Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sella's Coupon World

Little drops of water make a mighty ocean!
- Old saying
Drink one less latte a day and retire rich!
- New saying

Welcome to the world of coupons
This post is dedicated to the savers of the world. I will update this section every Sunday night with the potential savings available during the following week. I encourage those of you who do not have the time or the patience to go through a ton of coupons, to use my list or my techniques, and save yourself some money. I primarily rely on the Sunday edition of my newspaper and junk mail for my rebates and coupons. I also look for online deals. I have found that when you combine manufacturers rebates and store coupons, the savings can really add up. I don’t claim to be an expert. I am just sharing what works for me. If it helps some of you, it’ll make my day. If any of you can post your experiences, I will be happy to include them in my strategy.

My Guidelines:

Plan ahead
I buy only what I need and plan ahead of time and stock up when there are deals to be had. Often a combination of a coupon and a rebate might yield higher savings. My best experience so far has been at Walgreens. I bought a bunch of stuff, turned in my coupons and walked away with almost two dollars cash back! Even the cashier was visibly impressed.

Be organized
I clip coupons first thing Sunday morning and make a schedule for the week giving myself time to visit the various stores. I also go through my junk mail and pick out the coupons I need. I have my list of favorite stores and focus on them first. I place all the coupons in a handy little organizer and carry it around whenever I go shopping. I have a full-time job, plus a husband, a six year old, and a dog, to take care of. Otherwise I would be done shopping by Sunday afternoon.

What do I do with these savings?
Although these savings do add up, they are not big enough for me to give up my day time job (LOL). Then why do I bother with this? Well, first of all I find it fun and exciting. It helps me stay updated with the market. But I do not add these savings to my retirement nest egg – it’ll only cause my expectations to go up and rob the fun from this game.
I keep track of these savings and here’s where they go:

1. It pays for our newspaper subscription – my husband has to read the newspaper everyday (sigh).
2. My tips/charitable contributions come from these savings.
3. I occasionally buy lottery tickets.

My favorite stores
I have listed a few of my current favorite stores and coupon resources below:
1. Walgreens
2. CVS/Pharmacy
4. Linens N Things
5. JCPenney
6. Office Depot
7. SuperCuts
8. Olive Garden
Resources: (Both online and paper versions)
1. The Star-Telegram
2. Valassis
3. SmartSource Magazine
4. Valpak

My savings during the week of Dec 09- 14, 2007: $41.02

JCPenney Savings - $20
$10 off of purchase of $10 or more with MasterCard.
I received two offers during December.
Three pairs of socks
Original Price $10 – Final cost with above coupon - $0
Leather belt (Original price:$20)
Sale Price $10 – Final cost with above coupon - $0

CVS Pharmacy Savings - $9.52
Combined manufacturer's $4 coupon with CVS $6 Extra Bucks Rewards and bought a Gillette Fusion Power Razor for $0.48. Original price:$9.99

ULTA Savings - $6.50
Purchased 2 packs of L’Oreal Excellence Hair Color
One pack was on sale for $5.99. Used UTLA $3.50 off of $10 purchase and used two $2 manufacturer's coupons to but 2 packs for $4.92.

Walgreens Savings $5
Purchased Triaminic Vapor Diffuser – Price $5.99
EasySaver Catalog Savings - $3
Manufacturer's coupon - $2
Final cost - $0.99

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