WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Kelly uses couponing to pay for fabulous vacations!

Posted July 18, 2013


My great thanks to Kelly (twoboysandadog here on the blog) for sharing her story! I love how organized she is including an Excel spreadsheet she updates twice a week!

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 your answers to the questions below at  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 Kelly's couponing journey:

How many people are in your household? Family of 4, my husband and I, two boys age 4,7 and a male dog, I am outnumbered :)

Why did you start couponing? I was reading WRAL one day and saw this blog. I was amazed at all the savings so I started. I went to Faye's website purchased the cd, book and dividers and so the crazy couponing began :)

How long have you been couponing? Since the beginning of 2011 consistently, though I have always looked for a good deal.

How much do you spend on groceries and non-food essentials per week? Usually around $150 a week

How much do you save each week? anywhere from 35-60%, except for SD and have gotten as good as 85%

How much time do you spend couponing and shopping each week? I probably spend around two hours a week. I read the blog daily and really get my coupons ready once the sales and Faye's lists are posted on Wednesday. I purchase the Sunday paper and clip and sort for about thirty minutes. I also record every purchase in my excel worksheet of our monthly budget/coupons. I usually do this twice a week for about thirty minutes.

How do you organize your coupons? I use a binder with the tabs that Faye sells with baseball card holders. I also take out the coupons I am using on that trip and place them in a Ziploc bag to take to the store. I have ruined my budget before by taking my whole binder and simply buying because I had a coupon....I learned from that mistake.

Where do you shop for groceries and non-food essentials? I mainly shop Lowe's Foods and Food Lion because they are closer to my home. I do HT for super doubles. I like CVS too.

Do you have a weekly/monthly grocery planning/shopping routine? I read Faye's blog every Wednesday morning for the sales, then I decide by what I need and what we feel like eating that week for what store I am shopping that week. I rarely shop two stores a week but sometimes I do if there are great deals.

Does anyone else in your household help with couponing and saving? My kids like to help cut and sometimes my husband will clean out my old coupons. My husband has a more flexible schedule with work (we both work full time) so sometimes he will shop but I tell him EXACTLY what to buy :)

What’s the worst part about couponing? Expired coupons, hard to keep up with and it makes me sad to have missed the opportunity to save money

What’s the best part about couponing? Saving money!!!! With the money I have saved each year my hubby and I are able to go on a trip out of the country. Last year it was Dominican Republic and this year it is Xupha, Mexico. All inclusive and all expenses paid on couponing!!!! That is motivation :)

I keep an excel worksheet of our entire budget including a seperate tab for coupons so I know how much we are saving.

Do you have a stockpile? Feel free to send a photo if you would like. Yes I have a stockpile of mostly toiletries and condiments. My hubby says we will not have to buy shampoo, toothpaste, feminine items, soap for the next three years!

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 usually on Sunday afternoons. I will put a list on the fridge of what we are eating for the week.

Do you have any words of wisdom for someone just getting started in couponing? Don't be ashamed....I think there is this stigma about couponing that is soooo wrong. Who would not want to save money? I sure do. Also help others, just be happy at what you are saving. I love to help people in the grocery store and their face lights up when I tell them about a sale or coupon they can use. I also like to be a coupon fairy!

Is there anything else you want to share about your couponing journey? I saw a guy from our church one day at our local grocery store and he said I don't have time to do that! Well....thanks to this blog and Faye I find enough time to get some really good deals and I am so thankful :)

Also, ask questions if you don't know. I just recently figured out the digital coupons. Ask the readers on here and they are happy to help.


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  • jdouglas13 Jul 19, 2013

    Kelly, thanks for sharing your story! I like the spreadsheet method as well for keeping track of what coupons I have and what my spending/savings are.

    Thanks to Faye for continuing on with this series. I learn something new with every story. :)

  • raesmom1612 Jul 18, 2013

    Dragon lady i have a excele that nancy posted from hotcouponworl that i can send you. I think i still have your email address, ill send it tonight. helped me tremendously when i came to keeping track!! we miss u nancy!!!

  • Dragons_lady Jul 18, 2013

    Kelly...your story has inspried me!! I must start keeping track of my purchases and coupons!!!!

  • raesmom1612 Jul 18, 2013

    Thanks for sharing Kelly! I agree, I no longer take my whole binder to the store, I have also blown many a budget doing that but I do regret it at times when I see a really good deal and I know I have a coupon that would make it an even better deal. But since I'm a good couponer I know that there will be another deal coming right around the corner :) LOVE THIS BLOG and the people on it (with the exception of the person who posted in the Harris teeter shareholder thread lol more deals for us lol)

  • TJ84 Jul 18, 2013

    Good story Kelly, When I stand behind someone in line at the grocery store and they are not using coupons, I think of all the money they could've saved if they did use coupons. You're right about the readers on this blog, they are so helpful and always willing to answer any questions you may have.

  • twoboysandadog Jul 18, 2013

    Faye's website

  • gklkcates2 Jul 18, 2013

    Where do you go to buy the supplies you mentioned?