Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A New Hobby? Yes, Please!

Over the past couple weeks, I have been researching the topic of couponing. I have become fascinated with the TLC show "Extreme Couponing" as I am sure countless others are. Now, I do NOT watch the show and think "Wow, I want to be like them." No, I will not be spending 60 hours a week scouring the Internet for deals, dumpster diving for coupons, or building a nuclear fallout shelter in my basement. Upon googling "extreme couponing" one of the very first websites I came across was all about "realistic couponing". Realistic couponing is more about using coupons on sale items to save 40-70% on your grocery bill. This sounded a lot more like me so I set out to go forth and save.

I wish I could say that I saved 70% my first trip. HA! I didn't do bad my first trip, saving about 27% at Kroger on groceries. My first trip was more about the learning experience and I have a lot to learn! Kroger has a savings card where you can go online and load digital coupons to your savings card to use in the store. The nice part is that all you have to do is swipe your card to use your coupons which eliminates/significantly decreases the need to carry a packet of coupons around. The downside is that you can't use digital coupons and manufacturer coupons together. Also, Kroger does not double their digital coupons but they will double the paper ones you bring into the store (under $0.50). 

One of the biggest couponing lessons I have learned (at least for me!) is to stick to my list! I have been making a list of what I am going buy and for what price and now have approximate totals on my lists. This week I was so close to my estimated total but still off $5. I know, I know, it's $5 but I have to admit I was disappointed when my total didn't add up. This lesson also came into play at CVS this week. CVS also has a savings card but with theirs you can scan your card as soon as you walk in the door and get free coupons! After getting my free coupons this week I saw I received one for $3 off a $10 makeup purchase. Of course I used this coupon and consequently added more money to my purchase since my makeup totaled slightly more than $10. Sigh. But, I'm learning!

As with all new hobbies, I am having fun figuring this out. I have since signed up for the Sunday paper, as well as a subscription to All You which is a popular magazine chock full of coupons. I have signed up for several email services for tips and popular deals for the week. I think Jerame is happy I have taken up a productive hobby as well as one that will help the house! As for me, it is time to head down to the post office to see if I got any new coupons in the mail... JOKING friends!

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