I need to put the shelf-clearers on speed dial
I'd like to start out by saying that yes, I am a tad bit bitter about my shopping trip on Saturday. I think I have every right to be. But ultimately, I'm going to put on my big girl panties and deal with it because that's what I do. (After all, I'm raising a teen and a soon-to-be pre-teen. I have to set a good example for them and teach them the right way to act as an adult. Never mind that I really wanted to pitch a fit in the middle of the floor, kick and scream until I got my way.)
Saturday, I went coupon shopping. I haven't been coupon shopping in quite a while and decided that Saturday was going to be the day I did it. (Let me first back up and say that I went to the Piggly Wiggly on Friday night to grab a few deals. .99/lb tomatoes? Yes, please!)
With gas prices creeping up toward $4/gal, I figured I'd make a giant circle in my shopping exersion in town. First, I hit Wal-Mart. Then, I would hit Harvey's.
The Man Beast and I are getting back into the swing of things as far as coupon shopping goes. He read online where you should put a "price" on your time. He and I figured $10/hr. I spent about an hour going through the sales/coupon match ups (SouthernSavers.com and Coupon-Wizards are my two favorites). So, I figure I need to say at least $10 this shopping trip (plus the slight amount of gas I will use).
So, I head to Wal-Mart. I want to get the free Reach floss and Hydro Silk razors. I don't because I can't. They are all gone. Local extreme couponers have hit again. And if this weren't enough, I drop all my coupons in the middle of the isle. (Luckily, I brought only the coupons I was going to use for that trip in that store, but still, it was about 20 coupons. Completely embarassing.)
This is what I end up getting at Wal-Mart. (My savings weren't as high as they could have been because I stopped by the dollar bin to pick up a few Easter items for Baby Girl.)
My non-food before-coupon-total: $34.98
My non-food after-coupon-total: $26.58
My best buy - Up2U gum: $0.28
My food before-coupon-total: $33.32
My food after-coupon-total: $24.57
My best buy - Panko bread crumbs: $0.82
Total savings: $17.15
Next, it was on to Harvey's. It was a real quick trip.
My before-coupon-total: $47.68
My after-coupon-total: $27.25
My best buy - Dunkin Hines cake mix: $0.30
Total savings: $20.43
Total for both trips (before discounts and coupons): $115.98
Total out of pocket: $78.40
Total Savings: $37.58
So, I made the $10 for my time, plus an additional $27. Was it a great trip? No, not by any means. But it was saving something. It is a step in the right direction.
A few thoughts on my version of couponing:
- I won't go out of my way to "chase" a good deal. Even I know that great deals come around about every 12 weeks.
- I won't buy obscene amounts of mustard a la Extreme Couponing.
- I will buy four items (to go with my four coupons) and that is it. (If I have a BOGO coupon, that total goes up to 8 - not 200).
- I won't buy Depends just because they're free. I don't need them. One could argue that I could donate them. True. But I'll leave that little tasks to the extreme couponers (which I hope are not hoarding). I'm realistic to know that I rarely run errands outside of the ones I absolutely have to run.
- I am not the least bit organized. I adopted the whole-insert idea (see statement about the "price" of my time).
- This is how my brain works: If I buy shampoo at $2 each after my coupon and receive a Catalina, Register Reward, Extra Care Bucks, or Up Points worth $2, it does not make my shampoo free - I still paid $2 OOP (out-of-pocket). It is for this reason that I find a lot of couponing sites very annoying. OOP spending is OOP spending. It is money that cannot go toward a bill, savings, or haircuts.
- This said - my favorite coupon sites are: Coupon Mom, Southern Savers, and Coupon Wizards. Check 'em out!