Friday, August 14, 2009

Frugal Friday

I think most everyone knows I love to use coupons. This is a picture of my little coupon organizer that I bought at the Dollar Tree six years ago. It originally had a foldover flappy thing and an elastic band to keep it all together. Now, though, it is showing its old age not very gracefully. Basically, it's ready to be retired... A few weeks ago, I started visiting all the Dollar Trees in our area (there are quite a few) to find a replacement, but it turns out "couponing" is much more popular now than it was six years ago, and these coupon organizers are very elusive and hard to find...

All that to say, that for my birthday, a very sweet lady in our church gave me this (pretend you hear a chorus of heavenly voices singing "taaadaaaa"):

Can you believe it???!!! I am THRILLED to have such a really cool place to organize all my coupons. Notice the handy dandy pink zipper thing that I can keep a highlighter, scissors and a calculator in. And also the very valuable "free" coupons. That way I won't forget I have them. There are divider tabs which provide separation between the different categories. And there's a funky folder in the back so I can put copies of coupon policies or sale ads there for reference.

It's been so much fun to sort my coupons and stick them in the little spots. I realized that this is a natural hobby for me. It combines shopping and sorting and saving- three of my very best skills and talents. (Also notice the alliteration in the previous sentence. "shopping, sorting, saving" - Man, I'm good. I should be married to a preacher. Oh yeah, I am.)

And this week, we are right in the middle of Harris Teeter triples. That means that HT will triple the value on any coupon up to 99 cents. Now, I've never seen a 99 cent coupon; the highest I've seen before you hit the dollar mark is 75 cents. That means I get $2.25 off if I use a .75 coupon. Limit of 20 coupons per day.

I'll spare you the sordid details of each transaction, but let it be known that with the help of this really sweet brand new coupon notebook from a good friend, I have purchased the following for the grand total of $36.44:

2 boxes Kix; Trix; Cheerios, 2 boxes Lipton tea bags; 3 boxes bouillion cubes; 9 cans pork&beans; 2 boxes Uncle Ben's rice; 2 bottles barbecue sauce; Lady Speed Stick; Head&Shoulders shampoo; 11 pounds chicken leg quarters; 4 bottles Sunny D; gallon milk; Chex Mix; 6 bars Dial soap; 1 pkg. Ziploc containers; microwave popcorn; 1 roll Bounty; Mentos gum; Spot Shot; hot buffalo wing pretzels; pkg of pretzel snack packs; 2 Zone bars; 2 Colgate toothpastes; 2 flosses; 4 pounds ground chuck; wheat Italian bread; 4 pack of yogurt; 2 pkgs. pepperoni; 3 2-pound bags of corn bread mix; Italian dressing; 2 boxes jello; 3 Weber spices; shaving cream; Sure deodorant; 2 loaves wheat bread; Starbucks ice cream; 2 Purell hand sanitizers; and a single serve of Minute Maid frozen lemonade.

Of course, this is not a typical week at the grocery store. That's why I get so excited when I'm able to do this. I do spend some time getting my coupons ready before I go to HT - on their website, they have where you can do online shopping and then go pick up your order at the little drive-thru place at the store. I go onto the online shopping section of their website and look up prices. That way I can know what's a good deal and what's not. I always inwardly chuckle whenever the cashier tells me, "You saved __ dollars!" Because, really, I didn't "save" it - if it was full price, I never would have bought it in the first place.

But that's the fun of couponing. You never know what you'll end up with in the cart! I can't be brand loyal; although I have my brand preferences (Duke's is the best mayonnaise, Heinz is the best ketchup, Grandma Mildred's is the best bbq - but you can't buy that in the store). And it's good scissors practice for the kids. They practically beg to cut the coupons out...

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