Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kicking my couponing into high gear

As I mentioned in my last post going back to work the morning after my vacation was a hard day for me in more ways than one. I missed Cole very much already but the main reason was that while I was away there was a staff meeting and it was announced that the library would be closing for 16 months of renovations. Even more shocking was finding out that all part time staff will be laid off effective October 1st. I am grateful that I was away and didn't attend that meeting because from what I was told it sounded really awful with many staff members crying. :( For me the hardest part is all of the friends I have made while working at the library for 8 years now and it is uncertain if all of them will come back (even I don't know if I will be able to return) once the library reopens in early 2013. When I type seems like an eternity but I know it will go quickly. I also know that there will be many co-workers of mine that will have no choice but to seek employment elsewhere and won't be able to wait the 16 months until the library opens again.

So I had a few days to really think things through and when I got home I talked with my husband and decided that I will try to get unemployment and just take it one day at a time. But my salary has been helping with the monthly grocery bill and once that is gone I have to figure out something else. Having said that I know that there is a reason why I had started getting back into couponing again (I was really into it before mom got sick with cancer and came to live with us) after all this time. I know I stopped doing it because it was just too time consuming and I was needed to take care of my mom and didn't have the time to spend clipping and sorting coupons, not to mention the time involved in going to the stores for the items.

I know if I put mind to it (and some serious time and research) I can save anywhere from 50-75% on my bills when I shop. Knowing now that I will not have a job in just a little over 2 months time, I need to kick this coupon thing into high gear and get my stockpile back up to where it needs to be. I've been reading online and I also got a great book from work about couponing and I've been enjoying that book tremendously!!

I have my coupon binder and I have been keeping it up to date and I really try to find great matchups whenever possible. A matchup is when you use a coupon on top of the item already being on sale so the savings are that much better!! If you shop at stores where they double the coupons, you can sometimes get items for free or close to free!! There are also times when you can even make money with coupons!! HAHA!!

Yesterday I went to Target and spent $4.34 (before tax) and my coupons took $32.41 off the total bill!! I was thrilled!!! I got a full size bag of Popchips (free), a Suave body wash (free), 2 John Frieda full repair root lift foam (free) 2 Dove Men's body wash for .78 cents (They were on clearance for $2.78 and I had a B1G1 free coupon plus I stacked a $2 off any Men's Dove from, the nail polish was .61 cents after my 2 coupons (one manufacturer's and one Target) and then I got 4 Reach toothbrushes, all of which I had coupons for, a manufacturer's coupon with a Target coupon stacked with it. That is the trick, if you have a coupon, look for one to match from the store so you double your savings!!

I am building my stockpile and when you find a great price on something that is either free or close to free you try to get as many as possible while the deal is HOT!!!

Today I went to Walmart to get ink for my printer (I do print some internet coupons so keep that in mind, you will use more ink than usual if you do) and I picked up 3 boxes of Tic Tacs for 12 cents! They were $1.04 each and I had a $1 coupon for each box so they were down to 4 cents a piece!!

My 2nd stop today was another Target in my area (I try to make all of my trips in the least amount of mileage possible, that is key planning) and today I saved $48.80 with my coupons at Target! My cashier was super nice and she told me my total was $72.24 and I handed her my pile of coupons and she said, "Look at you, good job!!!" and I watched the total dwindle down and down until it was all the way down to $23.44!! She commented how good I was that I stacked a Target coupon with each manufacturer's coupon and she asked me what paper I get my coupons from. It was a nice time at the register! Just to highlight a few things I got for my money today at Target I picked up 4 more of the John Frieda Full Repair (usually $5.99 each) totally free! I got Dove Men's deodorant for 78 cents, it was on clearance for $2.78 and I had a $2 coupon! Whoo!! It is very important to always have your coupon binder with you because there will be times when you see something on clearance and you can get a great deal if you have your coupons on hand like I did today. :) I got a box of hair color that is usually $12 for only $4! I have enough hair color to last me well into the spring now with all of the deals I have gotten this week at different stores. I love being able to get my hair color for $3-5 rather than paying full price of $8-11 every time I need it. I try to color my own hair to save money but sometimes I will take the box of color with me to Lemon Tree and they will do it for $20 so that's not a bad deal. :) I got a large bottle of Raid Max for ants (we get them from time to time) for half off with my 2 coupons, Dove conditioner, 3 tubes of toothpaste and 2 tubs of Cottonelle wipes.

