The Birth of a New Couponer

About three weeks ago I decided to take up a new hobby.  I’ve been very intrigued by stories of people getting steals on their groceries, and since we need to make every dollar count these days, I decided to give it a try.

I discovered the site http://www.southernsavers.com through a friend’s blog and was instantly hooked.  I thought, if she’s going to do all the hard work then there’s no reason why I can’t make this work.  Southern Savers tracks the sales of all the grocery chains in this area and matches their sales with coupons.  Sale Price + Coupon(s) = Cheap (and sometimes free) groceries.  Of course she does point out that you have to give up brand loyalties.  That I can do.  But, I refuse to buy crap that I wouldn’t dare feed my family.  If I gave up the HFCS and PHSO kicks then I could certainly save MUCH more by eating a bunch of processed and/or frozen foods.  I’m stubborn, so no amount of money saving can make me give up my convictions about eating well.

My friend Clara is into this, too, and she taught me the value of stocking up.  Each week I buy 3 Sunday papers so that I have 3 copies of each coupon.  Then, when something is an extra great deal I can get more than one for the great price.  Also, she told me about Bloom Triples (which Southern Savers also announces).  One weekend a month Bloom will triple coupons under $1.00 up to 20 per order.  This is when I love me some 75 cents off coupons.  After going through my first Bloom Triples weekend, I did learn some valuable tips.  First, you’ve got to shop early if you want to get everything on your list.  Everyone in this area is clipping the same coupons as I am, so the best deals get taken fast.  My first trip was on a Friday afternoon and lots was already sold out.  Next time, it’s early Friday AM.  Then, you have to get the Sunday paper early on Sunday so that you can take full advantage of the new coupons for that week.  I went to 2 Blooms on Sunday to get all I was after.  It was worth it.  I saved $71 on $115 worth of groceries.

So, now I’ve gotten completely nerdy about it.  I went to Staples and got some business card holders (like sheet protectors, but with little pockets) and some dividers.  I have my little notebook divided into areas of the store so when it’s time to look for them, I can turn right to them.

I just saw on the website that the lady who created it is doing a tour of the south offering classes on couponing for only $10.  She just announced she’s coming to my area and I’m going to try to go.  Anyone want to join me?

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