SWH4T$: Couponing with Shizz!

I've kinda laid off the couponing for a while, as I was trying to just use my stockpile while we were having some money issues and really tamping down our spending in all areas of life.  However, we are starting to run low on a few things, so I needed to make a trip, and fortunately last week CVS was having some great deals!

I set up my shopping so that I went in 2 trips: the first was to earn as many ExtraBucks as I could, so that I could use them to pay for my second trip.  Also, at each visit I used a reusable shopping bag and scanned my GreenBag Tag so that I got credit towards my $1 ExtraBuck that I get with every 4th visit where I use a bag :)

Trip #1

Suave Professionals Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner (with a bonus trial size shampoo attached!)
Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo (for the beach this summer)
Suave Moisturizing Body Lotion x 2
Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 Spray

Total before coupons & store sales: $25.70
Total of coupons: $6
Total AFTER: $15.93
Savings Of: $9.77
ExtraBucks Earned: $7

Trip #2

Cottonelle Fresh Care Wipes Refill x 2
Secret Invisible Solid Deodorant
Palmolive Green Apple 10 oz Dish Soap x 2

Total before coupons & store sales: $17.61
Total of coupons: $3.75
Total of ExtraBucks redeemed: $7
Total AFTER: $0.55
Savings Of: $17.06

So basically, if you think about it, I got both of those shopping trips for $16.48.  Not bad at all right?


SWH4T$: Coupon Organization

Time again to link up! I'm starting the year off right by trying to save money, let me show you how!

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC

2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".

3.) Post our button on your post

Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!

This post is a double whammy: I'm going to gush about couponing and organization all at the same time! YIPPEE!!!!!!!

Are you as excited as I am? Probably not, but I'm a dork like that :)

My sister Kellie is big into couponing too, and she has always been an organizational freak. She made herself a coupon binder, and then made me one for Christmas. I used to use an accordion file, which worked, but it was a pain in the arse to sift through all the coupons. Now, with my binder, they are all organized in clear baseball-card holders and I can see them all at first glance. This makes it so easy to see the expiration dates, purge what I don't need, and organize better by category.

Here is a tour of my new BFF, my coupon binder :)

My binder is a 1 inch 3-ring binder, and it has 8 tabs:

Household Items, Hair & Body/Meds, Baby, Grocery Items, Dairy/Refridgerated, Frozen Foods, Pet Supplies and Other (this is where I put my Target coupons, and other store-specific coupons.

Each divider page has a folder on it. I use these folders to hold my store flyers, along with a list of what I need, and the coupons I've pulled according to matchups with deals in the flyers. Then, when I get to the store, I have my list with my coupons, and the flyer if I need to refer to it, all in one place.

The inside front cover folder holds a small pad to write my list on, and coupons that I have yet to file. I also keep a pen clipped to the binder rings, and my CVS Green Bag Tag is hooked around one of the rings.

And, the piece de resistance, the coupon pages! Kellie put in a bunch of those clear baseball card holders, that are the perfect size for most coupons. If the coupon is a little big, I just fold it so I can see a bit of the product so I know what its for, but most importantly so the expiration date shows. I don't have them organized yet from first expiring to last expiring because I haven't figured out a way to do that without moving every coupon around when something expires so I don't have an empty space. However, with them organized like this, its very easy to scan for dates. I keep duplicates grouped together also.

So there you have it! That's my new way of organizing my coupons, and I'm so happy that Kellie made this for me, because its made my life a whole lot easier! A lot of people say they don't have time for couponing, but honestly, I spend maybe an hour a week total clipping, organizing and matching deals. I'll admit, in the beginning it took a lot longer, but once I found a system that worked for me, its gotten so much easier. I've heard many couponers say this before, but I really can't believe I didn't start this sooner. So far, its January 12th, and I've saved a total of $34! And I only coupon for things that we NEED and USE, so that's $34 that I would have spent anyway, but now thats $34 in my pocket :)

So, how do you organize your coupons? Any tips or tricks for us? Link up and share!

SWH4T$: Coupon Sites

Rules of the Hop:

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC

2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".

