WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Terrie realized that coupons = cash!

Posted July 11, 2013


My great thanks to Terrie (spaldingcoupon here on the blog) for sharing her story!  I love your advice about not overbuying, buildind a stockpile and remembering that just because you have a coupon, doesn't make it a good deal! And thanks so much for the very kind words about the blog.

I also want to thank everyone who has sent me their stories so far! I look forward to sharing them every week. To see the previous stories, click the links in the box above.

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!  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 Terrie's couponing journey:

How many people are in your household? My husband and me.

Why did you start couponing? Unemployed, saw couponing as a way to save money.

How long have you been couponing? Since the middle of 2011.

How much do you spend on groceries and non-food essentials per week? About $80.00 per week. It really depends on the sales.

How much do you save each week? About 63%

How much time do you spend couponing and shopping each week? If it is right after the last day of the month, I'll spend about 1 1/2 hours tossing out my expired coupons. Probably spend about an hour cutting out my coupons and placing them in my binder weekly depending on how many fliers there are.

How do you organize your coupons? I use a binder with the tabs that Faye sells.

Where do you shop for groceries and non-food essentials? I mainly shop at Harris Teeter but also go to Sam's, Lowe's Foods, Food Lion and sometimes CVS.

Do you have a weekly/monthly grocery planning/shopping routine? My grocery planning routine is to keep up with Faye's blog and read about what everyone else is getting deals on and determining what I want to get for the week. I have saved a lot of money reading this blog and appreciate everything Faye points out in savings. I try to shop on Sunday's after church to save on gas unless it's super doubles and then it depends on the sale and the coupons!

Does anyone else in your household help with couponing and saving? If so, how do they help? Usually I do the couponing and saving. My husband actually used a $10 off $50 at Lowe's hardware yesterday!

What’s the worst part about couponing? Buying too much of something before even trying it. I did that in the beginning of couponing and have learned to really think about buying more than one item if I have never tried the product, even if it is free or almost free. Also seeing the value of the coupons go down from what they were when I first started.

What’s the best part about couponing? Having a stockpile so I don't have to buy at full price. Trying new items that I probably never would have tried without a coupon.

Do you have a stockpile? Feel free to send a photo if you would like. Yes I have a stockpile of paper products, canned goods, juice, toiletries, and yogurt (still have yogurt from the super doubles!).

Do you do any meal planning? If so, do you plan weekly, monthly or at the beginning of each day?
I do my meal planning at the beginning of each day. I never know what I'll feel like eating so don't do a weekly menu, tried it recently just didn't work.

Do you have any words of wisdom for someone just getting started in couponing? Read this blog. I have learned a lot from it and keep learning. Also just because you have a coupon doesn't make it a good deal. I still have to tell myself that. Sometimes my purchases aren't as good a deal as they should be.

Is there anything else you want to share about your couponing journey? I remember driving past Harris Teeter and listening to 101.5 with Faye talking about Super Doubles and thinking what is super doubles and why is everyone so excited about that. Then I saw some of the extreme couponing shows(I know Faye you aren't crazy about those) and I thought wow! I should try couponing and have been doing so ever since.  I remember at the beginning of couponing during one of the super doubles I had forgotten to use one of my coupons and I went to customer service and asked if he could redeem my coupon when he handed me the money it really hit me that these coupons represented cash that I didn't have to take out of my bank account! Really made an impression on me.


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  • stephaniemclawhorn Jul 12, 2013

    quick question..i use electric coupons all the time from the smart shopper link and coupons.com....but I also miss out on certain deals because i didn't print it before your deals list was created....how do you normally handle your ecoupons...do you print them all? are just a few? just curious...thanks for your help

  • barbiedoll1967 Jul 12, 2013

    I do the same thing but I compare products alot of times. Sometimes having the coupon is always the best deal. I buy alot of store name items (if you look at the ingredients from both products, they are usually the same). I found this to be especially true for Calcium tables and vitamins. Thanks for sharing Terrie. And thanks for all of your hard work Faye.

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Jul 11, 2013

    spalding - I do the same thing with coupons in the aisles! Even though I make hash marks on a piece of paper to keep up with my 20 limit, I still count them again couple times before I get to the register so I don't go up there with too many or too little.

  • grkmiley Jul 11, 2013

    I do the math (paper or head depending on how hard the math is). I add an item to my cart. Walking down the aisle, I'm still wondering if that is the best deal and could I wait a bit longer. In my binder, I also have a sheet listing the approximate time it takes to use up an item (think shampoo, deodorant, mayo, ketchup). That helps me know how many I need to have in my stockpile.

  • TJ84 Jul 11, 2013

    Thanks for your comments. I did overdo it in the beginning and now I try to remember to look at expiration dates and figure out if we'll use them before that. I probably look like a crazy lady in the grocery store because I couldn't tell you how many times I count how many items I have and how many coupons I have and that they match the items. One day I was doing this and a store employee asked me if I was talking to her and I said no, I was just counting my items!! I can imagine what she thought... So if you see someone counting their items more than once, it's probably me! Thanks everyone for contributing to this blog, it helps so much to read others' experiences. And thank you Faye for steering us in the right direction to maximize our savings.

  • raesmom1612 Jul 11, 2013

    that was supposed to say "love" the super doubles story lol!!!

  • raesmom1612 Jul 11, 2013

    Im the same way corbin and Faye. this blog has taught me so much. In the past i wouldnt even think twice about throwing something in the cart now i think 3, 4, or 5 times before i actually buy it (or most of the time put it back lol)

    the the super doubles story lol!!!

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Jul 11, 2013

    That's it exactly, corbin! lol

  • corbin04 Jul 11, 2013

    the process goes like this...put it in buggy, go down the aisle a bit, hmmm ponder it, think about it some more, put it back on the shelf, then in the buggy once more and then FINALLY I step away slowly from the item on the shelf lol. I think I must look like a crazy woman in the aisle!

  • twoboysandadog Jul 11, 2013

    thanks for sharing your story Terrie