Using Coupons

Today I went on two separate shopping trips with the same idea in mind: Buy items we actually USE that were on (what I consider) serious sale – or that were on sale and that I had a coupon for.

I do have a coupon binder. If you are  interested in an awesome free PDF download to help with starting your own coupon binder or assist in organizing your coupon binder, I suggest going here to “The Krazy Coupon Lady” site. If you scroll down the page, on the right hand side, you will find the free PDF downloadables. They are what I use for my own coupon binder and highly recommend them – but only if that type of organization works for you! (If the system you use doesn’t work for YOU, then what’t the point?)

First I went to Rays Applemart because they have Coca-Cola on sale for .88 a 2 liter. I am an avid coke drinker. 88 cents drew me into the store. I also recently discovered that if you are Active-Duty, Reservve, National Guard or a dependent, you can get a “military appreciation” card and save 5% on your entire purchase, EVERY time you buy something. So, before I even walked down the aisles I went straight to customer service to get my card.

I ended up getting:

4 packs of Eggo frozen pancakes (buttermilk, Strawberry, Blueberry and Chocolate Chip),10 2 liters of Coca Cola (I was originally going to get 20 bottles, but that would have emptied the shelf. The sale is going on until next Tuesday, I can always go back),6 12-packs of Best Choice Cola (Lemon-Lime – kids like lemon lime),4 bottles of ketchup,1 Loaf of French Bread,1 Pack of lunch meat for $38.52. I am pretty happy with that purchase.

Second stop was to Target. I am not going to bore you with all the details of my Target trip, but I will say that I saved $21 and walked out the store spending less than $43 AND they gave ME a $5.00 gift card that I can use next time I go! (The gift card is for a special they have right now – buy three boxes of certain feminine care products, get a $5 gift card. If you use those products, nothing wrong with buying three boxes of them. They aren’t going to go bad! – Plus, I had three coupons for $1 off that I could use – lowering the cost of the three items and STILL getting me the gift card!) I mainly got tolietry items and 4 packs of Mr. “O”‘s favorite type of chewing gum (because between coupons they went from $1.27 a pack to .27 a pack) but the point is, all the items were items we will use, that were on sale, and had some type of coupon.

I have two more trips to make – one to HyVee (which I also hear does the 5% off for military families) and another to Dillions (Kroger). Planned expenditures at HyVee is $20 (they are having a pretty good TP sale! Charmin – 20 double rolls for $5.99!) and planned expenditures at Dillions is $75.

The key to all of this, for me, is that I have a plan. I looked at the flyers. I decided what I wanted to buy from those sale items this week. I looked through my coupon binder to make the prices lower. I made a spreadsheet that has all 4 stores which lists the Item, price, quantity I want to buy, coupon amount and the total price for each store. Staying focused and disciplined and sticking to MY plan and not getting sidetracked worked. I spent exactly what I thought I was going to spend when I walked into the store. Sure, it took some time to get everything organized, but the savings will be worth it to my family.

Imagine how much money I am really going to save when I get the discipline to quit drinking Coca Cola!

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