Now, you just knew that Miss MoneyPenny was going to get around to couponing, didn't you? I started late with couponing (2005), while my sister, Miss SmartyPants, has been doing it since the '70s. That girl can smell a deal in the next state! And she is a master at the Dollar Store. I've had several phone conversations with her while she is shopping there. In fact, now that I think about it, my last year's birthday presents came from the Dollar Store! This from a woman with a successful tax accounting business.
Couponing and my budgeting system go hand in hand. I don't know why I didn't realize that coupons are just like money but they really are. You've probably heard about the television show "Extreme Couponing". Well, that is not me. Those people go at it like an extreme sport and for some reason think that they need 98 bottles of energy drinks or 50 containers of Pledge. Although, I do have to admit, that a few years ago, I did go crazy on a dishwasher soap deal. I didn't stop to think that I really only use about three containers a year. I only run the dishwasher once a week because there is only me and the critters. What I learned from that is, figure out how much of a product that you use in six months and buy that amount when it goes on sale with your coupons. The sales run in cycles and nearly everything is going to go on sale. What you want to do is buy enough to last about six months, at the sale price, so you never have to pay full price again. The sales, combined with coupons, are going to save you an incredible amount of money.
Where do I get coupons, you ask? Most of my coupons come from the Sunday paper inserts. I get the local paper and my friend, Mr. Know-it-All, reads several papers so I get all of his inserts, too. I also get coupons in the mail from QFC, PetSmart, Macy's, and even Silver City Restaurant. Costco also sends out their coupon book. Actually, once you become a couponer, you will find that coupons are everywhere. They will even shoot out of the cash register! These are called Catalinas or Cats and they are usually good ones, so pay attention. The other day I was working the "Buy 10 items, get $5 off" deal (great for the Food Bank) and I got four Cats. Three were for $1 off my next Silk Almond Milks, and the last one was for $1 off my next shopping trip. See what I mean? Free money!!
There is so much that I want to tell you about couponing that I can't fit it into one post, so I'll go at it again next time. In fact, I'm always talking about it. Everybody wins with couponing. The stores get reimbursed by the companies, the companies get their product in your hot little hands, and you get the deal. What's not to love?