Friday, February 13, 2009

Saving a little

Our economy sucks right now. I know. I'm not telling any of you what we don't already know. I get right ill over it at times. No, I don't have any great ideas that would solve all our issues and make this all go away. I remember a few years ago my Daddy made the comment that it costs a lot to live in this free country. You are so right, Daddy.

The Man and I made the mutual decision for me to be a stay at home Mom. I find that amusing at times because being at home is something I rarely do. Even if I decided to go back out in the work force? At this time there are simply no jobs to be found. I cringe every time I drive by a business that has been forced to close because of our declining economy.

Due to all of this, I have taken up coupon-ing. What a cool game this is! I am still a fledgling learning my way, but I am a quick study and have done some smart shopping thus far. I have been so consumed with finding the best deals on my toiletries and dry goods. I've signed up for big name drugstores so I can receive notice of specials and take my time looking over the sales papers online. While doing that, I make a list and compare it to the coupons I have. It's not a fast process, but worth it in the end.

Some sites show people stockpiling toiletries and dry goods. I'm not quite to that level yet. I have a few "extras" of the toiletries, but that was luck with coupons. Having a teenager makes me focus more on the the extra toiletries, because that sister can go through some shampoo. Whew. It feels like she's always needing razors, shampoo, soap, etc. I know this is par for the course and I want her to be clean. Therefore, I try very hard to keep this habit of hers supplied.

The Man and I have budgeted the household income almost down to the penny. This has been necessary so we don't end up drowning. (Do you know how easy it is to do that?? Drown, that is.) The budget is pretty strict and there have been some good deals that have slipped past me and some amazing coupons that have expired because it just wasn't in the budget for that week/pay period. Getting our taxes back changed that tune just a tad. I decided to head out and replenish our supply of some needed items.

You should have been a fly on the wall. The Man has gotten involved in my Coupon World. Yesterday, he sat and cut coupons out for a little over an hour while I made the list and compared what we needed to what we had on little square pieces of paper. He didn't complain once while I organized and muttered to myself. We ALL went to Wal*art to see what we could do. Paige kept The Boy entertained with some fish viewing for a short while. I think The Man and I were high or something. We knew better than to take our son out when he's coming off of the medication. Especially to THAT store. I finally passed the notebook and pen to him to cross off items and that kept him focused and entertained some. That boy and I went toe to toe and almost had a throw down because I wanted to use a certain coupon for some toothbrushes for him and he wasn't about *those* toothbrushes. Spiderman toothpaste NEEDED a spiderman toothbrush in his mind. I finally thought to myself this really wasn't a battle I had to win and he received his toothbrush. (I totally got the one with the coupon-he'll use it sooner or later and it's green-so I'm not worried.)

The Man and I studied coupons and sales and consulted on the better deal. I've gone so far as to research and look at the different brands of hair product. I don't want to buy one that's not good or good for my hair. I was pleasantly surprised to find that a few of the cheaper brands were reported to do as well as salon expensive brands. I am loving that The Man has no shame of his fist full of coupons. He speaks to those he knows and makes no apologies for saving a dime. It's become a great game to us to see how much we can save. (I even had the sales papers from competing stores -Walgr*ens and C-v-S to see who had the better deal on what.)

At the end of our shopping adventure, The Man, The Boy, and Makenna headed out to the truck since my baby was tired and needing to get away from all the fluorescent stimulation. Paige and I buckled down to see how well we fared. We were sidetracked by a group of three men in front of us. You should have SEEN the buggy full of Valentine stuff these guys had. Somewhere in our town this weekend, there is going to be some happy women and children. I was so tickled to see they had even purchased gift bags and tissue paper.

Our groceries had been added up when I handed the cashier my stack of coupons. Behind me there were 4 women (together) with buggies full of groceries. The cashier hated me. She was making me pull out items to prove that's what I had gotten before ringing in the "buy one-get one free" deals. I didn't falter, Internets. I'd dig out the item to prove I was on top of my game. The women behind me in line watched intently. Beep. Beep. Beep. That cashier kept ringing up that coupon goodness.

I kept grinning. I discreetly turned to the women behind me and held up three fingers then showed the sign for zero to tell them how much I thought I was saving. Then I did a little teeny tiny shoulder dance. They laughed and I don't think they were upset over waiting then. I also kept apologizing for taking so long and they assured me all was fine.

That cashier really disliked me by the time she was finished.

I bid them all a cheery goodnight as Paige and I pushed the buggy out the door.

Paige sighed real big and said that ordeal just wore her out. I commended her for staying true to the mission and reminded her she had goodies in the bags, too.

After all was settled at home, The Man and I sat and figured up what our savings were.


Yeah, baby. That's all coupons right there.

It's on now. We are hooked on finding deals. That thirty seven bucks is enough to take my family out to dinner. I can almost fill up my truck with that. I can work thirty seven bucks, Internet.