I went to Pathmark and Stop & Shop with my printed list of items with all of my coupons.

Some of the great deals I got today with my coupons:

2 bottles of Honest Tea (free)
2 cans of Jamba juice (free)
3 rolls of Viva paper towels for 29 cents each
2 Uncle Ben's Rice for 17 cents each
2 boxes of Goya rice for 19 cents each
6 boxes of assorted cereals for $1.50 each
1 Tabasco sauce (free)

I also picked up some turkey burgers, rolls, a whole watermelon, a large bag of Cheetos, 2 bags of Chex Mix, one bag of Bugles, Crystal Light and a box of Ritz Crackerfuls (one of my new favorite snacks!)

One of the best deals (in my opinion) that I got today was 2 boxes of Move Free Advanced for my husband's arthritis. They are usually $19.99 each but were on sale for B1G1 free and I had a coupon for $5 off so I got 2 of them for $14.99 or $7.50 each!!

Grand totals for today:

$205.06 total products
$135.20 in coupons and sales
Total out of pocket today: $70.03

It was a busy day but I have to say that if I am unemployed I could totally spend more time at this and save our family a ton of money!! I would never pay full price for anything, I just wait for a sale and hope to match the sale with a coupon!!!

Happy couponing!

I am preparing for a weekend scrapbook crop next week and can't wait to get some serious scrapping done!!

June into July roundup

Time for me to get some serious catching up done on my blog, I've been so busy and just haven't posted in the past month!!

We finished up with baseball and although Alex's team put up a pretty good fight there in the last couple of games they just couldn't hold down that 1st place team in the playoffs. I think we had a good season overall and I enjoyed going to almost every game this year (missed one for work) and I hope that Alex will play again next year. It was fun watching him catch a couple of games, as well as play first base. Watching him in the catcher's gear reminded me of when his older brothers were in that position, especially Jesse who was catcher for a while when he played.

On July 7th I very happily watched my son, Jesse, take Nicole to be his wife. While they had originally planned to tie the knot next year things changed and in order for Jesse to be able to have medical insurance under Nicole's plan they decided to make it legal now and then think about a larger reception in the future. The wedding took place outside and it was a beautiful day, although a bit warm for those wearing suits (HAHA!) Jesse was sweating and couldn't wait to take off his jacket but he looked very handsome and Nicole was beautiful. We took a photo with the new happy couple before heading back to our house where I had agreed to host a little gathering for a small group of their friends.

Of course I love a reason to decorate and make pr
etty things so I dressed up the table and make cupcakes with silver glitter and lots of food and goodies for everyone.

If you read my blog you know how much I love going to live concerts and it had been a while and I was due for
one!! On July 9th I had the pleasure of seeing Rick Springfield for the 8th time!!! Yes...8...I couldn't believe it myself when I looked at my ticket stubs and counted them up! It was a great time, as always, with great friends.

Work kept me busy for the next few days and then it was off to my sister's for a week to help take care of my nephew, Cole, and give my sister and her husband a much needed weekend away. Alex and I really had a great time playing with and enjoying Cole to ourselves while mom and dad were away. We did some shopping and planned meals and made sure to fit tons of fun in between all of that.
We went to Toys R Us and got Cole a cute Elmo helmet and then watched him have a blast riding his tricycle that we got him for his 2nd birthday in May, doesn't he look like he's flying? He doesn't use the pedals yet but man does he go fast with his feet!!

We also enjoyed the pool that is in their community and Cole showed me how much he loves the water in the kiddie pool! I love the one photo I took, you can see his tongue sticking out! He wasn't too sure about the big pool, he was holding on to me pretty tight but then I got some of the noodles and wrapped them around and he felt a little better but he was happiest being in the small pool.

We really just enjoyed ourselves totally all week long and it went way too fast for us. I have to say that even Alex who wasn't thrilled about being away from home and his friends for a whole week couldn't believe it when I told him we were going home the next day, he
wanted to stay longer but alas I had to return to work the next morning after we drove home. Going back to work the morning after my wonderful week with my nephew was very hard for me in more ways than one but that is for my next post.