Im a rotten couponer

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I inhale deeply at couponing.

    I dont know why I cant do this right but I tried. I had these coupons for CVS and I managed to get Tony to go with me and somehow I didnt even get my ten dollar gas card because I didnt break up our items in the carts right. We did get our 10 diet cokes but we spent like 50 bucks in the store on mostly stuff I really wouldnt have bought normally. I never buy Charmin, I buy generic but that was probably a bargain on sale. I also got paper towels that we never use so they will last a long long I also got Cory's first box of diapers but hey, I sure wouldnt have been buying them except I was trying to get the gas card!


    I think I did better at Lowes Food but even there Im not sure. I had printed coupons and my lowes card. I know I loaded coupons on my card but I also had coupons for those same products so I have no idea how that came out. On my receipt it said some things were doubled so maybe that was them.

    Im really confused. I spent almost 90 bucks on stuff I really could have done without.
  2. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Janet, you're just learning. Don't go into CVS until you check out your local food market store. CVS is a total rip-off unless you have the sales, mixed with the coupons....and even then sometimes you can do better elsewhere, so then it's not a bargain.
    Do this, it's easy:
    Get envelopes and label them, 1 for each aisle of your supermarket.( example, FROZEN)
    Put coupons for each aisle in the correct envelope
    Get the circular for your supermarket and circle the sale items you think you want to make meals with
    Now go through the circular again, take out one envelope at a time, and see the things you have coupons for, that are ALSO on sale. (you may not really need them, but they may be too good of a bargain to pass up)

    Then look through the CVS circular the same way- I have 4 envelopes for CVS - 1 for mouthwash, toothpaste, and toothbrushes, 1 for razors and soap and bodywash, 1 for candy and snacks, 1 for Misc- medicine stuff, like Nyquil.
    Don't buy anything there unless it's on sale AND you have a coupon. A lot of the coupons in the newspaper you may have to hang onto for a few weeks until the item goes on sale. They also have a lot of things that are totoally free only because they give you extrabucks back and you mix them with the coupons. Also- google some cvs coupon websites, they will give you scenarios of things you can get for free or next to nothing. You may not need them now, but so what, you'll need them later. Also, sign your extra care card up online- they will send you $4 off a $30 purchase every other week. I got the 10$ gas card, and I bought 6 of those 8 packs of paper towels- but I use them, I had a $4 off $30 and $9 extrabucks, so it cost me like $25, but I got the gas card and 48 rolls of paper towels. Maybe not the greatest deal I admit.

    Write everything down and plan each trip, it'll be worth it, you'll see.
  3. mazdamama

    mazdamama New Member

    LOL....Like you I am not really onto what to do with coupons. Where I live there is no doubling at the stores :( but we have alot of BOGOs. I did get some good bargains at the local Publix with those and the coupons I had for both the buy one and the free one. Saw the CVS ad but at Publix I was able to use a coupon and got a $50. gas card for $40. so that will be held onto till the end of the month when I am broke. Managed to get the boys to agree to go to Penney's with me today. They had a coupon for $10. off any single purchase over $25. I had Daniel try on shorts, something I have never been able to get him to. I generally have to guess a size. Dang he is in an 18H :O at 10 yrs old. Got him two pairs of on sale shorts and added an on sale tshirt for David. Used one of the coupons I had. Then went and grabbed two pillows on sale, three clearance shirts, 2 for David and 1 for Daniel and then one for me. Used the 2nd coupon I had. Spent a total of $42. and reciots say I saved a combined $125.00. I am happy.

    Heck...Publix had Kid's Cuisine meals on sale for $1.00 each. I like to keep those on hand for quick meals when we have to be somewhere.
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I suck at it, too, so don't feel bad. I've been noticing more....uhmmm...cognitive changes of late and I think that's playing a big part. I mean, really stupid know what I mean.

    So, since I suck at it - instead of trying to do anything even resembling what is on that show (which I haven't watched - just viewed a couple of video clips on TLC's website), I only print/cut out coupons for items I am going to use - and relatively soon. I compare the sales ads for 2 stores - side by side - and make a list. I don't buy large bulks of items (if I buy 3 of something, that's a lot). I just shop pretty much like normal, using my coupons and sales ads. I'm not making off like I know some people are, but my food money is lasting the month and that's what really matters. I do go searching for coupons for specific items like cat litter, and I'm trying to keep a journal of what an item costs at each store that I go between (Kroger and Meijer). Even if something is on sale at Kroger, it will still often be cheaper at Meijer. The only thing I will stock up on in larger quantities (still nothing like the show) is cereal because difficult child is the cereal queen. She goes through it fast.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    When you first learn something you are not good at it. You didn't tie your shoes the first time, or walk, or even use a debit card. Couponing and bargain hunting are SKILLS like anything else. Start easy, accept that you will make mistakes and be NICE to yourself. Tell yourself that you learned you need to keep to a list and be strict with Tony rather than to let him buy whatever. But you LEARNED that this is needed today!! You LEARNED - which is GOOD!

