I was up early today and watched The Today Show. They had a segment about extreme coupon usage which turned out to be the way I usually use coupons. So apparently, I'm extreme. Hmm. The Coupon Mom was their expert and she went head-to-head with the Today show correspondent in a drug store. Armed with the same shopping list, the correspondent used no coupons while the Coupon Mom used them. The result? The Today show lady spent $83, and the Coupon Mom spent $1. While I never do that well (I assume this was a store that doubled coupons - we have none of that here) I manage to save a few bucks here and there. And really, every dollar I don't spend on something is a dollar to spend somewhere else. Preferably on paying off a bill.
Last Saturday, I went to Rite Aid to buy stuff they had on sale. I ended up buying $44 worth of stuff for only $22. Not bad! And its stuff I actually use. My daughter likes a certain type of shampoo which Rite Aid had on sale, and I had coupons for. I used 5 coupons and bought 5 bottles. On each bottle alone (with the sale and coupon), I saved $3.50. (Do the math. In your head.) I feel very conspicuous when I go into stores with my coupon organizer and my list, like people may think I'm crazy. But I've had more people come up to me and compliment my organizational system, so I guess I shouldn't feel so weird.
One year, I was going to keep track of how much money I saved using coupons. But I'm just not that obsessive and couldn't keep it up after about a month. I have a difficult enough time trying to keep my life straight without added responsibilities or tasks. Besides, there are better ways to spend my time.
In case you're into this sort of thing, here are some websites that may help:
Hot Coupon World This one relies on the input of other users and you can usually get a lot of good information, but you sometimes have to sift through stuff that doesn't apply to you. Like, sale items at Meijers in other states or cities. However, I found out about a good deal at Walgreens through this site.
Money Saving Mom She has some good deals both in stores and online.
Glimpse of Sonshine This is specific to West Michigan Meijers so it can be helpful in identifying good deals.
The Grocery Game This one requires a subscription fee. I'm a member and pay $15 every 3 months for good deals at Walgreens and Meijers. Whats nice about this site is that you can print up a list and take it to the store with you. Too me, this is well worth the subscription fee. Its similar to Savings Angel, but much cheaper. Its also much more limited in the information they give. I'm pretty sure they have a trial offer if you want to give it a try.
Refund Cents This one has a general site and a member's only site. The member's section offers a great deal of information including online deals (some of which give free merchandise). The online access fee is quite cheap, something like $10 for 6 months. I used to use this but have slacked off as my time has been more limited.
If you are not into this sort of thing, then you just spent a few minutes reading something you had no desire to read about. But then again, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Or something like that....