It has been a year since I started couponing the right way and to celebrate I want to share my story with you.
I started using coupons when my first daughter was born, mostly just on diapers. I thought it was fun and started using EVERY coupon I got from the catalina machine, in the mail, etc...not very smart. I even ventured out to get a Sunday paper and for some reason (holiday weekend?) I got one with no coupons. So I kind of abandoned the whole coupon thing (thank goodness since I was doing it totally wrong). I still used them on diapers and a few things, but resigned to shopping at the warehouse grocery store instead.
The problem, I was spending a ton! Then I started making shopping lists and I saved some, but not very much. Then about a year and a bit ago, I was watching Inside Edition and caught a couponing story. You know the kind, where the lady loads up her cart and spends like $12. My husband said, I bet you could do that and the challenge was on. I looked up her website and googled a little bit, but everywhere wanted to charge me money to get the coupon matchups. I thought it was stupid to pay money to save money, so I abandoned my coupon dreams again.
Then on October 24, 2008, I was watching Inside Edition again (really I watched it like 4 times all of last year) and caught Heather on the Freebies 4 Mom story. I have always loved getting mail and so I was intrigued. I immediately went to her site and spent like three hours just soaking it up like a sponge. From there I was linked to the Grocery Gathering (see side bar) and I was amazed, this is how people did it. Then I started slowly figuring it out. I read blogs, collected coupons, and starting shopping in a whole new way. In December, I did a catalina sale at Albertsons, and discovered Rite Aid and then I knew there was no turning back, I was hooked.
I love it now, I feel so empowered and I love finding deals. I am not perfect and I am still learning, but I am saving. I have eliminated those bimonthly $250 plus grocery store trips and $100 plus superstore trips altogether. I have more stuff in my pantry and bathroom. It is name brand and there is plenty of it. My most recent adventure was to start this blog and try to share some of my experiences and secrets with you. I hope you have found it useful.
To properly celebrate my shopping overhaul, I have decided to have a giveaway. The winner will receive a $25 gift card (to one of these stores, your choices, Rite Aid, KMart, Albertsons, or Macys) and a set of coupon inserts. To enter, please leave a comment on what you have learned from this blog. You may enter only once and you have until October 31 to enter. I will post the winner on November 1. Thanks for reading and good luck.