Thrifty Thursday

Ah, the almighty coupon.

Nope, I don’t buy hundreds of newspapers a week. Yes, we get the Sunday paper and the coupons that come with that. Nope, I don’t dumpster dive, I do purchase a few coupons from e-bay. Usually, I pay 10 cents for a $2.00 off coupon for coffee that we buy. I never buy anything on line without first checking two or three sites for a coupon for free shipping or a percentage off.

Many coupons out there are good on boxed cereal (we don’t usually buy those), laundry soap (nope, make my own), toothpaste (we buy non fluoride, organic, no coupons), and since we do not buy boxed products, we loose out on using those. We make our own dog food and treats so we don’t…..wait we do use those. We buy the products and donate them to the animal shelter. Any time we want to buy junk food like potato chips, we make sure we use a coupon. I use coupons for personal products and we fill our college and military care packages with those.

I keep a zippered plastic pencil holder pouch in the glove box of our car. It holds coupons for stores that I drive to. Joann Fabrics, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Jiffy Lube, local grocery stores, coffee shop, you get the idea. By keeping them in the car, we never forget them at home, once at a place of business.

I spend about 15 minutes a week on “couponing”. Yes, I have watched the Ultimate Supreme Couponers on television. No, I do not spend 8 hours a day clipping coupons. Sure I send an e-mail now and then to a company with a product that we love or use often. Sometimes, they send out a coupon or two.

2011 I only couponed 11 months out of the year. I took the month of August off for surgery. We continue to refine our diet and eat healthier and make better choices so our couponing is not quite as easy. I jot down the coupons each shopping trip on the calendar. End of the month, I just add up, circle and then move on. I add them at the end of the year. Keeps me motivated to continue another year.

I keep my coupons in a three ring binder. Otherwise, I think it would make me crazy to dig around in a paper bag and just pull out a coupon here or there. I go through
the baseball card sleeve pages about once a month and check expiraton dates. Easy and quick.

So here are some totals for my 15 minutes a week “work”.

2009 saved a total of $1,394.94
2010 saved a total of $1,794.67
2011 saved a total of $1, 442.82

A grand total for three years equals $4,632.43. The very next time someone tells you that you can’t really save any money using coupons, refer them to this blog post. I bed to differ.

I have a friend who says don’t say “thrifty” say THRIVING. So here you go,
Thriving on Thursday.