I've always been wary of those coupon ladies. You know the ones. They show up on your local talk show, a little too chirpy, wearing their appliqued sweaters, standing before tables that are groaning beneath a boat load of grocery items and vowing that they only paid .29 for the whole lot. I envisioned them sitting at their kitchen tables, cackling fiendishly as they slashed their way through endless mounds of coupon inserts and sale flyers-- sort of Edward Scissorhands meets A&E's Hoarders. But then I became one of those coupon ladies, and quite by accident.
My buddy Gwen called one afternoon and asked if I had any plans for the following evening. Immediately I envisioned a glorious girls night out that would hopefully include pedicures, a movie and some impossibly decadent dessert. Quickly I assured her I had nothing at all on the calendar. "Great!" she said, "there's this couponing thing at a local church..." and then--The. World. Went. Dark. "Um, okay, sounds like fun," I lied.
Let me assure you dear readers, had this been ANYONE besides my friend Gwen, I'd have found a way to weasel out. But she is incredibly sweet, and fun to be with and the two of us rarely do anything without the guys. SO, I kept my word and the next evening we turned up at the church just as things were getting started.
Sure enough, front and center stood a huge table loaded up with five gazillion items and I knew it was only a matter of time till some lady in a cat sweater and ankle socks tottered out and told us how she managed to buy 63 blocks of Velveeta for $1.00-- WRONG! Soon a young, attractive, professional woman in a red blazer welcomed us and started right in on a presentation that included handouts and a power point. Turns out couponing has gone chic and tech! Two hours later I emerged, a grinning convert with a shiny new binder full of handouts. Thank you Gwen!
The next few nights I was glued to the computer, gleaning as much info as I could. I was amazed to find that there are actually people out there who will match up current coupons with current sales. Score! All I have to do is clip a few coupons, or print them out online, then surf over to their websites and they've done the homework for me. I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!
I started out slowly, saving 30 or 40 % and that just whetted my appetite. HELLO there were people out there saving 75% even 90% and I couldn't let them get ahead of me! No siree, Bob--not me and my crazy I'M THE ONE YOU WANT ON YOUR TEAM FOR GAME NIGHT competitive nature.
Now I've found my groove and I am regularly saving 60+% on our grocery and household items. A few weeks ago I scored 4 bottles of Purex detergent for FREE, absolutely FREE! Just yesterday, 5 bottles of Snuggle fabric softener--also FREE! UH-MAY-ZING! My time investment is probably a couple hours a week, but with the savings, I don't have to feel guilty about the occasional girls night out--complete with pedicures, a movie and a decadent dessert. Okay maybe I'll still feel guilty about the decadent dessert...but still, AMAZING!
PS: One of the most rewarding benefits of this lifestyle is the ability to share your abundance! Many times I can pick up items for FREE or just a few cents. It's so much easier to give more to local food banks, family, friends, neighbors or anyone who might need a helping hand. WHAT A BLESSING!!!
Here's a photo of a recent purchase
All this stuff, plus 8 Glade candles that aren't pictured
PAID: 50.82 RETAIL: 176.56 SAVED: 71%
That's pretty good folks, and I'm not even hardcore like some of these people. You can do this! So, if you're ready to drink the old couponing kool-aid, here are some of my VERY FAVE links to get you started.