So with Chuck back in school, I have attempted a little couponing. Not like Extreme Couponing – those people piss me off because they buy tons of crap they don’t even need and just store it in their houses.  That’s stupid.

However, I’m not against saving money. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

  1. You have to know what you have. Take an inventory. Helps with meal planning, too.
  2. You have to know what things cost, and where.  Make a price list.
  3. You have to invest at least a little bit of time.  You can make this as time-consuming as you want, but I’ve got other things to do.
  4. All of this works best if you stock up first, then use couponing techniques to stay stocked up.  Do not rely on couponing for regular grocery shopping.
  5. It’s hard to buy healthy stuff with coupons. Usually it’s processed food that you can get for cheap, but if you play your cards right, it can be done.

Other things to know:

  1. Harris Teeter and Lowe’s Foods doubles coupons up to $.99 face value *all the time.*  Sometimes the Teet has super doubles, when they double coupons up to $2 face value.  Cha-ching!
  2. The best combo is when something is on sale + loyalty card savings + manufacturer’s coupons.  Plus super double coupons at Harris Teeter, if you can get those planets to align.
  3. Ibotta is an app that lets you gain even more savings after the fact. Again, some time investment is there, but frankly it’s easy to unlock rebates while on really boring teleconferences.  Ha!
  4. Best tool ever:  my phone.

Shampoo, 28 oz.
$5.49 regular price
$3.99 store had it on sale
I had a $5-off-two coupon.  $3.99 + $3.99 – $5 = $3 for two bottles.
Final price:  $1.50 per bottle.

Sites and apps: – they list things only when they are 40% off or more – I don’t have to look much past the list, she’s done all the work.

My price list is in Excel. I do not have a binder with coupons – I don’t clip a lot, and frankly, I type really fast so I make a quick, sortable list in Excel…. that goes with my price list. I stack my coupons by expiration date. If I need one, I look at my Excel list and pull it out by that date. That list is available on my phone, so I always have the information right at my fingertips.

Still learning, and still fine-tuning what works for me, but there ya go.