Wasn't this the longest story on Earth to tell you about $37.33? I promise not to be this drawn out again. I can't promise I won't blog about finding the good deal occasionally. I consider this good fortune found by work. Nothing wrong with that.

Now I get to go organize a shelf in my bathroom closet so I can open the door, glance up, and feel good about what I see!

Go on and have a good weekend. I'm going to go be green now and recycle some sales papers!


andria said...

We use whatever toothpaste/brush/lotion/shampoo that I can get close to free with sales and coupons.

I spent 212.36 on groceries in January. For a family of 5. So far in Feb, I've spent 84 some dollars and the month is almost half over. I've learned to eat and cook what's on sale/couponed every week. I've also learned which cashiers are more friendly about the coupons than the others. At Wal-mart, though, they always make you double check everything. That's why I quit going there. It is addicting and when you add up every month what you saved and total it at the end of the year, you'll be very pleasantly surprised.

andria said...

We should make a Facebook Club!!!

Coupon Addiction!

Monogram Queen said...

There is absolutely NO shame in using coupons. I am too lazy or i'd do it too. Perhaps soon I will HAVE TO.

P.S. You get a big thumbs up from me for annoying that b*tch cashier!

Karen said...

Welcome to the coupon and bargain world! I've been doing it for years. I rarely ever buy any clothes at full price either. I shop the clearance racks. And if you aren't already a fan of JC Penney, become one. I get 90% of the girls clothes there. And at that store, they show you right at the bottom of the slip how much you saved. I've never spent more than 100 dollars in a trip and the most it's told me I have saved is 400 dollars. lol! It usually always says I saved more than I spent though. I love that store!

Also, did you know that you can take those C*S and Wal*reens flyers into Wal *art and get the sales price there? That way you don't have to waste the gas or your time going to the other locations. The cashier will really hate ya then! lol! My mother does it all the time!

Michelle said...

everyone is on the coupon wagon in this new BO world...good luck to you...we are doing the same thing!

We will surely have fun annoying people when you get back!!!hehe

Miss Hope said...

Karen, I wondered if Walmart did price matching. Oh, it's ON now. The only thing Walgreens can beat it with are the register rewards. I got some hair product (3 different things) on clearance, used some reward bucks and ended up spending less than two dollars. Score!

Andria! Make the group and I'll join with bells on!

Chelle? Start scoping out places now. We'll irritate the snot out of 'em!

Miss Hope said...

Patti? Better be careful...once you save 20 bucks in one trip? You're hooked!

Sallie said...

Would you be willing to share the name of the website(s) you go to, to get your coupons? Or do you just get them out of the newspaper? I've honestly only ever used coupons when I see them in the store. I've never sat down and gone though the paper or the intenet. My husband would LOVE for that to be us, saving $37! Thank you :)

Lishak said...

Congrats on the coupon game! I haven't reached that point yet, but maybe soon. It is a lot to figure out. :)
Hey, stop by my blog sometime. I have a bloggy valentine for ya!

Mellie said...

I'm so proud of you Miss Hope!! Trent hasn't taken it up with as much enthusiasm as your man, but I give him the list to mark things off to keep him occupied (funny that it works for him and Vitt!)

Joe and Samantha said...

wooohoo.. save save save.
I like
There are weekly challenges and everything.

:) Keep it up

Busy Texas Dee said...

I know what you mean about trying to find a good deal. I do my best to keep on a budget. I wish I could find the time in the day to sit and cut out coupons but with the Little Man and Sweet Pea running around it's a little hard to get anything done that I want. Right now it's all about them during the day. I'm surprised I have been able to sit and send this comment to you. Usually if I don't keep them within my grasp then something is going to go wrong. So for the time being I just watch what we get each week. But boy I tell you what we use to be able to get with $100.00 is now costing us $150.00. And now with Ashley back down here I DON'T get out of the store without spending less then $150.00. and that's each week. I'm just thankful that Michael has a good paying job that we can afford all this. And this is just for what we need to get by for the week. I do have a small stock pile of goods for those days that we are a little short. And when I have th extra I replenish what was used. Well gotta run. Little Man is being mean to his sister.
Love you.

Denise said...

I'm all about a good bargain! My problem with coupons, though, is that i find myself buying stuff I normally wouldn't, just because I have a coupon for it. So in the end, I spend more money. It takes real self-control! But I love love love it when I score a really great deal. Who doesn't want to save money?!

ronee said...

i heart the coupon game. you need to show me your tricks monday!

C said...

I wish I could find more coupons for the products I buy. Normally I just get whatever produce is on sale (we go through a TON of it) and save on other things by shopping consignment.

Speaking of budgeting, have you checked out yet? I'm kind of addicted to keeping track of my budget on there.

Mrs. Em said...

I'm all about using coupons. That...and clearance shopping. I love me some red stickers. Oh, and I'm a mean one when it comes to "That rang up as 12.50? Well it's marked 11.50 on the aisle." :) Hey...a $1.00 matters when I'm spending my $100 Walmart minimum every single time I'm there!