A blog about gardening, canning, quilting, family, saving money, and product reviews

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Couponing-It really is worth it

Ok guys, I'm getting a ton of people asking me "Yeah, but is it really worth it??!!??" when I tell them about my coupon cutting endeavors.

The answer is yes.

But I have a few tips:

1. Just because you have a coupon, doesn't mean you need to use it.
2. You don't have to use it right away, just wait for it to all fall into place perfectly.
3. Use your coupons with store coupons and store sales/deals to make the most of your coupons.
4. Use doublers whenever possible.
5. Keep your coupons very organized, so if you are in a store and you find an unadvertised deal, you can locate the coupons quickly.
6. You need a binder, and you need to bring it with you EVERYWHERE!
7. Keep store ads on you (I put them in the binder) so that if a deal is not showing in the store but it is advertised, you can get the sale price. And if you need to price match, you have proof if asked.
8. Have fun!

I bought this binder from Walmart for about $12.97. It's zippered (no coupons will be escaping here) and it also has another spot that has folders that I keep my store ads in, I change them every week.

See the store ads? And to the left I keep my target gift cards (and gift cards from other places as well if I have any). Have you seen lately that Target has been offering $5 GC for purchase of a certain number of a certain product? Well, they won't let you use that gift card in the transaction, but they will let you use a different gift card. So, if they hand me a gift card, I hand them one back from my stash. Let me show you what I mean, an example from my past purchases

Buy 4 Pantene products, receive a $5 GC
The pantene products were $5.99 ea (I realize that's a bit higher than Kmart, but the bottles were also much bigger than kmart).
total is $23.96
Used coupon 1- $2/1 pantene styler
used coupon 1 $5/3 pantene products
Total is now down to $16.96 with coupons, I'm handed a gift card as the register prompts the cashier to give me one. It's for $5. Now, I would be paying $16.96 OOP if I left it at that. But I hand her back another $5 GC from another transaction. Now I'm paying $11.96 OOP, making the product $2.99 ea ($3 off each product) and I just replaced the gift card I spent. 

I do not personally save them up for bigger transactions, honestly I think they give those gift cards hoping that you will lose them or forget about them. I found a gift card from Kmart for a similar transaction from four years ago in my purse, it was expired. Do you see what I mean? Now, Target gift cards do not expire, but if you hang onto it, and you lose it, then the company didn't have to make good on the $5! So, it's all about saving money right now for me!

Another example:
Buy 3 qualifying products and receive $5 GC
Bought 3 Secret deodorants (3.99/ea on sale)
Total is $11.97
Use 3-$1/1 secret deodorant
total is now $8.97 after coupons
Receive a $5 GC, hand her back a $5GC and now my total OOP is only $3.97 (the cost of just under ONE of the deodorants (or $1.32/ea).

Unzip the binder and you will find this. there are little organizational tabs that are labeled "use this trip," "teeth," "hair and body wash," "frozen," etc.  So, when I'm preparing for a trip, I usually know about what I'm going to buy, and I will move the coupons I KNOW I need to the front so I don't have to search for them. I sometimes will write a list as to what I'm after with exact advertising prices, so if something doesn't look right, I don't have to go search all over to find out what it was supposed to be. 

The coupons, I have kept in baseball card organizing sleeves. They work perfectly, and very few coupons will not fit in the pockets. If they don't, I fold them very carefully and stick them in anyways! 

If I find an unadvertised sale on something and I think I have a coupon for it, I will rummage through them, find them, and if it's worth it I will move it to the front of the book so it's ready at checkout.

Look at all that money I might save!

The other things you want to keep in mind are:

Sometimes you will set out with a specific plan, only to find that the advertised sale is not happening at your store (yes, it happens sometimes, and they may or may not change the price for you based on the ad) or you find that the item although it's part of a buy 2 get 1 free deal ( or something similar) just really isn't saving you that much money. Or maybe you just do the math and realize you are only spending 33% and you aren't sure if that's enough to meet your standards for the day. Don't worry, do not be afraid to walk away. Do not be afraid to let a coupon expire. If the deal is not right, just leave. I have done this several times just because it didn't feel good enough. A better deal will always come along. 

I go through my coupon book every week when I'm adding new coupons, and I will remove the expired coupons. Usually I see them ahead of time, and I like to spread the love. If I have a coupon that is expiring very soon and I know I won't be using it, I will find the product in the store, and stick the coupon on the shelf with it. Can you imagine walking through a store, picking up something you need (gasping at the price), and noticing some coupon angel just left a coupon for you? I would be ecstatic, and I hope others would be too. So, share the coupon love if you are not going to use it. That being said, I NEVER do this right away, I keep the coupons until maybe a week before they expire, and sometimes up until the day the expire. WHY!? Well, because I know I may not need/use the product, but sometimes deals come up that make something free, and that's a perfect excuse to get a good deal....and donate it to somebody who does need it!

So, when somebody asks me if couponing is really worth it...the answer is yes. In the past month I have stocked up on granola bars that retail for $2.99 for only $0.99. I have stocked up on tampons that retail for $6.99 for only $0.99/ea. I have gotten free Werther's original candies at Walgreens using store coupon, sale, and manufacturer coupons (boy that lady was not happy), I got a free toothbrush, and I stocked up on deodorant for well under $1.50 each when it usually retails for over $4. 

If you happen to have some coupons from 9/28 paper, there is a Rimmel coupon for $1/1 Rimmel product. You can use that right now with coupon doubling at Kmart to get free nail polish :) (Of course you need to meet the threshold of $25 before the coupons double, but if you already have shopping to do, that's an added bonus).

I hope to be doing more on couponing in the future, so please stay tuned. I hope that this post will help you to get your coupons out of the bag or bucket they are currently in, get them organized, and start saving some real money! 

'Til next time



  1. You do it pretty much the same way I do except i don't use a binder. I always always write out my list with the deals and have the coupons that go along with the deal pulled out. The baseball card sleeve is a great idea and solves my issue, so thanks for the tip! I remember when I first started doing the coupon stuff. I wasn't cutting certain coupons because I THOUGHT I would never use the particular product or it's expensive. I came across a great deal at Target i believe a month or so later and i wanted to kick myself right then and there because I could have gotten it for practically nothing, gah! So needless to say i cut every single coupon and make sure I always get 2 extra papers. When I lived up north i only clipped coupons for things that I actually used but they doubled the coupons in New York.. That was when my kids were little and when I was young and dumb lol Sure wish they doubled em here! I also remember when I first started a year ago, i couldn't believe that people were buying so many extra papers for coupons lol again, i came across a deal that was again at target, bic razors, i had to buy so many to get a gift card.. Yeah I only had ONE razor coupon! Those are expensive and I missed getting them for like 50 flipping cents! Needless to say i cut every single coupon AND get multiple papers lol

  2. That is exactly what I do. I had seen a coupon preview for this past week and it did not mention the granola bar coupon that I got. Needless to say even though I had no plans of getting a paper on sunday because of the measly coupons, I'm glad I did, because we go through a lot of granola bars! Anyways, I ended up going just so I could get the ads for the stores! :) Happy couponing Adeline, thanks for reading my post! :)