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savvy shopper and coupons, is it worth it?

Last post 08-03-2011 11:43 AM by mum2four. 15 replies.
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  • 01-03-2011 12:48 PM

    savvy shopper and coupons, is it worth it?

    So, I'm almost sold on the idea of getting 3 sunday subscritptions and starting couponing. My sister in law has a full pantry of food and toiletries this way. She subscribes to 6 papers. I am not sure if she spends more driving, and spending $$ monthly by stocking up. She has many teenagers coming in the summer and on holidays. 3 papers = 15.00 a month. So I would have to save at least $30 in purchases a month to make this worth it. I don;t have a big budget of extra money to buy stuff but I can set a monthly amount for this. I would like to stock up on toiletries, some cleaning supplies, nothing fancy, basic medicine and some junk food for out of town trip (we don't do many of these) and Summer camping (1-3 times per Summer). We don't eat junk or prepackaged meals unless we go to a party. Let me know what you think, any experiences good or bad.
  • 01-03-2011 12:49 PM In reply to

    Re: savvy shopper and coupons, is it worth it?

    I forgot to add we have a large family.
  • 01-03-2011 5:33 PM In reply to

    Re: savvy shopper and coupons, is it worth it?

    Carmina, I have found that if you shop the sales & cook from scratch, you can save more than with coupons. I used to cut them out & use them,but between cooking more from scratch due to celiac diagnosed in our family, I don't find that the coupons pay for the paper anymore the way they used to.  Before you start paying for the newspaper, I would ask around and see if some of your neighbors will save the coupons for you.  Some people don't want to be bothered with them, & that would let you see if it would be worth it for you.

    If you have a large family, one serving of the convenience-type frozen foods, etc, is usually not large enough.

  • 01-03-2011 6:02 PM In reply to

    Re: savvy shopper and coupons, is it worth it?

    zohnerfarms:
    Carmina, I have found that if you shop the sales & cook from scratch, you can save more than with coupons.
     

    I agree 110%.

    Any tomato sauce based sauce (spaghetti, enchilada...)is going to be waaaaaay cheaper from scratch.  Plus, you don't waste precious pantry space storing different items.  Cream soups from scratch are cheaper than canned (and wake you up to exactly how much fat is in them).  The list could go on.

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • 01-03-2011 6:12 PM In reply to

    Re: savvy shopper and coupons, is it worth it?

    I was going to add, in a similar fashion, that I would not subscribe right away.  I would try it out for a month, maybe 6 weeks, to see how it goes.  This way you're not locked into something you can't get out of if it doesn't work out for you.

    I have never used coupon clippers (it's a .com of one form or another -- you can google it), but it seems that those individuals who use just a limited type of coupon have success with it.  It may be even cheaper than subscribing to the paper.  Also, don't forget that most Qs found in the paper are also online for just a simple click & print -- no charge.

    I will also be third in saying that cooking from scratch does save a lot of money and there are TONS of blogs out there with cooking ideas to get you inspired.  This is one of my favorites as it's very new-to-me, so I've gotten lots of fresh ideas to try out.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the General forum
  • 01-03-2011 6:55 PM In reply to

    Re: savvy shopper and coupons, is it worth it?

    This is exactly what I thought. I cook from scratch and buy simple cleaners (ajax, pinesol used sparingly, dish detergents and laundry detergent). Today I had my first experience., My sister in law gave me 3 $3 off coupon on pantene. I bought 6 bottles, a toothpaste, one hair spray for ten dollars. Great! Well... I had to do three different transactions to get added discounts, there were 3 people behind me, and I hated making them wait. I had to go to a drugstore I don't frequent. Another negative is to really have $10 or so per week to stock up and another $14 for the newspapers. Thanks for your insight. Last week I did print a $2 coupon for cheese I used it on a generic, it was a great buy. Carmina
  • 01-03-2011 9:52 PM In reply to

    Re: savvy shopper and coupons, is it worth it?

    I don't know what grocery stores are in your area, but in my area I can load coupons onto my Kroger store card and on my Harris Teeter VIC card.

    I subscribe to a daily newspaper plus a weekly paper. I don't buy extra copies of my daily paper on Sundays.

