nerd post alert: i am not THAT crazy coupon lady.

I informed you some time back that I have started couponing.  And not THAT kind of couponing.  There will be no 50 bottles of mustard or 10 gallons of marmalade here.  I am what my friend Beth refers to as a "Civilized Couponer".  It's true.  I've learned a lot and I thought I would share it with you.

First of all, I decided to start couponing because of my sister in law.  My busy, professional chiropractor, actively involved in her community, first time mom who has no NEED to coupon sister in law, who informed me that she never pays for razors, or many other toiletries.  She had me at free razors.  Is it just me or do you HATE to buy those kinds of things?  I mean if SHE has time to do this than anyone can.  I promise you that. :)  And she is normal, too.  I've seen inside most of her closets and there aren't any hoards of crazy stuff.  She DOES have an awesome closet FULL of diapers that she hasn't paid more than a couple of dollars a pack for that makes me feel jealous and foolish for ever buying a pack at full price.

With that said...

Here is a little fyi to prove I am not one of THOSE couponers:
-I only buy ONE paper a week.  I may eventually buy two but I will never buy dozens, nor will I ever dumpster dive or rob recycling bins to get coupons.
-I only coupon for things that I need or use.  Maybe eventually I would do it to score free things to donate to food banks or animal shelters but I am taking it slowly to learn the process well.
-I don't do shady things.  The end.
-I am overly nice and kind to my cashiers.  I talk to them, empathize with them and are EXTRA kind to them in a GENUINE way.

I started slow but have already shaved lots off of my grocery bill and I have set us up to NOT have to buy any kind of toiletry ever again at full or even half price.  I can honestly say, I will NEVER pay full price for anything ever again.  

While I am learning the system and how it all works, I started by committing myself to a couple of stores to start with.  For me, I chose CVS, Giant and Staples.  CVS because that is where my sister in law frequents for her best deals and honestly I needed her support and help.  Giant because that is where I like to shop the most and is the grocery store I am most familiar with.  And Staples because...well, my sister in law told me to. :)  

This week has been a good couponing week for me here are some of my BEST deals. 

At CVS this week I had two trips, the first was on Sunday and I got:
3 cases of Pepsi
3 cases of Amp
3 greeting cards
a shaving cream
2 bottles of advil
a peanut butter egg.
Between coupons and Extra Bucks I paid $2.15!!!!!

I did a second trip later on in the week and was able to get ALL of the above FOR FREE with CVS PAYING me $1.27.

For this particular trip, CVS was running a special spend $12 on certain products and get back $6 in Extra Bucks.  THEN there was a rebate in the Red Plum for $5 this week for spending $10 on the same products leaving me with owing $1.  THEN on top of that I had a coupon for each item leading to my $1.27 profit. :)  My sister in law was able to make $5-6 on the same deal because she has more coupons in her stash than I do.

See?  All legit and not crazy, just matching up deals with coupons.  :)
Another good deal I got this week was from Kroger.  They were running a special where you buy ten of a certain assortment of product then you get $5 off of your bill.  My sister in law also sent me an $8 rebate from Digiorno when you buy two pizzas...which were included in the Kroger deal.  I also had coupons for everything else.  At the end of the day I will have paid $9.50 for ALL of this.  That's like buying the pizzas (on sale!) and getting the rest for FREE.

Why am I telling you all of this?  To encourage you to give it a try.  I resisted for a long time because of all of the stereotypes out there about couponers and I didn't want to be associated with them.

But thankfully, because I have a nice, normal and awesome sister in law, I have jumped in and I am NEVER going back. :)

So jump in.  Get a paper.  Start small and learn along the way.  You WILL get hooked.

Love, a Civilized Coupon

*disclaimer...I am not saying that any of you gung ho couponers are crazy or uncivilized...just a little out of my comfort zone. :)
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