What I’ve Been Up To
I’ve been sitting on this entry for so long because, well, people tend to get a little judgey about this. I understand it because I used to kind of do it, too. But that was before I understood how it worked.
So, I’m ripping off the bandaid. That’s a lot of brownie mix, right? Would you believe I got all that and a gallon of milk for $1.80 this afternoon? You can probably guess what that means:
(Please excuse the camera phone pictures — I like to send them to Mike.)
Basically, what I’ve been doing these last eight months of radio silence has been couponing.
Now before you roll your eyes, keep in mind that I’m not extreme couponing like on the TLC show. Truth to be told, the kinds of deals the people on the show get are unrealistic, and pretty much any other couponer will tell you the same.
We’re not able to do that kind of couponing in Las Vegas anyway because stores don’t double coupons here, so it’s just everyday couponing — that is to say, using coupons on things that are on sale and getting a really good deal on it (see above). However, we also don’t have sales tax on food items so that does help a little.
Here are a few more deals I’ve gotten recently, because I like to see what others get, too.
For the brownies I had 20 .40 cents off coupons (you can either buy a crap ton of newspapers or search around online for clipping services) and they are currently on sale at Albertson’s for .49 each if you buy ten. Even without coupons that’s not a bad deal, they’re usually $2.99 per box. For the milk, I had a free register coupon from the last time I went grocery shopping because I took advantage of the store’s “buy four cereals get a free milk” deal (of course, I used coupons for the cereal too).
This morning I also got 10 jugs of laundry detergent for just under $14 at Smith’s. They’re currently having a sale on their Purex laundry detergent for $2.39 if you buy ten, and if you go to Purex’s site you can print out a $1 off Purex with Zout coupon (if you have access to more than one computer you can print as many as you need). I printed ten and got each jug of detergent for $1.39 each, and since each does about 24 loads per bottle I’m coming in about $10 cheaper than the gigantic jug I usually get at Sam’s. (Yes, couponing involves math.)
Guess how much all of that was? Actually, I got all that pasta for free. Ronzoni has just introduced their new “healthier” lines and $1 off coupons were everywhere. But stores were also running some fantastic sales on the pasta at .99 and even .89 each, so that was an excellent deal about a month or so ago.
These Magnum ice cream bars are one of my favorite deals. I have a bunch of $1 off coupons that I use with several store sales, including Albertson’s, Smith’s and even Target, and got all of these for .99 each (they’re usually $2.99). Mike and I let ourselves have one a week on Sunday nights while we watch Game of Thrones (well, True Blood now).
Couponing is really easy. Basically you hang on to coupons, clip everything that comes in your paper or in the mail, and search out some clipping services online if you want to get a lot (I’m not going to buy 20 Sunday newspapers, that would kill my savings right there). Then you go over your store’s sales flyer every week and match up the coupons you have with what’s on sale.
However, you have to be careful not to spend on stuff you’re not going to use just for the sake of using a coupon. I got a ton of pasta because who can’t use pasta? And the brownie mixes will last us for at least a year, and will take care of many a dessert night (add chopped nuts, chocolate chips, drizzle with caramel, etc, to change it up).
You might be thinking:
“What on earth are you going to do with all that?”
Well, not have to buy it again for a very, very long time!
“But all you get is junk!”
Keep in mind that these are special deals. I still do my regular shopping trip every two weeks where I get my usual fruits, vegetables and homemade dinner supplies. However, the cost of my bi-weekly trips have been cut significantly since I no longer have to buy anything I’ve already got in my pantry.
“You’re basically just a hoarder.”
This one slays me every time I see it. All of the stuff I get with coupons will be used. All of the stuff sitting in my pantry and laundry room would have been bought eventually anyway. The only difference now is that while I bought a lot of it, I got it for much cheaper, and won’t have to run out next week and buy it at full price.