WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Couponing comes naturally for Andrea

Posted May 21, 2013

Andrea's story is the 11th couponing journey we are sharing in our weekly series about how couponing works at your house. She regularly feeds a family of 4 adults and saves $30 or more every week! Here is her story and how she makes couponing work in her home.

My great thanks to Andrea (astamper on the blog) for sharing her story. I really like her words of wisdom for those just getting started on couponing.

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  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 Andrea's couponing journey:

How many people are in your household?

4 - 5 (if younger daughter is home from college) Our older daughter and her fiance live with us.

2 dogs
2 cats
2 guinea pigs

Why did you start couponing?

I was a stay at home mother and it was a way to help out. Plus I'm Scottish...we're a frugal people.

How long have you been couponing?

25 years

How much do you spend on groceries and non-food essentials per week?

$125.00 or so.

How much do you save each week?

At least $30.00

How much time do you spend couponing and shopping each week?

4 hours (I spend a lot of time at the store ... checking my coupon deals and looking for clearance items). I'm unemployed due to a frozen shoulder.

How do you organize your coupons?

In a binder that I bought from Faye when I attended her class - the inserts anyway.

Where do you shop for groceries and non-food essentials?

Mostly Harris Teeter but also Neighborhood Market (a mini Wal-Mart -there is one of very few near my house). Also Sam's Club and Walgreens.

Do you have a weekly/monthly grocery planning/shopping routine?

Wait for the sales to re-set on Wednesday and check Smart Shopper for best deals. I check Walgreens on Sunday.

Does anyone else in your household help with couponing and saving? If so, how do they help?

Very little, they'll sometimes hand me a coupon that they get from a package, etc.

What’s the worst part about couponing?

The coupon deal not coming out the way you expected; and the store being out of desired product.

What’s the best part about couponing?

Saving money of course, and knowing that it helps our financial situation. Plus I like the couponing "community." I look forward to Faye's daily e-mail.

Do you have a stockpile? Feel free to send a photo if you would like.

Yes, but it's not as impressive as some. It's mostly in our pantry, although I did have to clear some space in a bedroom closet for non-groceries.

Do you do any meal planning? If so, do you plan weekly, monthly or at the beginning of each day?

Mostly's always based on what I've already purchased that I was able to get a good deal on.
I rarely think "Mexican sounds good" and then go out and buy based on that thought.

Do you have any words of wisdom for someone just getting started in couponing?

Don't be overwhelmed by comes naturally after awhile...and it's good for keeping math skills sharp.


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  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper May 21, 2013

    Andrea - thank you again for sharing your story! I totally agree about the mental math skills. I can calculate prices after coupons doubled or tripled in the store easily in my head after doing this for so many years.

    jdouglas, she is referring to the daily e-mail that you can sign up for on this page. Go to the top of the page and look to the right for Get the Smart Shopper Newsletter.

    You get an e-mail from wral once a day at 3 pm with a list of all the new threads I have started in the last 24 hours.

  • jdouglas13 May 21, 2013

    Andrea, thanks for sharing your story with us! Keeping your weekly groceries to $125/week is very impressive for 4 adults, especially if you are the only couponer!

    A few things you said really hit home for me: the community here is wonderful (thank you Faye!), cooking from what you already have in the house, and the improvement of math skills. Math has never been my strong suit, but let me tell ya, I can now calculate 20% off in my head faster than you can say Super Doubles! LOL

    Finally, since I always seem to be a day late and a dollar short, what daily email? This is the first I heard about it.

  • heremeaj May 21, 2013

    She is right about the community here on the blog, nice to know that we have a place to share and be with others who share this interest. I am the ONLY person in my family who even uses coupons at all so the blog is a sweet place. Always interesting to see how we each personaliize how we coupon. Thanks Andrea!

  • corbin04 May 21, 2013

    Thank you for sharing Andrea!

  • raesmom1612 May 21, 2013

    Thanks for your story Andrea! Like you I look forward to Faye's email everyday as well. I'm obsessed with checking the blog about 1000 times a day lol!