    I trade coupons with my widowed friend who must buy Lean Cuisine by the truckload to keep from cooking. She trades me coupons that I use like Fancy Feast.

    Because I'm able to load coupons onto my store cards for Fancy Feast plus I get their coupons from the paper and friends, I can save $$$ on Aurora's food.

    You can save a bundle by making tomato sauce for pasta from scratch. Start watching your store's ads. Canned tomatoes go on sale several timess a year. I  stock up on them then and use coupons if it is a national brand instead of the store brand.

    Best of luck to you !!!

  • 01-04-2011 1:11 AM In reply to

    Re: savvy shopper and coupons, is it worth it?

    Carmina:
    My sister in law gave me 3 $3 off coupon on pantene. I bought 6 bottles, a toothpaste, one hair spray for ten dollars. Great! Well... I had to do three different transactions to get added discounts, there were 3 people behind me, and I hated making them wait.
     

    Using coupons when the prices are low to stock up is great, as is simply stocking up WHEN prices are really low.  Sometimes I think the manufacturers count on us not wanting to make other people wait behind us.

    Another tip that has helped me, especially when the children were younger, is doing my grocery shopping at about 10-11 am while school is in session.  Fewer "helpers" to be distracted, and by 10 or 11 am, the cuts of meat are in the bargain basket, which is where I bought & still buy any meat we do not raise ourselves, or raise thru extended family. I take the meat home, repackage it into the size servings our family needs, then into the freezer it goes. Since meat is one of the more expensive parts of the budget, this tip helped me a lot, & I have used it for years. 

    Another tip is portion control - you don't let anyone have seconds on meat.  They can fill up on the side dishes.  If you only cook enough for everyone to have one serving of meat, then no one CAN eat more than one serving of meat. DH fought this for a while, but he got used to it.

    Sometimes, like today, when I found 4 package of ground turkey, one became mini meat loaves for dinner, 2 were frozen & one was fried first, like hamburger, then frozen in half pound packages for chili. At 99 cents a pound, I used one pound for dinner tonight = one meal, plus one leftover mini meat loaf (which did not go to the table - it went to the fridge!).  The two one pound packages  I froze will be a) another meatloaf or mini meat loaves for us, & b) at least 3-4 dinners for youngest DD, who is coming home for a visit tomorrow & will return to college with frozen ground turkey. ( = 2 meals for us + 3-4 meals for DD)  The already cooked, frozen meat will become a 3 quart crockpot full of chili each, &each crockpot will be 2-3 meals for us, so that is another 5-6 meals, for a total of 8 meals for us & 4 for DD from 4 packages of ground turkey that cost $4.

  • 01-04-2011 1:28 PM In reply to

    Re: savvy shopper and coupons, is it worth it?

    zohnerfarms:
    Another tip is portion control - you don't let anyone have seconds on meat.  They can fill up on the side dishes.  If you only cook enough for everyone to have one serving of meat, then no one CAN eat more than one serving of meat.
     

    That's such a great point!  You can also package it (I do half-sized servings) before you sit down to eat and this way it gets saved for lunches.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the General forum
  • 01-04-2011 9:10 PM In reply to

    Re: savvy shopper and coupons, is it worth it?

    I use coupons regularly for canned goods, frozen veggies, and all household type products.  I've been using www.southernsavers.com for almost a year now, and in doing so have saved about $1,000 off our groceries.

    We do a good amount of cooking from scratch, but fresh produce just doesn't get used quickly enough, so canned and frozen fits our needs best.  I'm actually in the process of gathering my list and everything, Harris Teeter starts Super Doubles again tomorrow, and I'm going on the way home from work at 7AM so there will still be things on the shelf.

    I agree completely on the not cooking extra meat!  Due to our family size, I find it's hard to cook for 3, we usually cook for 4 and immediately pack the extra serving away, and then its a lunch for work for me.  Having it put away before we eat and knowing its being used for work keeps it from being eaten.

    The other big saver here is to use REAL serving sizes.  Angelfood often packages steaks in 10 or 12 oz portions!  Here, 2 12oz steaks will feed the 3 of us with one serving leftover.  A REAL meat serving is 4oz or so, not 10 or 12!  Doing this means that an AF box that should help us for a week often stretches to more like 2 weeks.

    Kris in VA
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