Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rockin' robin...

He is on a high branch, in a bare tree, that is swaying in the wind. The wind keeps blowing, the tree keeps swaying, but he keeps holding on. The wind's gotten to be a little too much for him now, so he threw caution (and himself) to the wind, and flew off to find a new spot to sit and watch the world. Ahhhhhhhh, there is enough metaphor there to... make something... overly metaphory. Seriously, though, I could learn a lot from that bird.

Tom is outside pumping up the tires on our bikes. He wants to go for a ride. We'll see how that goes. I prefer to bike on trails, where I don't have to worry about about the motorists in Colorado Springs, an alarmingly large percentage of whom must be stupid, judging by their driving.

I picked up a Sunday paper this week and have been clipping coupons. I started couponing recently, but only with printable coupons I found online. This week, I heard there were going to be a whopping FOUR coupon inserts in the paper, so I decided to pick one up today. I thought I would share how I plan to coupon. Maybe some of this can be classified as "tip-worthy", but I make no promises. Anyhow, here is what I have done/am doing..

  • Find a blog that covers local sales/coupons/etc. I was lucky enough to run across, which is absolutely amazing. It lists the currents ads for all the local grocery stores, and matches them up with many existing coupons deals. They even rate the deals on a scale of 1-5, based on how great they think it is. It allowed me to really maximize my savings this week, and I plan to check back each week to see the best deals.
  • Check the on-line coupon sites to see what they're offering. Unlike your Sunday paper, checking on-line coupons is absolutely free (assuming you're on a computer anyway), and you only have to print the ones you really want. Here are the ones I like to check. If you know of more, please let me know!
    •  Printables
    • Red Plum  Printables
    • Smart Source  Printables
    • Upromise   Ecoupons you can load onto your grocery or drug store cards, and savings at restaurants and online retailers. The Savings go into your upromise account, instead of being given at the store. You can then use the money in your account to help pay for college, invest in a savings account, or even request a check. Every little bit helps!
    • Cellfire  More coupons to load directly onto your grocery card! Here King Soopers (Krogers chain) participates.
    • Just 4 U  Safeway's own eCoupon program.
    • Target  Target has their own coupon site. Just go to, and scroll down tot he bottom. There is a Coupons link under the heading "Target Stores" at the bottom. SOme of these are exclusive to Target, and some are manufacturers.
  • Know that, at most stores, you can use one manufacturer and one store coupon on a product. So if you have a Target coupon for $1 off, and a manufacturer coupon for $1 off, you can get $2 off one item.
  • Know who doubles coupons in your area. Where I am, Safeway and King Soopers always double, and Albertsons only doubles occasionally. A $.50 coupon may not look like much, but $1.00 does!
  • Only use coupons for things you usually buy or know you will use, and only use it when it makes something truly cheaper. For instance, saving $.50 on a box $1.50 Kraft macaroni is not that big a deal if I can get the store brand for $.89 without any coupon.
  • That being said, I clip ALL the coupons from the paper. At least right now. Why? Two reasons:
    • A lot of times, I see deals where things are free or ridiculously cheap weeks after the coupons have been in the paper. Even if it's not something I use, if it's free, I'll take it. Case in point, I just clipped a bunch of things for dog food and treats. I have no dog. If I find some deal where I can get the treats or food for free, though, I'll buy them. I have plenty of friends with dogs, and if nothing else, I can give them to the local humane society.
    • I know there have to be sites online where you can swap coupons with people. The dog coupons and baby coupons do nothing for me, but may be awesome to someone else. Maybe they could send me some food or cat coupons in trade! :)
  • Become a fan of some of your favorite brands and stores on Facebook. A lot of places are starting to offer their fans coupons. You can also go directly to company websites and sign up for free coupons. I've created an entire e-mail address just for couponing so I don't get spammed to death at my regular e-mail.
  • Create some sort of organization system. I'm using clear page protectors in a binder, and dividing things up by categories which make sense for me.
  • Understand that every little bit helps. This is a hard one for me. Too often I need to do everything whole hog, and can't deal with mediocrity. I'm trying to remember that ANY savings is a savings. I don't have to be like the crazy people on Extreme Couponing.
Happy shopping!

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