    By the way, STOP TELLING MY FRIEND SHE INHALES AND IS ROTTEN!!!! NO ONE is allowed to tell my friends things like that - ESP when they are NOT TRUE!! You are a newbie, and you made mistakes. It happens. You spent money at a store. You didn't go and spend the last pennies you had, take food out of your children's mouths or anything like that. You didn't go blow twice what you bring in each year at a casino in three hours, so what did you do that was so wrong???

    Also start a price book. Write down ten items you use each week and what the price is at your fave stores. You drink Diet Coke, so the book should look like this:

    Diet coke 2L: Walmart: 1.25 CVS 2.19 Lowe Food .99
    MIlk skim gal: 3.59 5.44 etc...

    You actually put the numbers in columns for the stores, with the stores up above. THen each time you go to the store you add five or ten things and if a price is different when you pick up the diet coke you change it to the right one. THen when you look at your store ads you will know if it is worth getting or not.

    I would owrk on the price book for a few weeks and only do one or two coupon deals or just the fliers from one store when you go to do price matching. Then work up to the couponing and making sure you get the best deals.

    Keep a calculator with you so that you don't get confused, and do NOT be shy about saying "Wait a minute, I am confused"
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    is there one place that lists all the food isles with all the food products on them? I really am not so concerned about if it is correct for each store but I would like to get one that simply has most of the major foods on it so I can have a pretty itemized grocery list that isnt out of Word because I dont have word.

    Then maybe I could try again. I do need to get the Harris teeter card. Do I have to do that in person or can I do that online? I dont have a Krogers near enough to me to make it worth my while.
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Janet! First of all - TAKE IT BACK!!!!!! The things that you bought that you DO NOT USE, WOULD NOT USE - and CAN NOT USE and got JUST for the sake of TRYING to get a good deal?

    Honey - take it back. Dont be embarassed, don't worry - just take it back. No one is going to be angry, upset, mad - whatever. THE OBJECT here? IS to get - not to PAY. NOT to feel defeated.

    Did we all do it? Yes. Did we all start out learning and making mistakes? YUEEeeeeeesssss. And OMWord did I hate it, give it up, turned MY binder into a Pokemon collectible. (Sorry Everywoman) I looked today. I was going to give it to Everywoman if I still had it but I did turn it into the every-collectors dream Pokemon card carrier (The little plastic pages) and DF said i took my binder BACK to Big lots. $19.00 worth. So yeah - I just didn't GET how "Happy little Colin" and everyone else gets all these great deals and freebies and here I am going WTF? (sorry but when it's over money and I'm reading the paper and matching up my deals like everyone else WTF was appropoe)

    THEN? THEN? I read about all these women doing these STACKING coupon deals so I go to MY stores and I get NASTY left over men from 1700's Salem who would rather bind me and put rocks in my pocket to see if I sink with my coupon binder than to give me a twofer on a Glad scented wall plug in or GOD forbid an Oral B tooth brush - OR OH yeah forgot this one - FOUR a Wallgreens. Because he accused me of PRINTING and COPYING a coupon. NEeeeever occured to narrow NED that I printed one at home, one at work, one from a friend at home, and one from a friend on his work computer. WOW - Yes I'm an evil temptress and my goal today is to rid you of all your Frakey Flipping Frosty Frappacino. You Frog. (kakkled as I walked out of Walgreens and I haven't been back) But that was a long time ago. I think I was still going to therapy. It was before the stroke. Things may have changed since then. Things may have changed since then. Things may have changed since then. What? Oh moving on.

    So....First thing you have to know about couponing? It takes time! It will come - it takes time. Being a genius that you are and good at math helps but it's tricky so do ONE deal and let it go at that. Try to do either FOOD OR junk but not both to start. I picked food - I can't eat razors. So I started with food. And what a fool I was - OMG I cut coupons for EVERYTHING - and I KEPT EVERYTHING ....and if you will for a moment -----think Lord of the Rings---now think that little thing that runs around trying to get the ring from Frodo - with the gravely voice yelling "MY PRECIOUS" -----Yeah - that was ME with every coupon I could get - because "I never knew WHAT one I would need to "make my deal".....and you know I can't stand corn dogs" but MY PRECIOUS may have a deal for corn we keep the precious.....and my binder weighed like 15 lbs...(I could have bowled with it) and the worst thing was I was keeping coupons for things I would NEVER eat - but thought - IT WAS A GOOD DEAL EVENTUALLY - right - so keep it. And no......things you won't eat or use? NOT a good deal just to GET a good deal. I mean if I have to buy a jar of some off brand BBQ sauce now and then to get Dukes mayonase? Sure - but If I have to buy 20 jars of Kimchee to get 3 jars of pickles? NOT a good deal.

    Then? The coupons expire....this is something that LESS is MORE. Again - keep what you NEED will use - and pass the rest on. This is why it's good to have a few coupon buddies - and share. This is where MY PRECIOUS really took a great turn because I GET "MY PRECIOUS" in the mail - and I do that dance - that exact dance that that little twisted Hobbit does did when he got the ring in the end - so happy - every time I get coupons in the mail because I KNOW they are ones I WILL use....and CAN make GREAT deals on for stuff I WILL EAT. And Not that I can see my coupons buddies dancing like I do....but I send them couons that I know THEY like too - I found what I call COUPON SOUL SISTERS....because the stuff they want/like/use? I'm like - Mmmm NOT FOR ME.....and vice it works great.

