Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Step #1: WELCOME TO THE.......

12 Step Program INTO Addiction

Here you will learn everything you need to know to get started into the crazy world of Couponing, Saving Loads of Money and even GETTING STUFF FOR FREE!

**WARNING: The following information is known to induce obsessive behaviors over saving money and getting "the best deal". This site and it's affiliates are not liable for any shaking, twitching or compulsive money saving behaviors and time spent counting the money you have saved. Follow these steps at your own risk!

Step #1:

First and foremost you MUST completely change the ways you shop.

  • No more planning a menu and shopping off the ingredient list thinking you are doing great because a few of the items on your list were actually ON SALE!

  • No more running into the store for a few items you need for a little something you would like to whip up for dinner. NO MORE! I mean it!

  • If you are, or have considered yourself a coupon more clipping one here or one there and using it only to save a few cents.

Here's the deal: You are going to learn to shop the sales like nobody's business. You will shop strictly from the weekly ad. By doing just this, nevermind the coupons, you will be saving around 50% off your grocery bill! Sounds great right?! Well, what if I told you that by coupling sales and coupons you will save somewhere a lot closer to 80-90%! Not to mention in the process, that seemingly illusive or overwhelming food storage or stock pile of neccessities will grow alarmingly fast! AND without you feeling the pain of it in your wallet! There is nothing better than running out of an item, opening a cupboard and having 12 more to replace it! I LOVE IT!

Now a little side note for you. When I first started this whole process, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Sure I got 30 boxes of cereal for like $15 or so, 12 bottles of A1 for 25 cents each, etc. Only problem. Without the stock pile already in place, my family was blowing through cereal like crazy! I would spend my budget on sale items and not have anything to make meals for my family. It got a little frustrating, for all of us. A compromise was in order. We would do our best to use what we needed and buy a few things here or there to fill in, on sale or not. This would get us by until we really got going. I split the budget, leaving it a lot heavier on sale items. In no time, I mean like a month or two at most, I was able to shift it all over to sale items. Just make sure you give your self a little room to breath and adjust at first. Try to set a goal of when to be off the "fillers" and completely onto sale items. Ask your family to help. It won't take long. I promise!

Alright, a little motivation. In my first week I bought over $270 groceries. Wanna know how much came out of my pocket?! $39! THIRTY NINE! ($30 of it was from a gift card). A month ago on an amazing sale at Albertson's I bought:
  • 90 Cans of Progresso Soup
  • 90 Boxes of Cereal
  • 40 Boxes of Fruit Snacks
  • 40 Boxes of Nature Valley Granola Bars
  • 60 Tubes of Pilsbury Crescent Rolls & Cinnamon Rolls (Freezable)
  • 50 Packages Pilsbury Cookie Dough
  • 20 Packages of Warm Delights (Ry LOVES these)
  • 50 lbs of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 12 lbs Baby Back Ribs
  • and more
I spent about $270. I saved over $700! Motivated yet? Well then, LET'S GET GOING!

Get yourself GOOD AND MARINATED in this concept and tomorrow you will be ready to move on to Step #2! See ya then!


Anonymous said...

Question. Are the stores good at stocking a ton of the items on sale? My problem is, I make my list off the sales to get the most for my money and I go to get it and they are SOLD OUT of the items I wanted. Frustrating. Also, how many trips to the store did that take you?

Gear Gang said...

Okay. I am going to give this a try. I will leave comments and let you know how its going as I go through the 12 step program.

Wish me luck!!!

Your Life Uncommon said...

I am so glad you asked a question "anonymous" :).

In one of the steps to come I will talk about the importance of getting to know your grocery store managers. In our area couponing is a new thing. There are a few of us that are hitting them hard with it. They are always excited to get to know more about how to help us and how to help their employees and the community learn more about it. Our local Albertsons grocery manager, Rob, is AMAZING! He is always so helpful. He and I have talked a lot about getting a list together before each sale so that we can make orders to fill all of our needs. Yes, running out of items is an issue. Rob has told me that when the sale comes on they never quite know how to prepare for us. We are ALWAYS happy to give him feedback and work with him to get all of the kinks ironed out. Talk to your local manager. Don't be afraid to ask for the same.

As for the trips, I don't like to spend my week thinking about coupons, sales ads and trips to the store. I would MUCH rather spend my time doing something else! If I am going to burn out it is not worth the time.

There are some sales that will involve catalina's (which you will learn more about). The sale is something like buy $25 of a combination of items and get $10 toward your next trip. The cashiers are prepared for us. I will split my order into 3. Pay for the first and use the catalina on the next order, etc. I take these items out to my vehicle then come in for another round. Yes, it takes a little time, but no more than shopping off a huge list that fills my cart with non-sale items. Well, worth it. That particular sale, the one I mentioned in the post, I did a few rounds in two different trips. One the first day of the sale and then another 5 days later. No biggie!

My goal is to teach you my tricks for saving time on saving money. Then, as you get going I would LOVE to learn some tricks from YOU!

Thanks so much for the question! Hope that helps! :)

Jenny said...

wow you pretty much sum up my feelings exactly about coupons. I seriously about went nuts when I first started thinking I had to hit every sale, trying to balance stocking up with perishables, etc. I love your blog, your perspective, everything. You're great Amy and I will definitely recommend your approach to frugality (and life in general for that matter!) hope you are doing okay, taking it moments at a time I am sure :)

Tamra said...

I just found this blog and coupon lesson. I am so excited! My husband has been trying to talk me into doing some couponing. I know it is a big trend now yet I don't want to add to my "to do" list. So far, I have only read step 1. I am very exctied to read the rest & to try to learn to put this into action. My question (finally, huh? ) is that I see this post is a few years old. Are there any new posts and/ or other places anyone can direct me for help with couponing and saving $ on groceries?
Thanks so much!


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