Like many other families, we're doing some "belt tightening" around here, although we've watched the sale ads and clipped discount coupons for a long time. We've recycled for years and we try to follow the adage to "use it up and wear it out...", so this is not a new thing for us.
I think I had become a little bit complacent about the present economic situation, though, and hadn't watched my spending as closely as I could have. When I had gone grocery shopping, I'd chosen pretty much what I wanted and most often favored the better known brands over store labels. Sometimes I allowed coupons and discount offers to expire when I might have used them to help reduce the grocery bill. Well, I'm on a new mission starting today.
Spouse and I had a $20 cash credit for one of the local department stores and he needed a pair of swimming trunks. We traveled to the store this morning, found him some trunks, paid for them with our store credit, and then left. We didn't do any more shopping than we needed to and we stopped at the grocery store on the way home. I sorted through my envelope full of coupons as we headed to the store and pulled out the ones that would expire soon. I only chose coupons for products I knew we needed - tissue, dog and cat supplies, vitamins, cereal, laundry detergent, and a few other things.
I had an in-store offer for $5.00 off a total order of $50 so my goal was to spend no more than that. I was shocked when the clerk rang up the items and the cash register total was over $100! I'm sure I looked puzzled because the clerk reminded me I hadn't yet given her my "Kroger card" or my coupons. I handed those to her and waited for the bad news.
The news wasn't bad. With the Kroger card discounts, the clipped coupons, and the $5.00 offer, my grocery bill was reduced to a total of $57.48. Even though it was a few dollars over my goal, that was fine. I had saved nearly $50 by using coupons. It often takes a little longer to shop when I'm using them, but I think the time spent is well worth it. Spouse is always impressed with the savings and a portion of what I pay is given to my grandson's school.
I even decided to try some of the store brands today and I hope I'm not going to be disappointed - nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Gina (http://catnapinnprimitivesgeneralstore.blogspot.com/) shared this great couponing site: www.pinchingyourpennies.com
If others will share similar sites, I'll add them to the text of this blog. Thanks!