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Archive for September, 2009

Theft by Couponing

September 16th, 2009 at 08:27 pm

It's really amazing the kind of reactions I receive from cashiers ringing me up...some cheer me on as I pile on the coupons, but quite a few give off a disapproving demeanor. Like, the nerve of me trying to pay as little as possible for items! As if I singlehandedly fabricated these coupon inserts and sent them to my house!! I think their common misconception is that I'm taking money out of their store's pocket, but the manufacturer is the one actually footing the bill. I'm actually helping the store out by using coupons!

Very frustrating!

How Couponing Saved My Marriage!!!

September 4th, 2009 at 03:40 pm

Well, not really but now that I have your attention...

Couponing is a fairly new subject for me, but I feel like I'm starting to gain traction. I've been carrying around my coupon wallet (seriously!) for a little over 2 months now and have found that while my husband and I still spend the same amount on groceries (we were already on a "lean" grocery budget prior to couponing), our fridge and cabinets are stocked to capacity. For those of you with a confused look on your face, getting more even though your costs don't decrease is still a huge savings (it will keep us from having to replenish as quickly in the future)!

To fuel this new hobby of mine, I make weekly rounds on the following sites:

-http://www.couponmom.com/ -- This site houses a huge database of coupons (the same database that can be found on several other couponing/savings websites); it also has a section that lists out each sale item and its final price (after use of coupon) for several stores - including CVS, Wal-mart, Target, and Rite Aid (unadvertised Kroger sales are also listed). The coolest part about this site is that it lists the coupon you need to obtain the final price and the weekly paper it can be found in, which saves you from having to clip every single coupon in the newspaper (never really knowing if it will ever be of use)!

-http://www.southernsavers.com -- This site lists everything you need to know about couponing...read up here to learn the best strategies for paying pennies to eat!

-http://www.cellfire.com, http://www.shortcuts.com, http://www.pgesaver.com -- Use these sites to upload coupons to your shopper loyalty card(s)!

-Also, look for store specific coupons on sites like http://www.cvs.com and http://www.target.com

-Don't forget to clip your Red Plum & Smart Source coupons from the newspaper based on the sales listed on the CouponMom or SouthernSavers sites. You can also go online and print additional coupons: http://www.redplum.com, http://www.smartsource.com (These coupons differ from the ones found in the database).

-Still like to eat out? Being on a budget does not mean you need to lay around the house all month!! Find deals at http://www.halfdepot.com where you can purchase restaurant gift cards guaranteed to save you at least 50%!! Be sure to become a part of their distribution list; the most popular restaurants sell out quickly, so you'll need as much lead time as possible!

Couponing Tips:

- Only buy what you need. I know it's common sense, but it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the sale. The goal is not to save as much as possible; it's to stay within your budget.

- Let price determine what you buy...not the coupon. If the private label brand is cheaper, buy it. Be sure to pay attention to how much you're paying per lb, oz, etc... In certain cases, I've noticed that the branded item is the lowest priced option but comes in much smaller packaging!

- "Attack" when items are at their lowest price. Couponing works best on items that are already on sale. The whole "kick 'em when they're down" philosophy (although none of you would ever think that way)!!!

- Don't forget that some stores double and triple coupons up to a certain amount (usually 50 cents).

- And not all Buy One, Get One Free sales require you to buy two items. Treat these as 50% off sales and either buy one item or apply coupon(s) to both items for extra savings!

For examples of extreme savings that I've been experiencing (and how to get them for yourself), check out my primary blog: www.customthreads.blogspot.com

Happy Couponing!!

I've had it with Debt!!!

September 1st, 2009 at 07:57 am

So, I don't know about you, but I'm fed up with living paycheck to paycheck...hoping that I'll be able to do something meaningful with my life (but, in the back of mind, having this unsettling feeling that I'll be tied to a 9 to 5 for the rest of my working career - just to pay creditors!)

I hit my boiling point a little over a year ago. With a pile of "smart" debt to pay every month and little to actually spend on living & giving, I finally decided that something had to give! I enrolled in Financial Peace University to get my priorities in line and was actually blessed with an intensity to get out of my situation.

Since my epiphany, I have stopped borrowing money and am working towards eliminating all of my debt. I recently married- which means I am now also the proud owner of my husband's debt- but, nevertheless, I still have the same desire to remove this weight from my household.

By creating monthly budgets and sticking to them, my husband and I plan to be debt free in 2 years! Just the thought of not being bound to debt has allowed us to dream again. We, now, actually get excited about our future!

We believe that if we didn't owe on student loans and a car, we would give FREELY - to our church, charities, and random people who we feel need to be blessed!!! I think we'd also be more adventurous with our time...I'll probably take a number of artsy classes that involve upholstering or glass staining. Lol I also think a lot of sight-seeing will be in order!

What about you? What would you do with your free time & extra money?