Friday, December 10, 2010

Coupon Confessions

Earlier this year, I posted about my new-found love of couponing. In that post, I explained what worked for me and what I was attempting to do to cut down on grocery bills. Well, I have some confessions to make now that I've been doing this for about a year.

I don't cut out every coupon. Okay, I don't cut out many coupons at all!

I don't try to get every freebie.

My "use yogurt tubs instead of purchasing disposable tupperware" backfired.

And -gasp - I stopped at Walgreens the other day!!

What changed? Nothing, really, except that I've gained a bit of wisdom about what does and doesn't work for me. I had to start somewhere, but over time I've been able to streamline a lot of things to make them work for our family.

For example, our local Safeway grocery store recently unveiled their new couponing program where I just simply upload coupons to the store card. This, combined with other e-coupon sites, has all but eliminated my need for cutting out paper coupons. Also, I don't get to see my parents quite as frequently as I used to, so the stretches between visits are longer and thus a lot of coupons expire before I get them (my mom kindly saves me her inserts so I don't have to spend $$ on a weekend subscription of the newspaper).

I also renewed our Costco membership because it dawned on me that I only have to save $5 a month to pay for the membership fee. I save at least that by shopping there, plus my cheese comes grated! (I love saving time as much as money, so this was a great thing for me.) Costco doesn't accept any coupons but their own, so again, the need for clipped coupons isn't there.

Now that Jon works days and takes the car, I don't have the option of taking a quick trip out to grab a few freebies at CVS, Walgreens, or wherever. I try to take a semi-monthly trip to Target or Walmart to pick up the needed household items, and I use a few coupons if I can. I don't get shampoo for free, but I do get a good deal, and I'm sure I've saved in gas whatever I'd have saved by getting the freebies since it takes so much gas to drop off Jon at work.

My biggest money-saving flop was using yogurt containers in place of buying clear Tupperware or Rubbermaid tubs. Since I couldn't see through the containers, I'd forget what meal was saved in which cup, and I ended up wasting a ton of food. So much for that frugal idea! My mom came to my rescue (again!) with this, though, and gave me a whole stack of clear containers she no longer needed. Hopefully, this way we'll save on the cost of containers as well as avoid throwing out spoiled food.

I know our needs will continue to change, and I'll have to modify my approaches with each season of life. It's rather fun, though, and I enjoy discovering what works and what doesn't. I even stopped in at Walgreens to get my recent prescriptions and to take them up on their free 8x10 collage offers.

Life as a stay-at-home, penny-pinching Mommy can be very exciting even in the seemingly-mundane areas. Life isn't static, and I take joy in finding the new changes, even the minute ones.

I'm sure things will have spun a 360 by the time I even post this. But at the moment of this writing, this is what's working for now. :)


  1. Like! Good job!! It's nice to know someone else is in the same boat as me - I haven't been using coupons at ALL lately, because I started buying store brand stuff at Wegman's. At first I felt bad not cutting coupons, but I think I actually spend less now. You probably do this already, but I also started buying a lot more unprocessed stuff and cooking more from "scratch" Broccoli crowns, pasta, and shredded cheese instead of broccoli & cheese "Pasta Sides" bags. I make my own instant oatmeal packets instead of buying the premade packets, and get the bags of brown rice instead of Minute rice. This was a hard switch because I hate waiting forever stuff to cook!!

  2. I love it, Lilly! I've been trying to cook more healthfully and from scratch, too, which also reduces my need for coupons since a lot of coupons are for the prepackaged meals. Now, if I can just convince my family that brown rice really is better for them and I'm really NOT trying to kill them... :) Thanks for the tips! I love it!