Categories
Frugality

Katie the Coupon Queen

My Katie and I have been discussing my muses of late, particularly my personal opinion that I wanted to encourage people to find ways to give the corporations less money. I thought my words had fallen upon deaf ears but then something interesting happened.

For a couple of weeks I heard Katie watching episodes of some show about extreme couponing. I was amused at the fact that my daughter, of all people, suddenly seemed interested in people clipping coupons and saving money, but I let it go, reasoning that she was probably trying to understand some of her mother’s eccentricities.

When she came home the other day with a bunch of coupons, I started to grow concerned. I’ve attempted couponing in the past and I had spent more money acquiring the coupons than I saved. I kept my thoughts to myself; there are things people should learn from experience.

Sensing my skepticism, Katie collected her coupons and dragged me to the store with her yesterday. Her plan was to stock us up on things we actually use while spending as little as possible.

I thought she was on a fool’s errand as I tagged along.

To my absolute shock, my daughter managed to shave 1/3 off of her total bill with that stack of coupons – and that was at the store on the corner! That particular store is known for its higher prices; we both try to avoid it whenever possible for that reason.

Now, for the first time in years, my daughter and I are having conversations about homemade laundry detergent, expiration dates, and reasonable stockpile levels. She has no desire to buy things that will go bad before they are used.

Her argument is this: at the moment, it is hard to purchase certain things without giving your money to the corporations that are running our government, so why not use coupons, specials, and selective stockpiling to give them as little as possible?

I must admit that she has a point.

Have you ever had luck with couponing? If so, do you have any tips that you can share? Please share your stories in the comments below.

~#~

If you happen to find this post helpful, would you consider sharing it with a friend or on social media?  Thanks!


I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Categories
Finances Food Frugality

Bargain Food

One of the ways I stretch my dollars is by taking advantage of the fact that I work in a grocery store. Every single shift I look around for good deals and take advantage when I can. For instance, when my employer issued coupons for a free 24-pack of bottled water with a purchase a while back, I bought some groceries and squirreled away the water in our assigned area so I would have something to drink on my breaks–completely free.

One major way I save money is on milk. I wait until we mark down the ones that are nearing the expiration date to buy as much as possible. Since a gallon of milk costs $2.49 here that saves us quite a bit! I keep our refrigerator on the coldest setting so that the milk doesn’t spoil before we use it.

We do the same with eggs and other items. 

This is one reason why I am very thankful that my daughter and I work in grocery stores. We both do this routinely in order to save money. While I’ve not calculated exactly how much we save doing this, I’ve no doubt that we manage to pare down our expenses by a couple hour’s wage at the least. Over time that adds up.

Does your current situation allow you to save money on things you need and use? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Finances Frugality

Clearance and Coupons

The other day my daughter and I decided to visit a local store and search for bargains. While many times we don’t find anything that we need, occasionally we come across a really good deal.

This occasion we struck pay dirt. The store had clearanced four boxes of Alka Seltzer Night Time Cold Medicine for $3 a box.

This is one of our staples in the winter when we don’t feel well. We typically spend $6 or more a box during cold season since local stores occasionally raise the price in winter. The normal price at that store was $6 a box so we knew we would save at least $12 on the purchase. We grabbed all four boxes and headed to the checkout.

My kid happened to have an app on her phone that will apply any available coupons to purchases made at that store. She did her thing on the two I purchased (we split the expense in half since we both use the stuff) and to our surprise saved another dollar per box!

We ended up purchasing four boxes of our favorite cold medicine for $2 a box instead of the regular $6. That ends up being a savings of $16.96 once we add in the sales tax we would have had to pay on the higher price. We saved 2.32 hours of income (more if you calculate taxes) simply by watching for bargains, buying in bulk, and applying available coupon discounts.

Two hours’ of wages, folks! That’s two hours of our lives we won’t have to spend working to purchase something we need and use. Since we split the cost we both saved over an hour’s wage each.

We’re rather chuffed about that. Even better, we now have the supplies on hand for the upcoming winter so we won’t have to walk to the store while ill to purchase what we need.

Have you scored any real good deals lately? Please share your stories in the comments below.