3.) Post our button on your post

Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!

Coupon Sites!

So you all know by now that I am a self-described Coupon Guru. I might not be as successful or as crazy as some of the people you see on TV, but I have definitely saved us a lot of money. I have to give credit where credit is due, and I must say that I learned most of what I know through my cousins, A & K. I also learned a lot by watching shows like Extreme Couponing.

In general, there are 3 places to get coupons: newspapers/mailings, online coupon sites, and manufacturer sites/Facebook pages.

Newspaper inserts still account for the majority of coupons redeemed in the US. Most weeks there are 2 inserts, RedPlum and SmartSource. The coupons found in these inserts will vary, and the value of the coupons in the inserts will vary from region to region. For example, my SIL's grandmother sends me diaper coupons and she lives in Northern New Jersey. Her diaper coupons are always about $0.25 higher in value than the same coupons I get in my newspaper. Every once in a while, Proctor & Gamble will issue the P&G Brandsaver insert, which has coupons for P&G products, usually relatively high value.

My favorite site for coupons is Coupons.com. They update rather frequently, and usually you are allowed 2 prints per coupon. So, once you've printed one set, hit the back button on your browser and they will reprint. All coupon sites require you to download coupon software, which is free and takes less than 5 minutes. The coupons print with a unique barcode and are processed just like newspaper coupons. Smartsource.com and RedPlum.com also have online printable coupons, though considerably less than what you would find in the newspaper.

I also print out Target-specific coupons at Target.com. Its a little tricky though, because not all of those coupons are Target coupons, some are manufacturer coupons. Target will allow you to stack a Target coupon with a manufacturer coupon, but on their website they don't differentiate until you print and look at the coupon. TotallyTarget.com has a list of the coupons on the Target website, and they will tell you which ones are Target and which are manufacturer. TotallyTarget is also awesome for highlighting really cheap deals at Target.

I've also made a habit of going to manufacturer websites and their corresponding Facebook pages, to sign up for mailing lists and coupons that way. Especially with diaper companies, because they will send you coupons in the mail.

I've subscribed to the Mommysavers.com newsletter, which comes out every few days. They will list high value coupons, great deals at stores, and websites that have deals for freebies running. I've gotten free laundry detergent, trash bags, diapers, wipes and hair products through referrals from this newsletter.

Those are the ways that I get my coupons, how do you get yours? Do you have any "secret" places that you go that you would like to share?

SWH4T$: Week 2

Hi Everybody and welcome to the 2nd week of She Works Hard for the Money, a blog hop co-hosted by me and the lovely Shan at Sweet Stella's.

Come and link up with us, share your stories about how you make or save money for your family.

Rules of the Hop:

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC

2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".

3.) Post our button on your post.

Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!


I've written before about how I clip coupons, so I thought I would share with you my latest haul.

I clip coupons almost every week, but I usually only make a trip once every 2 weeks, unless there is a deal that I can't pass up. I know it sounds ironic, but I can't afford to make an extra shopping trip every week. I coupon mostly to stock up on diapers & wipes, as well as health & beauty items.

My favorite store to go for couponing hauls is CVS, mostly because its close: its about 3 miles from my house, and I also pass one on the way to work. I also really like their ExtraCare program where you earn ExtraBucks to be used on your next purchase.

What I purchased:

4 Luvs Jumbo Packs, size 5

2 CVS Brand Children's Acetaminophen

3 Nivea Body Washes

2 Arm & Hammer laundry detergents

1 CVS safety cotton swabs (the only thing I bought without a coupon!)

Retail value: $90.06

Cost after store sales: $63.11

Cost after stores sales & coupons: $56.11, savings of 38%!

ExtraBucks earned: $18.00, if you factor these into the cost above, the savings jumps to 58%!!

Then, I went back a few days later and bought these:

2 Huggies Little Movers Size 5 Jumbo Packs

On Sale for 2/$18, originally retailing $11.99 each.

My cost after using my ExtraBucks from my prior trip: FREE!!!!!!!

What was your latest coupon haul? Where is your favorite store to coupon at?