Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Adventures in Couponing:January wrap up February looking up!

One of my goals for the year was to be more of a coupon/sale shopper. The month of January is over and most of my purchases have been entered into the spreadsheet. I was a little taken back by our total spending for the month. Then thanks to my spreadsheet, I was able to analyze the spending a little closer. My Sweetie had a good month of commission checks so our tithe was higher. With that subtracted out, (that money is NOT ours to begin with so it shouldn't really count as an expense but I leave it for cross check purposes. I'll leave that subject for another blog post!) It looked a little better. A lot of the bills from The Boy's arm fracture came due and that was a nice chunk. I also pre-paid for My Sweetie's birthday gift, which was also a good chunk of money. I purchased some winter coats for next year at a nice low price and a couple of clothing items for myself, also at sale price. We spent WAY TOO MUCH on dining out. UGH! Total spending is total spending (except for the tithe) and I really am able to get a better sense of where things are going when I can see it on paper/my computer screen.

Food and your day to day personal items still seem to be what is killing us. So, after a lot of reading of other blogs and clipping coupons and shopping other stores and cleaning out my cupboards (so I could plan meals around things I have) just prior to my big grocery trip and PLANNING AHEAD, I was able to have a savings of $141 in JUST coupons for the month of January. Some items I bought were buy one get one free (BOGO) which helped but isn't reflected in my coupon savings. I had about a 8% savings on food and daily/household items from coupons. This number would probably be higher if I were to add in the BOGO and other sale prices, but I don't. I was happy with these numbers being that it was my first whole hearted month of trying. HOWEVER, My Sweetie always says, in the end things cost what you pay on them. My total grocery and household items spending for the month was still over what I would like it to be. I'm hoping as I get better at this, get my printer fixed so I can take advantage of a couple other coupons and get a little bit of a stockpile that MAYBE that number can begin to drop to my goal or lower.

With THAT said, it is a NEW MONTH! I have meals planned out until Feb. 13th and most of the ingredients for those meals in the house in hopes of cutting down on trips to the store which leads to more spending. I know that milk, fresh fruit and veggies are something I am going to have to buy by the end of the week so that we can get through the second week of the month.

Today I headed out and did my CVS and Walgreen's shopping. I don't have complete hang of this art and I'm not convinced that grocery items are in fact cheaper there with there "sale" price than the grocery store. Before I never paid attention to prices in the grocery store. I would have made a TERRIBLE Price is Right contestant. My theory on buying was if I needed it, buy it, if I don't then don't. My new theory is to buy what I can cheap or free and use what I have. I digress....I know what I paid today for some of my grocery items at these stores and I will cross check them when I get to the grocery store later.

At CVS today I got 3 sets of items that were BOGO. I had $5 in Extra Bucks that I applied to my total bringing my out of pocket to (OOP) to $42. I also earned $13 more in extra bucks for my next visit. YAY!

When I was at Walgreen's I was feeling a little uninspired. Until I got to the cash register!!!!! I did two different transactions and purchased the following items: (YUP! I took a picture!)

2 12-packs of Sierra Mist Free
1 12-pack Diet Cherry Pepsi,
3 Walgreen's re-usable bags,
2 eco-friendly light bulbs,
2 boxes Jiffy corn bread,
2 boxes Jiffy blueberry muffins,
4 cans of Campbell's cream of chicken soup, 4 cans Swanson's chicken broth
2 packages of 146 Valentine Stickers
2 3 packs of Scotch Brite sponges
Revlon Creme Gloss

My total OOP (after BOGO, a mail-in rebate, coupons, two separate transactions and $9 in register rewards) was $13.19!!!!! YAY ME!!!!!! :) Not too shabby of a start to the new month!!! :)

I'll try not to bombard you or bore you too much with these kind of posts....that's not what this blog is about (but a little because I'm simply just a lowly reporter here to do my job of bringing you the latest scoop from both inside and outside our Laundry Trenches!) maybe I'll just post occasionally on my progress and an occasional celebration of a good shopping day like today.

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