Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Confessions of a Coupon Clipper

My sister is a coupon expert, and she is really good at finding good deals. Me? Notsomuch. My idea of saving money is returning something I didn't need in the first place for a refund. Seriously, I'm like the queen of returns (Only stuff I buy for myself, though. Don't worry, I'm not returning gifts, people.) Here's how this goes: I return impulse buy to Target, and get the money put back on our credit card. Hubs comes home and asks how my day went. I tell him that I made us $ at Target. Hubs gives me an annoyed look. Repeat at least once a week. Not even kidding.

I've tried coupon clipping in the past, but I just wasn't good at it. I always ended up buying crap I didn't need just because I had a coupon. So, if anything, I was spending more money than I normally would. Well, recently, Tracy introduced me to a few money saving blogs that have inspired me to give it another try. I've added a few of them to my blog list, but my favorite so far is hip2save.com. She gives you the best deal scenarios at various stores, including the Mecca, Target. Oh, and get this...Target has store coupons you can print online or from the kiosk in the store...you know, where you print baby/wedding gift registries. Please tell me I'm not the only one who didn't know this! You can use the store coupons in addition to the manufacturer coupons you find in the Sunday paper to save even more money. This is called coupon stacking. I'm telling you, these crazy coupon people have their own lingo. Another source of coupons she recommends is the magazine, All You, and you better believe I have already subscribed via Amazon. Check her blog each week for the best deals at each store, and she specifically tells you which coupons to use in order to get the best price. I just started clipping coupons this week, and she refers to coupons that were found in last month's paper/magazines/ etc., so not every deal works for me, but it is still very helpful.
So, pretty soon, I'm going to be one of those shoppers. You know the kind. They have a binder full of coupons and are holding up the line, meticulously watching the cashier's every move. Yep, that'll be me. Today I made my first actual money saving trip to Target, and I got all of this for 10 bucks!

That's 4 boxes of cereal, a 12-pack of pudding cups, 2 packages of Bic pens, 2 boxes of Morning Star black bean burgers, a 4-pack of mandarin oranges, 1 can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli, 2 bottles of Herbal Essences shampoo, 1 travel size Pantene hair spray, 1 travel size Degree deodorant, and 1 travel size first aid kit. Not too shabby for my first try, huh? I was pretty impressed with myself, but my sister kicked my butt. Her original total was $46 (or somewhere around there), and she payed $13 after coupons! Teach me your ways, oh wise one!

Now, notice I didn't say my total bill was $10...that was just the stuff pictured above. Target has a way of sucking me in, and I find all sorts of things I didn't even know I needed in my basket when I get to the check-out line. This would explain all the returns I make.

Today's best non-coupon purchase: Izzy's new outfits for gymnastics class.

How adorable are they? Yes, I realize most gymnasts don't wear tutus, but mine does. Her first class is Saturday morning. It's a trial class to see if she likes it. By "likes it" I mean anything short of throwing herself on the floor and screaming in protest. I don't expect this behavior, but ya never know. That's why we are doing the free trial before signing her up for the fall semester. I'm going to be really sad if she doesn't love it because she is going to look precious in these leotards. Not to mention the fact that I'll have to return them if we don't sign her up for classes. Oh well, at least I'll make some money. ;-)

Next on my list is CVS, and I'm not going to lie. I'm a little intimidated. I know they have their crazy followers (sister and sister-in-law included) who know how to expertly play their little Extra Care Bucks game, and it's a little overwhelming as a newby. But Tracy and Katie can spend $2 and come out of that store with sacks of stuff, so I'm going to bite the bullet and give it a go. Anyone else do the CVS thing?

And for the Izzy fans:

2 comments:

  1. I think you should keep the leotard with the tutu whether she likes gymnastics or not. She can wear it just for fun. I'd love to get a photo of KK and Izzy together in their tutu leotards.

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  2. YAY for couponing! It's gonna' suck you in. And CVS is easy after the first couple times... just call us with questions! I'm going to have to check out the Target thing...

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