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WRAL SmartShopper

Mindy's couponing story!

Posted May 6, 2013

 

Mindy's story is the ninth couponing journey we are sharing in our weekly series about how couponing works at your house. She and her husband, a retired Army Veteran, do a lot of their shopping at the Commissary at Seymour Johnson AFB. Here is her story and how she makes couponing work in her home!

My great thanks to Mindy (ncveteranswife on the blog) for sharing her story and for posting so many helpful comments and deals on the blog every week!  And thank you as well to her husband for his service in the Army!

I also want to thank everyone who has sent me their stories so far! I look forward to sharing them every week.

If you would like to share your couponing story, it's not too late. Just send me an answer to the questions below at saving@smartspendingresources.com.  We would love to read your story!  To see the previous stories, click the links in the box above. As long as you all keep sending in your personal couponing stories, I will post them on the blog for everyone to enjoy.

Here is Mindy's couponing journey:

How many people are in your household? My husband, me & 2 small doggies (who think we own a grocery store filled with Cesar doggie food). We also purchase groceries for my husband's 84 y/o grandmother monthly even though she does not live in our household.

Why did you start couponing? To save money on our food bill & to stretch our dollars further in this economy.

How long have you been couponing? For many years, but doing it seriously since 2011.

How much do you spend on groceries and non-food essentials per week? We don't spend a lot of money per week, but we did spend $60.50 on two trips to HT last week. We spend per month since my husband is a retired Army Veteran we shop mostly at the Commissary at Seymour Johnson AFB. Some things at the Commissary are cheaper and we can use unlimited coupons. We have used up to 50 coupons in one shopping trip. So we spend about $230 (give or take) every other month at the Commissary for us and spend $60-$70 per month for grandma's groceries.

How much do you save each week? We don't shop per week, but we did do triple coupons at HT last week and saved $63.00 in coupons on two trips.

How much time do you spend couponing and shopping each week? I usually spend maybe an hour a week organizing my coupons, but I spend even less time shopping during the week. I just don't have the time to shop much during the week.

How do you organize your coupons?
My coupons are organized in a 1 inch binder by types of food such as frozen, dairy, etc. I found out really quickly that I could not handle a 3 inch binder, I needed to use something smaller and compact.

Where do you shop for groceries and non-food essentials? Mostly at the Commissary, but if we run out of milk, bread, eggs or bottled water, I will check the prices at Walgreens, CVS or go to HT near my office.

Do you have a weekly/monthly grocery planning/shopping routine? My husband and I always try to shop on the 3rd of the month so we don't have to worry with it the rest of the month.

Does anyone else in your household help with couponing and saving? My husband will push a shopping cart and pick up grocery items that grandma wants and he will see if I have coupons for certain items. Grandma will also save coupons for me to use for her grocery items.

What’s the worst part about couponing? I guess the worst thing is walking in a store, finding something on sale, realizing I have a coupon at home and having to make a decision about whether I should purchase it without the coupon or make a second trip.

What’s the best part about couponing? I love a challenge and I love saving money.

Do you have a stockpile? Yes, it mostly consist of toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, light bulbs, dish detergent and cleaning supplies. I do have a stockpile of spaghetti noodles and sauce that was purchased several months ago on sale. We also have a chest freezer that stays filled to the top as well as a refrig freezer that stays full so we don't have to spend so much each month, we just add to what we got or replace what is out.

Do you do any meal planning? If so, do you plan weekly, monthly or at the beginning of each day? My meal planning is done on a daily basis because sometimes I do not have time to do it weekly and I would never dream of doing it monthly because sometimes it changes at the last minute.

Do you have any words of wisdom for someone just getting started in couponing? Get organized with your coupons and follow Faye to match up your coupons with the deals available.

Is there anything else you want to share about your couponing journey? It's good saving money and I guess you could say couponing is now one of my biggest hobbies!





15 Comments

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  • ncveteranswife May 6, 2013

    jdouglas13: Thanks. Cesar coupons are very rare in the Sunday paper, but next time there is one, I will post on the blog asking for everyone's!!....LOL

  • jdouglas13 May 6, 2013

    PS doggie jobs are a good thing. I've often told my two that if they were a little better behaved, I'd send them out for modeling gigs! ;)

  • jdouglas13 May 6, 2013

    My pups need to eat Blue Buffalo fish and sweet potato dry, due to serious allergies, which of course is very pricey.

    The site I actually make the purchase from is either Petco or Petsmart (whoever has the best deal). But like most of my online purchases, I start by going to Ebates.com. They give you a percentage back in the form of a quarterly rebate check on whatever purchases you make. You just sign up (or then log in), choose the store you want to shop from, and you're done. Very easy, and I've easily gotten around $150 in rebates from them... thankfully not all from dog food purchases! The percentage varies from store to store and they always have a 'daily double', so sign up for that notification as well. Both Petsmart and Petco have membership clubs, and I think Petco has some kind of way to earn points or something off a future purchase.

    If you can post something here on Sundays when you see a Cesar coupon in the newspaper to remind me, I'd be glad to mail it to you.

  • ncveteranswife May 6, 2013

    jdouglas13: I would like to check out that dog food website. Can you post it? We usually buy Cesar @ the Commissary where it is .50/each. Much cheaper than .75/each at most stores.

  • ncveteranswife May 6, 2013

    jdouglas13: My husband's dog is a chihuahua mix and is a service dog he obtained after serving in Iraq and my dog is a corgi mix (we have adopted each others dog however). Both are small, inside dogs and will only eat Cesar. If I had not found this blog, these 2 may be searching for a hobby...such as doggie jobs??...LOL

  • Dragons_lady May 6, 2013

    Thank you for sharing your story Mindy!! I agree..without Faye and this blog..I wouldn't have the awesome savings that I do!

  • jdouglas13 May 6, 2013

    And what kind of pups do you have?

    We order our dog food online (Ebates & free shipping), and they think it's Christmas when we drag that box into the house, so I very much relate to your two thinking you own a grocery store filled with Cesar.

  • jdouglas13 May 6, 2013

    Mindy, thanks for your story! :) I almost never enter a store without my coupons, because every time I have, I ended up having to go back for them, either to the car or back home. Oh, the angst of finding a deal, and knowing there's a coupon for it sitting in your printer tray! LOL Especially when you live as far out as we do!

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper May 6, 2013

    That is funny, ncveteranswife.

  • ncveteranswife May 6, 2013

    Thanks Faye for posting my story. Without you and everyone else on the blog, we would never be able to save money on groceries and other deals! I'm glad I found this blog and when I mention you, my husband asks "Who's Faye"?...LOL

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