Welcome to the first edition of the Creative Christian Couponing blog!
This is just a place for me to tell anyone who cares about deals I happen to run across, sales that I run into and people I run over while driving and thumbing through my coupons. Just kidding.
I created a special Facebook group tonight and named it, you guessed it, "Creative Christian Couponing". Look us up and ask to join. This group is intended to be a place to encourage each other and share tips and tricks to work the system and save money. Who doesn't need to save money?
A little background on me might be appropriate. I am a father of four. Garrett, Byron, Alaina and Camden. I have been unemployed now for about nine months and recently relocated to Dothan, Alabama. I am still trying very hard to land a job so say a prayer for me. My mother, a cancer survivor and 70 years young needed my help. Before coming down here, I had caught a few episodes of Extreme Couponing on TV. I, like most who watched it was amazed and overwhelmed at the thought of the prep that goes into getting those killer deals. Let me tell you...
You can do it!
My sister, Brandy, who is not a Facebook user herself (sad for us in the group, but I am trying to bring her on board), has helped me to develop a system and bring some order to the madness of couponing. Believe me, cutting coupons out of six to twelve FULL circulars (explanation to follow) every week and getting them in my binder is MADNESS!!!! But it is well worth it! Tonight alone, I went to Publix and bought:
3 boxes of Kellogg's Pop Tarts
2 big boxes of Reese's Puffs cereal
2 big boxes of Lucky Charms
4 full-size packages of Oreo Double Stuffed Cookies
2 boxes of 8-count Nature Valley granola bars
2 half-gallon bottles V8 Splash Tropical Juice
Retail price: $59.82
I paid: $24.36
I saved: $35.05
I also saved similarly at Target and Walmart today too!
My kids are coming to visit this weekend so I needed to start stocking up on some food. Up until now, my focus has been on stuff like toothpaste and body wash, batteries, razors, laundry detergent. I am always looking for a deal. My sister helps keep me in-the-know about what to look for. She is a jewel!
So how does one get started? The Sunday paper would seem to be the first and most obvious place to start. This is true and FALSE at the same time. Let me explain...
Here in Dothan, as in your town, the Sunday paper is known to have tons of circulars and it will generally feature one or more of the following actual "coupon" inserts:
P & G (Proctor and Gamble)
Most weeks, here anyway, we only get the Redplum. It also is a VERY scaled-back version from what is actually printed by the one's who produce the circular. For months, there has been no Smart Source or P & G in the Dothan Eagle. My sister Brandy and I decided to ask the local Publix (who carries the "Atlanta Journal Constitution") when they best time to buy it from them is. They said be here when we open at 7am. They were not kidding! The line was about 20 people deep and some folks were carrying out stacks of those papers at $3.00 a pop! Brandy got one and there were all the circulars. The Redplum for Atlanta had about THREE TIMES the pages of our local one and thus more coupons. They had what seemed to be every coupon available. The Dothan Eagle is $1.50 and has very little.
Please keep in mind that I am talking about the coupon inserts and not the Walgreens, HH Gregg, JC Penney-type ads. There is a HUGE Walgreens tip I will share soon.
Brandy did some research and found THE PLACE to get ALL the available coupons EACH AND EVERY WEEK! No more buying newspapers (unless you just want to and have the money to blow on multiple copies) For two months, she and I have gone in together and ordered our inserts directly from the printer, at a HUGE discount over the cost of the newspaper! The place to go is http://www.sundaycouponinserts.com/
We buy ours in sets of six each, Meaning she will get six Redplum and so will I. This past weekend, all three inserts, Redplum, Smart Source and P& G were printed. I can assure you, not every paper in America gets them. We are lucky just to see a six-page Redplum. So, Brandy and I ordered 3 sets of 6 each. Read the site's info about pricing. On weeks where only one or two of the 3 available inserts print, we get them and split the cost of the inserts and shipping between us. It is usually $9 or $10 bucks. If you keep the order under 30 individual inserts, it keeps the shipping at about $5 instead of $10. This week, We could not avoid the higher shipping cost but its all good. We will save so much more than we are paying for the inserts and we will each have 18 inserts total this week. They usually arrive on Wednesday but did not come today. They should be here tomorrow. They came on Thursday last week too. Its been Wednesday every week before that though. I am not complaining because I JUST got caught up on my cutting and sorting and putting them in my binder. I will talk about helpful (and necessary) things you'll need shortly.
WHATEVER YOU DO...Order your circulars from this company just after midnight on Saturday (First few moments of Sunday). If you don't, they will get scooped up and then you'll have to wait until later in the next week for re-prints. We have found this system works for us.
I compared via Skype (internet video conferencing) with my children's mother her Redplum from the Chattanooga paper and the one I received from http://www.sundaycouponinserts.com/ . Her's had about 10 pages if I recall and mine had 26! It was the same front and back, but she was missing a lot of coupons!
There are so many sources on the web for coupons. Target.com is an excellent source. Walmart as well as many Supermarkets) honor competitor coupons. Most all of them do down here. Check each store for the policies in your on area. We have no stores that double coupons, but Chattanooga and other areas have Bi-Lo supermarkets and they do double coupons. Some "stack" coupons. This means they will take a manufacturer's coupon like in the inserts I have mentioned as well as Target coupons and actually let you count them both on your purchases. That is how I save at Publix tonight.
There is SO MUCH to say and SO MANY tips. I will have to stretch my own tips, tricks and the supplies and websites you need to get the great deals over the next few blogs.
Don't get overwhelmed. Get to saving some money!
Watch the official group page for shared success stories and let's motivate each other.