Why do I use coupons? Simple...I like to pay less for things. Honestly, who doesn't? I've used coupons for years, but only in the last year or so have I discovered how to do it really effectively.
For years, I used coupons like many people do. If I had a Sunday paper, or saw some in a magazine, I might cut them out. Then if I'd remembered to put them in my purse, and had some things in my cart that matched up, and then remembered to actually use them, I might save a few bucks on my grocery bill. I was perfectly content with that. I was happy to be paying less, even if it was only a few bucks here and there.
Then one day my husband and I were watching the Food Network. If we saw a recipe we'd like to try, I would run out and buy all the ingredients on the fly to make it right then. A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon (though not so great for the grocery budget!), and something we enjoy doing together. More on that another time...
Anyway...We saw a story about something called "The Grocery Game". There was a woman who had a system.She would go to the store and get carts full of groceries for practically nothing. It got my attention. Mostly becasue I didn't believe it was possible, and secondly I thought even if it was, it couldn't work for me, since I don't have a big family to shop for.
At some point,(I couldn't get this thing out of my mind!) I decided to look up the grocery game online. Sure enough, I found I could buy a subscription and get lists of deals from local stores. I was a bit disapointed to find that the only stores in my area to get lists for were CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. I didn't do any shopping there. Those stores were too expensive! Or so I thought! But they had a trial offer. $1 for a month of lists. I signed up, deciding this was probably not going to work, but I'd give it a try. That was the beginning. One of the best decisions I ever made.
I read all the rules, and scoured the site and the forums for tips and tricks. I discovered that there were coupons you could print right off the internet! I learned that there were a lot of things that I had no clue about when it came to getting great deals. For example, I never knew you could combine a store coupon with a manufacturers coupon on the same item. That one piece of information has saved me a lot more than the few dollars I spent on the subscription! (I decided to continue past the trial. It was really a great tool while I was learning the ropes!!)
From the first week I was hooked. The lists from the local drug stores really did have great deals. There were always a couple of freebies to be had. Plus I learned about the drugstore programs that really let you save money! CVS Extra Care Bucks, Walgreens Register Rewards, and Rite Aid's Single Check Rebate program. If you learn to use these effectively, you will really save big bucks! Don't believe me? See my Rite aid trip from yesterday! :) If you develop a system that works for you not only will you save money, but you'll actually have a lot of fun doing it!!
I'll break my system down by store in the next few days.