It’s about this time that everyone begins to get a little nervous about their finances.
The media screams that the sky is falling, and the first credit cards bills from Christmas may be starting to hit (if that is you…CUT THEM UP NOW!)
Maybe your family of seven is without a job as of this coming week
(oh, that would be me…remember our GOD WATCH?)
Well, I admit, I started to get a little lazy with my couponing around the holidays.
Yes, it happens to the best of us, but I am more incentivized than ever to get back on the wagon.
So what about you? Have you fallen off the wagon with your coupon clipping, or maybe you never got on?
Are you thinking it just might not be worth the hassle of putting together that coupon binder?
(this one is not even in use anymore…I have upgraded)

One great addition to my blog is that I am featuring wonderful deals and steals on my side bar, and here (click to get to that page). I have such fun getting new samples, and printing coupons right from my computer, so daily I will be trying to update things that I find on my internet searching.
Last week, most of the steals I got on cereal were the coupons I printed directly from my side bar. The cereal coupons have unfortunately reached their limit for the month, but they will reload on March 1st – I’ll remind you. People, I GOT 6 boxes of cereal for $.25 EACH!!!

I realized that it may be of some encouragement to see how I shop ever week, and only spend $500/month for our family. We may be able to sharpen each others shopping skills and I would love to learn from you in my comments. This may be goofy..would it help?
Here’s a quick over view of last week. My total for all of this was under $40.
And I so sad because I am searching for my receipt right now, but it’s gone.
The next post I will itemize, so you can see exactly what I spent.

One thing that has saved our family $thousands of dollars over the last decade is buying our milk in bulk when it comes close to the “sell by” date and then freezing it.
I have NEVER spent more than $1/gallon of milk in the last 10 years and $1.50 on ORGANIC, which I prefer. I will do a whole post on freezing milk since I am sure many of you are screaming, “what, you can freeze milk and it doesn’t taste nasty?”
This is where a relationship with diary/produce/meat managers come in handy.
Some stores do not mark down their milk as it comes near to the “sell by” date, but many are very willing if you ask.
*edited to add….the “sell by” date refers to the date stamped on the side. They can’t sell it after that date, so instead of throwing it out, many dairy managers will mark it down (if you live local..I’ll tell you where to go and where not to go).
Some won’t, it’s just a matter of asking at various stores. 🙂

Another area I will discuss is that of “stockpiling” food. Does that image conjure up some crazy old lady with 300 cats running wild in her living room, or maybe just a few good ‘old rednecks with shot guns (wait, that might be my kids :)?
What I mean in reference to stockpiling is just loading up those items that you can match up and get for a steal every once in awhile.
Right now I have 20 cans of soup in my cabinets (yes, crazy lady, but my kids love soup).
I got them for $.50 and most of them were the quality Healthy Select and Progresso brands which are typically $2.25 ish per can.
I will slowly use them, but I never want to pay full price again for those, so when the BuyOne, Get One free (BOGO) sale came along, and I had matching coupons for each item…..I bought.

Yes, it does mean that you have to have some storage space, but not as much as you might think. (Just a RubberMaid under an extra bed would do) More on that as well.
I did the same with these cheeses, and got each of them for under $1.
My sweet newlywed friend, Miss G, had a great realization into her new endeavor of couponing.
She noticed that all the coupons are not great deals….or practical….and that there is a huge learning curve.
Yep, there is. After all, couponing is nothing more than a marketing decision by the manufacturer to get you to buy their products.
They don’t care if you get it for free or dirt cheap. They just want you to buy.
It’s about finding out what is on sale in your store flyer and matching the coupons up with the sales. It’s also about slowly getting a nice bundle of coupons to choose from. That is why I started stockpiling. I have the ability to wait til they go on sale again.
It’s also about PATIENCE.
I will hold onto coupons for months, until the items finally go on sale, then the wait is worth its weight in gold.

Now for those of you who see this meat…no, I don’t use a coupon for it, but the meat manager marks things down extra cheap for me at the end of the day.
Most meat departments mark things down first thing in the morning, and then again at about 3:00 in the afternoon. Just ask….that is where you will get some steals.
This trip I bought 6 lbs of meat, 6 gallons of organic milk, grapes, syrup, tortillas, pound cake mixes, frozen items, more dairy items and some misc. all for under $40.

I shopped again last night, and I should have the receipt for that one….I’ll get it out and share in a few days.
Now back to shopping the house with some spray painting. Wait for what comes next 🙂

Works for me Wednesday