Friday, January 2, 2009

I think I'll Try... "Couponing"

So I got myself a month to month subscription of the Sunday Daily Herald so I can try out this couponing thing. I am a newbie to this and although Trish showed me a little a couple of years ago I really don't remember too much about it. I think life is much more settled now, though and I might actually be able to make back the money I spend on the paper and organize around shopping a lot more than I have done in the past.
I have been reading on Pinching Your Pennies' website to brush up a little bit and saw a COOL looking binder that a lady who goes by CouponMom is selling for a hefty $75 dollars. I am wondering if it's worth the money? I know you don't NEED it, but it looks helpful. I'll put off buying one for a couple of months for sure. Unless it would improve the likelihood of my success. (A lot of pressure to earn back $75 dollars you spent on a Binder, though.)
I have been using the grocery smarts list and that's been pretty nice. It is really great for finding out what a good deal is and when to stock up. I've stocked up on some good deals. I've noticed the difference in the grocery bill already and would like to take it up a notch or two.
I could use all the tips and pointers you have the time to give me. For instance do you recommend cutting all coupons , or is that too time intensive? Should I date all pages of the inserts? Should I try and meal plan before I shop or shop and then meal plan?
If the couponing thing turns out to be too demanding I'll quit the subscription and try it out when I am more ready for the commitment.
Wish me luck!


Trish said...

Now you're speaking my language!!!
The grocery Smarts list is UBER helpful for learning/establishing "price points". BTW Those lists are actually compiled by PYP mods like myself (although I don't make any of the lists LOL) and they have a deal worked out with the owner of GrocerySmarts.
I have slowly moved away from using many processed foods which are usually what you can get the very best coupon deals for.
Until you have a substantial pantry stocked I would browse the lists first and try to make a meal plan based on 4 or 5 star items.
Now that I have a substantial food storage built up I meal plan first, sometimes with the hot deals in mind, sometimes not. More often it's with my freezer inventory in mind. And then I use any extra grocery funds to stock up on 4 or 5 star items that I know we use a lot of and marked down meat. For example...I hardly pay attention to cereal, cake mix, brownie mix, packaged side dishes deals anymore because we just don't eat much of that stuff anymore. But if there's a hot deal on chicken broth, canned beans, tomatoes or staples like flour, rice, sugar, olive oil, vegetable oil, etc...I'm all over those! Buy! Buy! Buy!
The truth is that these days I don't use many coupons at all. But that is one thing that PYP offers that most other programs (like the Grocery Guru. BLECH!) can't offer. They help you find the very best deals no matter how you like to shop. Whether you use coupons or not.
As for the coupon binder, why not tuck your coupon savings away each time you go to the store and then when you have accumulated $75 decide if it's worth it to you.
And at that point, your frugal gear might even kick in and you'll decide to make your own binder. ;)
I've been considering switching to the binder method myself. But if I do, I'll make my own.
Also, if you're tucking away those coupon savings you'll clearly know if your newspaper subscription is paying for itself.
PYP often has subscription deals where you can get several of the Sunday paper for a reduced rate and it's ALWAYS better in Utah County than it is here. Is that what you signed up for?
I'm here for ya! Ask away if there's anything you need help with.

Christy said...

Thanks Trish! Yes, I got a several Sunday paper deal and I called a number off of the grocery smarts list that used a passport that I got from PYP. They said one paper for every member of your household and I counted Sandie Kittie, Kaylee, and Kenzie. Thinking that if I buy something because it's a great deal I might want five.
Should I clip them all or plan a trip and clip what I need? What would cause less chaos?

Trish said...

Five is great! That'll be great for starting up a good food storage.
I do clip all my coupons and keep them in a "Coupon Caddy" which I take with me whenever I go to the store. Well, about 95% of the time but I'm trying to improve on that percentage.
When I say "all" I mean I clip every coupon for items I know I will, and do, use all the time. Like the staples I mentioned before.
I also clip the coupons for the things I don't buy regularly but would if I stumbled upon a great deal.
If I don't have my coupons with me I can almost count on happening upon a basket full of marked down items that I'd love to have and would be free or nearly free if only I had my coupons with me. It's maddening!
Some people file the rest of the booklet away in case something turns up later that they want. But I don't do that. I toss it once it's down to stuff I'd never buy even if it was free. If you do decide to file booklets you need to file them by the date they came out because that's how the PYP/GrocerySmarts list shows them.
Does that help?

Jamie Lynn said...

I think this will be a great adventure and once you get it down it will help save tons. I believe you should rerely buy any of th processed food though. Only try to get healthy things. Costco has great coupons. I also have noticed that alot of coupons have in the fineprint now that it can not be applied with in store discounts. Christy you are so creative I think you could make you a book.

Rebecca said...

Don't forget that you can combine Target coupons ( with the ones from the newspapers and it will give you even more savings! also... is a great resource! thanks for commenting on my blog!

The big plunge...

Starting Weight 193.8
Week 1 194.2 - +.4
W- 2 190.2 - -4.0
W- 3 186.4 - -3.8
W- 4 186.2 - -0.2
W- 5 184.0 - -2.2
W- 6 184.5 - +0.5
W- 7 185.0 - -0.5
W- 8 183.2 - -1.8
W- 9 180.0 - -3.2
W- 10 183.2 - +3.2
W- 11 179.0 - -4.2
W- 12 177.1 - -1.9
W- 13 175.1 - -2.0
W- 14 171.6 - -3.5
W- 15 169.9 - -1.7
W- 16 168.4 - -1.5
W- 17 165.4 - -3.0
W- 18 161.9 - -3.5
W- 19 165.4 - +3.0
W- 20 163.0 - -2.4
W- 21 165.8 - +2.8
W- 22 162.0 - -3.8
W- 23 159.8 - +0.4
W- 24 158.0 - -2.7
W-k 25 156.4 - -1.6
W- 26 154.3 - -2.1
W- 27 153.9 - -0.4
W- 28 152.0 - -1.9
August 30, 2009
W- 29 149.9 - -2.1
W- 30 147.7 - -2.2
W- 31 147.1 - -0.6
W- 32 149.5 - +2.4
W- 33 151.3 - +1.8
W- 34 150.2 - -1.1
W- 35 150.8 - +0.6
W- 36 150.3 - -0.5
W- 37 149.1 - -1.2
W- 38 149.8 - +0.7
W- 39 150.1 +0.3
W- 40 156.3 +6.2
W- 41 153.3 -3.0
W- 42 152.6 -0.7
W- 43 152.6 -0.0
W- 44 150.7 -1.9
W- 45 152.4 +1.7
W- 46 153.0 +0.6
W- 47 152.3 +0.7
W- 48 150.1 -2.2

W- 49 147.5 -2.6
W- 50 146.3 -1.2
W- 53 151.0 +2.0
W- 54 149.3 -1.7
W- 55 144.9 -4.4
W- 56 144.1 -0.8
W- 57 140.0 lbs. Goal!!!!