Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How I Coupon - Mini-Review of Coupon Clipping Service

Couponing can be time consuming.

Researching. Storing. Shopping. Calls in advance to check stock. Clipping, filing and organizing coupons.

I started couponing in 2013, the old fashioned way. Buying newspapers, clipping coupons, checking websites for deal tips and purging hundreds of unused coupons each month.

By 2014, I had a ''coupon angel''. Someone who had access to the coupon inserts that were thrown away at the hotel he worked in. He would bring me 30-50 of each insert each week. Whoa!! Way too many to handle, I was always trying to give them away.

As a Muslim with dietary restrictions, most items that have a coupon out are not useful for my family. So I'm wasting money to buy whole papers and losing time trying to keep it all organized.

My 2015 Routine:

1. I picked 2 stores to focus on. Kroger and CVS. They are convenient and over the years, I have had the fewest problems couponing there and between them, I can find most things my family needs and Kroger gives me fuel points to save on gas. I have filled up twice this month and based on my points I got 40 cents and 20 cents off each gallon.

2. I have the reward cards for both stores. Both are registered online with my email address so I can be notified of special coupons and deals. Also, I can load digital coupons onto my Kroger card from the app or my computer. I load anything that we buy, even if occasionally, so that the coupon is there if I need it and it just expires if I don't.

3. I go online to sale preview sites like www.forthemommas.com, www.krazycouponlady.com and www.krogercrazy.com. About 3-4 days before the next sale, I can browse the upcoming circular for items I'd like and what coupon match ups there are.

4. Then, if possible I print the coupons from the linked sites they send you to. Or for paper coupons I use www.thecouponclippers.com. I takes just 2-3 days for me to get coupons to my house from Florida. They have been reliable and affordable.  Or I ask my local coupon friends for the coupons if they aren't using them.

On average, I save 30-45% on my weekly groceries and I have a pretty strict $100-120 a week budget for my family of 3. The budget is for food (we're home all day, so all meals for seven days), toiletries, paper goods, EVERYTHING. Anything I buy at CVS is through sales and ''rolling Extra Care Bucks'' so I pay less than a buck on many items.

I grocery shop once per week. And limit myself to one EXTREME COUPONING deal a week.

Tom's toothpaste is almost $6 at CVS and about $4 at Kroger. It is certified Kosher and Halal. Here is my deal that I worked this Extra Care Bucks (ECB) deal at CVS Sunday.

Transaction 1: Sale price 2/$6. Used $4 ECB. Paid $2 and got $3 ECB back. Made $1!!
Transaction 2 (on 2nd CVS card): Sale price 2/$6. Used $1 off toothpaste coupon that printed from the store kiosk. Paid $5 and got $3 ECB back.
Transaction 3 (at a 2nd CVS store, because my store only had 4 boxes): Sale price 2/$6. Used $3 ECB. Paid $3.
Transaction 4: Sale price 2/$6. Used $3 ECB. Paid $3.
Bottom line: Paid $13 out of pocket. Still have $6 ECB. Basically $7 for 8 toothpastes or .87 cents each. Saved 86% off CVS Regular price.

That's how I'm doing it in 2015.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How much money would it take to change your life?

I think as a nation, we're obsessed with the concept of more.

Most people could use ''more'' money, ''more'' time or ''more'' stuff  in their life.

But last year, I realized that it doesn't take much to really ''change'' your life.

My life was forever changed when my husband gave me $10,000 to start ''a business''. I didn't have a plan, just a shared vision. We envisioned having a family owned business that provided enough income for us to both work there and to create good paying jobs within the Black community.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Womens Work Wednesday - Getting it together

I love order and rules.

Give me a rule, that makes sense, and I will follow it.

I realized around September that I had a lot of goals and no clear path to completion. I felt that I could get more out of my day than I was, but felt helpless to fix it all.

So what did I do? I googled ''[my city] + life coach''.

I looked at websites of the first few and after three, I went right back to the first one.

My coach is a sister who I didn't know but, when I put her name into Facebook, we knew many of the same people. I loved her website and the fact that her program is called ''Get Shit Done''. A cussing woman, is my kind of woman (sad to say LOL).