Monday, November 9, 2009

Tawdra's Couponing Adventure: Part 5 Can This Really Be A Way Of Life?

My Couponing Adventure: Part 5 Can This Really Be A Way Of Life?
by Tawdra Kandle

I took a brief break from actively pursuing my couponing while my middle daughters were in California. With two people away and my husband on a special diet, there wasn’t much need to shop for anything than fresh vegetables.

I did continue to faithfully clip and organize my coupons, and I actually used some outside the realm of the grocery store circuit. At Ulta (a cosmetic store), I took advantage of some great offers and used coupons to purchase some girly necessities, and I was able to put away a few goodies for Christmas, too-some of them for FREE!

This week I carefully jumped back into the pool. I got rid of some expired Q’s and pulled up the lists.

Incidentally, I’ve been finding coupons from other sources lately, too. When I buy any magazines, I peruse them carefully for those precious slips of paper. . .and many of the products I’ve purchased have come with great coupons enclosed, too. Love those EXTRA savings!

Yesterday I assembled lists and coupons, and today I managed to hit Publix and Target. At Publix, I simply used some Q’s that were about to expire for some cool deals. But I was pretty pleased with my Target trip.

I bought two boxes of Pop Tarts which were on sale for $2.52 each. I had .75 off coupons for each, so I paid $3.54 for both. . .AND I also received a free gallon of milk, worth $2.49. Not too shabby.

Then there was the ice cream deal. Edy’s 1.5 gallons were on sale for $2.50. I had 5 $1.00 off Q’s. . .and when I purchased 5 1.5 gallons, I also received a $5 gift card from Target. So I paid $7.50 out of pocket for 5 containers of ice cream, but when you figure in the gift card, the actual price total was $2.50. Wow!

I was really happy with my overall totals at both stores. I still have to make trips to CVS and Kmart this week.

But can this be a sustainable way of life?

I love even the little savings I’ve been seeing. I am thrilled that I have already made a meaningful start to my Christmas shopping. Even my son’s birthday shopping has been coupon-happy!

I’m planning to continue this adventure full-force. I’ve noticed that it’s getting easier the longer I do it, mostly because I’m building up my coupon supply in an organized way. I love it when a list calls for a coupon and I find it! With our new pantry, we can easily see what we’ve stockpiled.

On the other hand, I don’t know that I will ever be one of those women at the grocery store who only has to pay a few dollars for a cart load of groceries. I have to feed too many opinionated people!

I’ve also realized that I have some standards for my family’s eating that I’m not willing to sacrifice. While the experts recommend clipping ALL coupons just in case you come across a deal too good to pass up, I know there are things that my family have chosen not to eat. I chose not to clip those coupons.

Time is another big consideration. The idea of hitting multiple stores to find more of a bargain or planning to shop each and every day makes me tired. Being a homeschooling mom gives me a certain freedom, but it also bears the responsibility of managing my time wisely. So I am definitely going to stick to my shopping schedule of CVS on Sundays and Publix on Thursdays.

I realized how much I had learned over this past month when my aunt came to visit and I sat down to share some coupon tips. For the first time in my various attempts at successful couponing, I’m happy with my organization style. I haven’t tried to do bite off too much right away, and I think I can make this work.

Come to think of it, that might be the key—starting slowly and being organized. Knowing how much you can handle and not beating yourself up when you miss a sale or a coupon opportunity just might be the difference between success and failure.
So. . .have you been inspired to tackle couponing? Do you have tips or ideas? I’d love to hear them. Learning from each other is the best way to keep this coupon adventure rolling along
Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 8 years to almost 20 years. She and her husband of nearly 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel.
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CouponQueeny on Mon Dec 28, 12:34:00 PM 2009 said...

I think you did a fantastic job and am so proud of you!

Great job couponing!


Tawdra's Couponing Adventure: Part 5 Can This Really Be A Way Of Life?

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