Friday, August 21, 2009

All your coupons are belong to us

This post is for Eve and ucmama and well, whoever else wants to know how I've been "exploiting" the system, as Michael puts it.

First, you need access to coupons. If you want to stock up on items when you can get them at a really good price, you'll need several copies of each coupon. You can order multiple copies of Sunday's paper (ask the paper if they have any couponer's deals) or just ask around your neighborhood to see if anyone gets the Sunday paper, but just throws the coupon inserts away. I have a friend who does this, and she tells me she can get easily three to four copies of inserts. I am socially inept (okay, maybe just anti-social), so I get papers. I've already saved enough money to pay for the paper for quite some time. You can also go to The Coupon Clippers to buy multiple copies of only the coupons you need. It's generally pretty inexpensive. You can also find tons of free coupons to print out online at, Grocery Smarts, manufacturer's websites, and pretty much millions of other places. They're seriously everywhere My first huge couponing haul was solely with coupons I had printed out from the internet. Well, those and doubler coupons from Albertsons. Oh, and Eve, you can go to Kroger's website to print store coupons or load them to your shopper's card. Usually, you can use a store coupon and a manufacturer's coupon on the same item. You should definitely find out what your stores' policies are.

So you have coupons now. The key to saving more than .55 (or whatever the coupon is worth) is to buy when the item is on super sale and buy enough to last you until the item goes on super sale again (but have one coupon per item, or as specified on the coupon ie. save $1 when you buy 2, etc.). Also double the coupon, if that's an option. Big sales happen in cycles, so usually your coupon will be good when the item is on super sale. Just remember to keep an eye on the expiration dates.

And that's it really. There are couponing blogs and websites out there that do all the work matching up sales and coupons for the stores in your area. My favorite is Krazy Coupon Lady, which is based where I live, but they also cover some stores in the midwest. Deal Seeking Mom is also one that I visit frequently. Although, you might be able to find other sites that cater more to your individual areas. Maybe couponing is so big around here, Utah, and Arizona because of all the Mormons who are stay at home moms. I found this site for you, Eve- Southern Savers. I'm still looking for a good one for you, ucmama.

As far as organizing your coupons goes, I like Heather's method here because I don't like clipping coupons I may never use.

I hope yall are able to get some good deals. It's been pretty nice for us to not spend so much on groceries.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Please indulge my rambling...

First, I want to talk savings. I'm still excited about couponing because I'm cheap! This is what I got yesterday

for $20.95. Heck yes, fool! Well, not that I'm calling YOU a fool. It's just, er, something I say. Like Mr. T, except that I'm nothing like him. Well, my mohawk does resemble his a bit... Anyway, awesome, right?

Next up, I want to talk about the never ending sleep saga that is my life. My most recent attempt in trying to get Ben to sleep by himself was to take one side of his crib off and put it next to my bed sidecar style. This worked and didn't work. Sure, he slept by himself, but he still needed me to get him back to sleep in the middle of the night. I knew he would, obviously, but I didn't know that I would bring him into our bed in my sleep, thus making the sidecar crib irrelevant. And on nights like last night where he tossed and turned and did cartwheels and flips and basically did an Olympic gymnastic floor routine in his sleep while we tried to sleep, co-sleeping just kind of doesn't work for us anymore. You know, like I've been saying for a while now.

So, what I'm getting at is that I really want to talk about sleep training. Which is a VERY taboo subject on the internets, but hey yall, I don't care how you get your kid to sleep. Maybe if it works for you, it can work for me, too. I'll tell you what has not worked. Cry it out. I tried it because it worked for some friends and family who I consider to be very good and loving parents and also sensitive to the needs of their children. It's worked quite wonderfully for them. The first night, Ben cried for an hour and a half. The second was an hour, the third an hour and a half, the fourth and fifth an hour each. He also slept for shorter and shorter periods each night after he fell asleep. And also, we were falling apart every night. It was just so awful to hear him cry like that. I'd never heard him cry like that before, and I haven't since then either. So, that particular method is out. Has anyone done something different to help their child fall asleep by his/herself? I'm going to moderate the comments on this post. If you are comfortable with sharing your method with the world, let me know. If you'd like to tell me (I will totally not judge you), but not the internets, I won't post your comment.

A little more info- we have a routine, a set bedtime, etc. I realize those are important to have for child, whether they fall asleep on their own or not. I appreciate any insight you have. I'm not dying over here or anything. I just want Ben to be well rested and also to be able to do something every once in a while when Ben sleeps. Well, last night I thought I'd die when Ben woke up to nurse for the millionth time and then decided he'd like to get up and play. Then I got to spend an hour trying to get him to go back to sleep. So, yeah, anything you'd like to tell me about that would be welcome.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

And you'll know me by the little clipped pieces of paper clutched in my greasy fists

Apparently I took an unannounced hiatus from my blog. I meant to post before I went to visit my brother, but it just kind of didn't happen. And now that it's been almost a week since I got back, I decided it's high time.

So, as you may or may not know: we're poor. I don't have a job, and we just bought a house. To offset my lack of income, I've decided to hit this couponing thing full time. I've seen where other people have saved tons doing it, and I figure I can do it, too. I've dabbled here and there up to now. Several weeks ago, I got nine pints of Breyer's ice cream for a dollar and some change. It felt good. Last night was my real mega coupon christening, though. I bought $343.75 worth of stuff from Albertsons as a part of the current General Mills/Unilever promotion. If I had not put forth the effort in scheming planning my trip, I would have gotten it all for $200.51, plus $15 back in coupons to use on my next shopping trip, effectively making it $185.51. However, because I did plan and clip and go through the line six times with different transactions, it cost me $57.83 with another $15 in coupons, effectively making my contribution $42.83. And this is what I got:

Ahhhhh, it's beautiful, isn't it? Well, not the picture. I couldn't find our camera, so I had to use my phone. But look at how much stuff there is! There are 97 items on that table, which means I got everything for .44 an item! Anyway, I got all of my matchups from Krazy Coupon Lady, as well as all of the links to the internet printable coupons that I used. I don't get the paper yet, so all of the coupons I used for my haul were free ones I found on the internet. I also got my doublers just by asking for them at the customer service desks at a couple of Albertsons stores. I vowed never to shop at Albertsons because they outsourced my job to India (they're the grocery chain I worked for), but because I'm poor, my wallet speaks louder than my grudge. And also, savings are delicious to a cheapskate like myself.

On the home update, um, we're still not done moving. Arrrrrgh! And we really need to get done because we really really need to sell the trailer.

Ben is getting huge. He is crawling normally now instead of swimming across the floor like he used to. Although, he will still swim occasionally when he gets really excited about something. He's pulling up on everything and, consequently, falling and bonking his head a lot. He's also very much attached to his mama. Which is endearing, but also inconvenient because it means he wants to be in my lap 60% or more of the time. He never wanted to be in my lap in the trailer where there was no room to put him down, but now that he has the run of the whole house in this place, he mostly wants to be in my lap. Babies are mercurial little creatures.

Also, you should go to Cake Wrecks if you haven't already. It's hilarious.