Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why I Coupon

Combos, Playtex Tampons, Brawny Paper Towels, Finesse Shampoo and Conditioner, Lady SpeedStick, Sally Hansen Insta-Dry and Complete Salon Manicure, M&M's, Reese's Mini's, Softsoap Hand Soap, Irish Spring Body Wash, Softsoap Body Wash.
I thought instead of the usual weekly breakdown on my haul, I would use this opportunity to talk about why I still coupon. Some people I encounter give me that "Girl, you crazy" look when I tell them I coupon. There was a time when the hubby and I had to coupon. When we first moved to Kentucky, we had some serious budgetary issues and money had to be saved. Now that the hubby has a great job, I think people assumed I would stop couponing. Nope.

I had some minor complications with my haul this weekend, and I was seriously bent out of shape. First of all, I was seriously disorganized. I hadn't cleaned out my binders or cut up my coupons from last week. I put my list together hastily. At Rite Aid, my coupons had expired the day before. At CVS, I made a math error when putting my list together. I tend to be one of those people who gets seriously bothered when things don't go perfectly. Which is often in life. So after the drug stores, I was feeling crummy and inadequate. I was still feeling bummed about my haul until this morning, when I sat down to crunch some numbers on the haul.

For this week's haul, I paid $27.73. The total value of the products was $78.29, which means the total percentage of savings on my haul was 65%. That's really not that bad, and not an unrealistic percentage of savings. Unbeknownst to you all, I buy a lot more when I shop than what I picture. What I picture are items that I bought with coupons. It's rare to get coupons for fresh veggies and fresh meat, and veggies are the bulk of what I buy at the grocery store. Another fact that I don't talk about- my weekly maximum budget is $100. I almost always try to spend less than that, because any money leftover in my budget goes into the coupon savings account. I also transfer any money saved from coupons and/or sales into my coupon savings account. Most stores will list on their receipt how much money you saved with sales and coupons. So, as an example, I spent $83.16 last week. I got to transfer $16.84 plus the $69.70 that I saved with coupons/sales into my savings account. For a crummy week, that's still a good amount of money. It all adds up.

To put all this in perspective, let's go back in time about 7 years. I was working crazy hours, I was at work more than I was home. I didn't do any kind of sales planning. I just made a quick list of meals I would make for the week, and then buy what I needed. Willy nilly. Most weeks, I spent $150-$175 on groceries. For 2 people! I want to bawl like a baby sometimes, when I think about all the money I threw away. And that didn't even include my personal items for the month (shampoo, conditioner, makeup, etc.). If you add up all that money over a year- that's about $7200 in groceries. Not to mention, another probably $100 a month for cosmetics ($1200 a year!). That's $8400. Yowsa. If you took what I spent this week (and said I spent that every week) that would be $3,991.68. That's a serious, serious difference. A $4,408.32 difference, to be exact. So, it really wasn't that bad of a week after all.

The hubby and I have benefitted greatly from couponing. Since starting a savings account to keep track of our savings last year, we were able to make such a large down payment on our brand new appliances that we are making our last payment on those next month! We've also been able to build our couponing account back up to over $2000 already. We are hoping to pay cash to fence in our backyard next summer, and I think that goal is completely do-able.

So for me, the whole couponing thing is not about getting a lot of junk for free. It's not even about being a cheapskate. It all comes down to good common sense. I used to fork over that $4,408.32 that I now save to stores. These days, I keep it for myself.

2 comments:

  1. I will keep this post a secret from Ms. Time; otherwise my days will be spent organizing books of coupons, etc. Awesome job kiddo! VERY impressive.

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    1. Sometimes it does seem like all I do is clean out expired coupons, cut up new ones, and put them away. Time consuming, but definitely worth it :)

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