disposable gloves at $2.19.
• Final cost would have been $4.17 + tax, but I had coupons for each item, and after the doubler coupons, my total was $1.03. *Phew* I almost thought my $5 was gone already.

My next purchase, (also at Albertson's with the doublers) was 2 packages of Rhodes Frozen Rolls priced at $2.79 each.
• Final cost would have been $5.58, but after coupons my total was $1.58.

We had just run out of salsa at our house,  and La Victoria salsa priced at $2.99 each (16 oz)-just an average price, however, I had a very high-value coupon that I printed from their website months ago to get $4.00/2 so it still turned out to be a thrifty deal, at only $1.98 for 2 jars.

.41 cents left over.

I know, I know. You may be thinking, "A 5-dollar footlong would taste better than rolls with salsa, and some soap on the side." However, I was grabbing some deals and keeping myself stocked up on items that we need and that is the key: to stay stocked up and not buy again until you can get it for cheap.

For example: It's never fun when you realize you've run out of toothpaste, and then spend $3.00 on a tube where if you stock up on a deal (for me, less than .75 cents a tube) you are able to see when your supply is depleting, and typically have a few weeks to watch for the next best deal to come along.

I don't need to go into more detail about all the items you can potentially get for free--I'll leave that up to Thrifty Mom, Coupon Cravings, and Money Saving Mom. These are just a few of the hundreds of blogs that highlight a variety of deals or who matches up coupons to your advantage. They do a lot of the work in searching the deals and communicating them to their readers. All you need to do is print/clip, shop, and see how far you can stretch your $5.00, and maybe even donate that little bit extra to others in need.

Try it out. This is definitely a hobby I have thoroughly enjoyed doing and sharing.

Don't know where to start? Buy a Sunday paper, or visit a few of your favorite brand's websites for coupons. Other good resources are coupons.comredplum.com, and your local grocery stores website. I highly recommend following one or two of the sites listed above (or any avid couponer's site) so they can guide you to some of the best deals in your area.

1 Grass Lovers:

Nancy said...

Still in awe of this. Must try when I get back to a land with actual grocery stores and coupons. :)