Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hot dogs and Coupons

So, I'm hungry.  For real food.

For those of you who care, we ended up buying a van.  Yes, I'm sure Dave Ramsey would be shaking his head in utter disappointment, but here's the deal: I needed transportation, safe transportation, transportation that wouldn't die in two weeks.  So, we bought a van.  And it wasn't an expensive van, but still cost more than we have sitting in the bank.  So we put a down payment on it -

PAUSE:  First time EVER we have put a down payment on anything, including our house that we owned.  We are no money down kind of people - well, we were no money down kind of people.  Now we are "don't spend money if you don't have to" kind of people.

So, we put a down payment on it and of course with the timing of all this, it used up any extra cash we had lying around...for things like, well, food.  But don't you fear!!!  Dave and I, in all of our couponing glory, just scored what seems like a million packages of hot dogs for .30 each!  So we had, pre van buying day, stocked up our freezer full of what my friend so lovingly refers to as "tongues, bung and lungs."  Nice, I know.

Friday is pay day - and we will be grocery shopping on a date night I'm sure, because we are THAT exciting.  Anyway...this all brings me to the point of this: Coupon clipping.  I had made a reference to it a while back, and quite a few of you asked me to post about here you go.  But first let me make some disclaimers:

1.  I am NOT an expert
2.  I just steal great deal ideas from other people

Ok, with that said
1.  Facebook, Facebook, Facebook.  Go to sites like "Money Saving Mom," "Freebies 4 Mom," "The Krazy Coupon Lady," "Vocalpoint" just to name a few.  Those will get you started.  Anyway, they make it so easy because these women who ARE the experts post all the great deals and how to get them.
2.  Sunday paper.  Smart Source, Red Plum, and the P&G Sampler all come out regularly and have the best coupons.  Clip these and save them so you can combine them with in store coupons.  You can get great deals!
3. Ebay.  Sorta weird to buy coupons I think - but when your store is running a great deal on, let's say, hot dogs you go to Ebay and search for hotdog coupons and then you get to stock your entire freezer full of hotdogs for when you put a down payment on a car to save your sanity.  Yeah for run on sentances!!!
4. Those little coupons called Catelinas that print out of those cool little machines by the check out stand.  I used to toss them, now I would never dream of it!  Ok, not that extreme - but those are really great!  Here's an example...or two:  We just got some coupons from Vocalpoint in the mail for 3 bucks off pampers.  At Fred Meyer we got a catalina recently for 2 bucks off diapers.  And then if they run a sale anytime soon (which would be nice so Will doesn't have to wear pink pull ups) we can get them for sale price plus 5 bucks!  Pretty sweet!  Also, the laundry detergent story.  Recently, Dave and I purchased 36 bottles of Purex laundry detergent for 7 bucks.
Here's how:  In the paper Fred Meyer had a coupon for a certain amount off of 2 Purex laundry detergents.  Purex had a deal going on (thanks to my FB pages I found out about) that if you bought 2 Purex they would print out a catalina for 4 bucks off your next purchase.  Our Fred Meyer guy let us use the same FM coupon over and over again (so we didn't have to steal all the ads that they have so nicely displayed when you walk in) and we purchased 36.  We only had to pay taxes on the coupons themselves!  Now, I'm stocked till at least the Spring!!!
5.  Be organized.  Have your coupons in a way that you can find them easily and you don't look psycho in the store.  I am NOT organized.  Dave is.  So, I leave that part up to him.

COUPONING TAKES TIME!!!  But it saves us lots of money!  We were having a food budget well over 700 dollars each month, now we spend about 400 or less (including diapers). 

So,  now we are trying to become more disciplined on couponing again now that we have a lovely little car payment that we must pay off quickly to appease our guilty consciences and Dave Ramsey's disappointment.  And it's pretty awesome when you get 45 bucks of lotion, the good lotion, for 9 dollars - or even free...oh ya, last thing...REBATES.  Companies offer rebates all the time, just fill them out CORRECTLY and you will get stuff for free or even make money on buying stuff...that's the best!!!

Now, go buy a paper on Sunday!!!


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