Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Food 4 Less...REALLY!

I have a confession to make.  Shhhh....don't tell!  Coupons make me happy.  This probably seems a bit off for me.  Especially since I didn't grow up using them.  Here is my "Mother Disclaimer"...it's not because my Mom was a spender.  We ate VERY well growing up, my Mom had a garden every summer and she was an incredible cook.  She bought only what we used and junk food was a rare treat.  My Mom was very careful with our money but she was not a coupon user.  And, quite honestly, even if she had used coupons, I was a typical teenager and wouldn't have paid any attention anyway.

I don't remember what triggered this coupon insanity with me but it started like a year ago.  I heard about this woman, Jill Cataldo.  You can see her website here.  I got online, ordered her DVD and was COMPLETELY impressed!  I tried to follow all her suggestions but I still struggle with getting multiple papers every Sunday.  When my parents were in town they would save their ads for me.  Now I've tweaked her program to work for me.  I don't really buy too much in bulk, but I stock up on things we use or consume often.  Also, I don't buy things just because they're on sale.  If we don't normally eat or use it, we don't need it.

 My hubby is so IMPRESSED with my new couponing ways.  Seriously, he can't wait to see my receipts when I get home from the store! OK...so here is my Dominick's receipt from last week.  I took some time the night before I planned to go shopping to look online and download the Just For U coupons on my Dominick's card.  Yep, it's THAT simple!  If you have a Dominick's card just go to their website and follow the instructions to register your card.  Then click on "Just For U" and you can put the coupons directly on your card.  No actual "clipping" and it only takes a little bit of time.  You can even print out a list of the items you clicked on to take to the store with you.  Sometimes there are "special" coupons...for example last week there was a $10 off your purchase of $50 or more.  That is FREE money!  After I downloaded all my items I switched over to Jill's website and clicked on her "Coupon Look Up" section.  You can find that here.  There you can enter any grocery item, name brand or by item and it will show you if there was a coupon in an ad, which ad, and the date...EASY!!!  I think I clipped like 4 additional coupons and I was ready for the store.  Here is a picture of my receipt.  Please remember...I am NOT  a professional.  I know so many people who can do so much BETTER than I did but this trip was my BEST yet!

                                      LOOK AT THAT!  I saved 40%! I saved almost $100!!
Like I said, so many people can do even better than I did but I figure it's more than I used to do and my cart was filled with fresh fruit, veggies, chicken, and other healthy food items for my family.  I think I had a smile on my face ALL DAY!

 I try to use her tips in other areas too.  Like I started clipping the Target coupons for a free $10 gift card with a new prescription.  HELLO!  There is now at least ONE good thing about my kids being sick!  I use Subway coupons, dry cleaner coupons, online coupons, shoe coupons, kids clothing coupons.  I buy things when they are on sale.  I stock up on really good sales like when Old Navy had their $10 kids' jean sale in December.  $30 got Ben 3 brand new pairs of jeans!  I also take the kids' better clothes to a great consignment shop so I get something back for all those big bucks I spend.  Even our vet has a half off shots day in April.  I could go on and on.  There are so many deals out there if you just take the time too do a little research.

I've been married for 17 years this coming July and I get frustrated thinking about what we could have done if I'd started this when we got married.  I know that even when the economy picks up and things are better for our country, I will keep clipping my coupons because it really feels good to SAVE MONEY!


Sara said...

I totally agree!! I am love using the coupons!! I have to watch the video--maybe tonight!

$98?! holy crap! That is big $!!! It helps out a bunch! Great job!!

Heather said...

Well Mrs. Dow I am gonna take your addvice. I have been wanting to "clip" coupons for a long time and I am gonna start!