Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Coupon Update plus 2-11-13 Shopping Results.

Hello again friends. I am popping in to tell you how I have updated my coupon system (again) and to share the results of my last shopping trip.

I have not been on a major shopping trip since February 11th BUT I have been using coupons since then. We have been traveling around a  lot and eating at restaurants and fast food joints so there really isn't much to show since the last trip.

I did use coupons at the mall when we went. I used some coupons at Save-a-lot and got some bacon and sausage for $0.44 cents each. I also got some of those Downy Unstoppables for only $1.50 each.

I still love using my coupon Box instead of the binder or the expandable file folder methods I used.
The binder I found too time consuming. I had to organize the coupons every week. I had to sort and that thing was heavy. It was really hard to keep up with.

The box method I use is simple. Each category has a mini file folder

I purchased these from Amazon the link is above. I love the polka dotted ones. I also got some primary colored ones and some neon colored ones.
You can see from this picture that these little folders makes my box much neater.

This picture isn't that great BUT inside each folder (that needs sub-categories) is a larger index card with each sub category. Here you can see in my Breakfast folder..the first subcategory is Cereal.

I know hope some of you will take up couponing so I will give you a quick rundown of my method. 
First I purchased my tote from Family Dollar for $3. I spent $12 from Amazon for the file folders and around $2 for the index cards. Every Sunday I spend $10 on 5 newspapers. I check Sunday Coupon Preview through out the week to make sure there will be inserts in the Sunday Paper (Usually there aren't any inserts around national holidays). On Sunday after church and lunch I clip all the coupons from the inserts and either file them when I am finished or I wait until Monday to file the coupons in their folders. When I put the new coupons in the folders under their categories, they go behind the existing coupons. That way every month when I clean out the unused, expired coupons, they are right in the front of the folder/category.

The categories in my box are as followed:
(Numbered are Categories..dashes are subcategories)
1. Categories/Subcategories-I keep a list here
2.Free Items
3. Grocery/Pharmacy
-Community Market
4. Misc-this is where I place coupons that don't have a category.
5. Baking
-Baking Chocolates
-Oils and Sprays
-Sugar/Sugar subs
-Bagels, English Muffins
-Sandwich Bread
-Cereal Bars/poptarts
-Frozen Breakfast
-Oatmeal/Hot Cereal
10.Canned/Jarred Items
-Pasta Sauce/Tomatoes
11.Condiments/Salad Dressings
-Peanut Butter/Jelly/Jam
-Salad Dressings/Toppings
-Seasoning Packets/Spices/Vinegars
-Dips/Sour Cream
-Refrigerated Dough
-Whipped topping
-Coffee, Creamer, Hot Cocoa
-Meal Replacement
-Milk/ Milk Subs
14. Dry/Boxed Goods
-Dried Fruit/Veggies
-Prepared Meals
-Side Dishes
15. Fresh Meat/Produce
16.Frozen Food
-Frozen Dessert
-Frozen Dough
-Frozen Fruit
-Ice Cream
- Meals/Appetizers
17.Salty Snacks
19.Yogurt/Pudding/Fruit Cup
-Fruit Cup
-Dollar General
-Family Dollar
-Hobby Lobby
-Tanger Outlets
21.Air Fresheners
-Set/Plug ins
24. Beauty
-Cover girl
-Wet N Wild
-Lip Moisturizers
25.Canning/Food Saver
28.Dish Washing
29.Eye Care
30. Face Cleaners/Moisturizers
31.Feminine Hygiene
32.First Aid/Pain Relievers
-Pain Relievers
33. Hair Care
34. Hair Color
35. Laundry
36. Lotion/Powders
37. Meds
-Cold Sores
38. Nail Care
39.Office Supplies
-Light Bulbs
-Storage Containers
40.Oral Care
-Dental Floss
41. Outdoors
-Bug Repellants
42. Paper Products
-Paper Plates/Utensils/Cups
-Paper Towels/ Napkins
-Toilet Paper
44. Pets-Dog
-Foil/Cling Wrap/ Wax Paper/ Parchment
-Storage Bags
-Trash Bags
46. Shaving
47. Soap
-Body Wash/Bars
-Hand Soap
-Hand Sanitizer
49. Paperwork-where I keep the coupon policies of the stores I frequent
50. Receipts-Where I keep track of my savings
51.Restaurant/Fast Food

Whew..I know it is a lot but I hope it helps someone get started.

On with the process.....

Then whenever I get a chance I will check the sales papers for Kroger, Community Markets, Save-a-lot, Walmart, and the pharmacies.

I try to match the sales with the coupons I may have and I build my weekly menu around that. I make a list of the items I want to get at the various stores. I put the list for that store clipped to the coupons for that store in my pocketbook sized coupon organizer as seen in this post. And I go to the store/stores.

I also take my coupon box with me just in case I find an unadvertised deal that I cannot pass up.

Now for my last shopping trip. I went to Kroger to see if they had some of the Cat food I had a "free" coupon for and I picked up all of this stuff.

Here is my receipt. I paid $21.52 out of pocket. I saved $53.98 with my rewards card and my coupons.
So to break it down.
Total Cost: $74.50
Out of Pocket: $21.52
Total Savings: $53.98
75% savings...
Plus It gave me fuel points we will use to get 10 cents off per gallon of gas.

Ok my friends..there you have it. My last shopping trip and an update on my box.
I probably will NOT be changing this method anytime soon because I suits me.
I love how easy it is to keep up with and to file the coupons.

I have to say just in the past month or so I have saved nearly $500. I saved that much in just a few shopping trips and with getting extras of items I use. I have a nice stockpile of ziploc bags, toothpaste, and I have a few laundry products.

So I spend $40-$50 a month on papers and if I shopped with coupons every week I would probably save $1000-$2000 a month. Good deals.

Until next time
Be Blessed

1 comment:

  1. Erin, great system for keeping the q's organized. Way to go on the shopping trip!