    As far as the CVS deal? THAT one takes time and I am still working on that SLOWLY -----and I mean SLOWLY - but here's the thing - YOU HAVE TO take control of that. WRITE IT OUT - BEFORE YOU GO.


    I wanted - to use up my $5,99 CVS BUCKS that was expiring on Wednesday - if you don't use it - you loose it. So That's $6.00 play money to me - You have to use it all - or you can't get it on a gift certificate.

    SO - I think ======

    Now the sale paper has Oral B tooth brushes on sale and the paper had a $2 coupon and a BOGO coupon PLUS you get CVS BUCKS BACK _ $2.00 - BUT you do NOT want to use THIS deal wITH ANY OTHER DEAL BECAUSE by the time you use THE COUPONS, AND THE SALE AND GET THE CVS BUCKS ? YOU WILL only OWE - $1.07 ---cash and you will have $2.00 bucks.....keep this separate. Deal #1

    So I did that first. I paid her $1.07 cash - and GOT a CVS BUCKS FOR $2 -

    Then I forgot to SCAN my CVS CARDS - in the CVS coupon machine - BOTH cards (mine and DF) spit out coupons for FREE candy bars - $1.29 value (i think) each. SCORE. Deal #2, Deal #3

    Now - The things that I wanted on sale?

    My former CVS bucks $5.99

    DIET COKE - .69 2L (2) (Substitite)
    DAWN soft pink dish washing detergent (2) .99 each (Substitute I wanted the Always Infinity panty liners for $3.99) that paid back a buck and I had a coupon for $1.00 off.
    Carmel (.33) Substitute
    These were okay substitutes - BECAUSE (Dawn was on my list of needs, Coke is something we drink and use) the carmel was a gift to the cashier for her help and a filler)
    24 pk. CVS bottled water $2.49 sale

    CREST Large Mouth wash - regular $6.49 on sale $4.49 Coupon -2.00 = $2.49

    Total out of pocket?
    total amount walked out store with ? $2.00 CVS bucks from that tootbrush deal......

    SO i went to the CVS down the hill for the Always feminine things -

    I also scanned my card.....again. Got .50 off a bottle of store water - wihich i needed by now no car a/c. and a coupon for $2.00 off a bag of skittles (how lucky is that?) they were on sale for $2.50 with 20% more per bag. and so this is how my deal broke down.

    Always things - 3.99 -
    Bottled Water...1.50
    CVS BUCKS...-2.00
    Total Due......3.49

    Then? I got a CVS Bucks for $2.00 from the Always
    So basically? (without the tax) I got what I got and Still have $2.00
    seed money for my next CVS deal.
    2 bottles of dawn, 2 two L bottles of coke, 1 case of water, 2 awesome 5.00 toothbrushes that were on sale for $3.00, a huge bottle of Crest mouthwash, a bag of skittles (almost a contradiction there huh?) , a bottle of cold water, a box of always fem. stuff. 2 free reg. size candy bars, paid $4.50, made $4.00 and had a good time but it took me about 35 minutes to do it beacuse I had to tell the cashier to LET ME THINK....

    THEN ---and only because I think I lucked up - I went to BI-LO - where they had ORAL B battery operated toothbrushes normally $10.69 each on sale for $5.19 each and I had coupons for $3.00 each that I NEARLY handed to the lady in CVS because I saw the $10.00 price and thought - I will NEVER use them....but just got 2 $10.00 toothbrushes for $2.19 each - (stocking stuffers) and then they had Dove Mens body wash on sale for $3.00--okay so I had a coupon for BOGO free. Which makes the soap EACH $1.50. Now normally I don't GET this stuff but----It's reg. $4.99 each. So i thought for $1.50 - again - maybe a nice stocking stuffer/Christmas basket thing - and went Okay I'll splurge. Then I did the food thing ----which I usually try to get doubles of my coupons for BOGO and watch the BOGO and don't always BUY two things - but if it will store, freeze and we use it - YES - then I will.

    YOu have to sit and figure out - WHAT do we eat.
    WHAT do we eat a lot of?
    What can I make meals out of 3 months from now ---because the grocery cycles, coupon cycles and sale cycles GO on about 3 month cycles. You can watch sales on certain things and they 'cycle' = brands, products, will go on sale about every three months of the year. Coupons run concurrent with those sales. NOT everything, but most things. Some more popular things run sales more often - but most sales and coupons for food stuffs run about every three months. When I buy pasta? We like Mullers - I wlil buy planning on what and how much we will eat, and DONATE for about three months. Mostly because if I do my coupons right? I can usually get around 20 boxes of pasta for under five dollars if there is a bogo sale or the coupons run .50 or 1.00 off. So far this year? There have been two sales. There was just one a month ago. I have pasta out the wazoo - (as df says)

    take a couponing class.......there are several all over. YOU WILL LEARN YOUR WEIGHT IN SAVINGS - no joke.

    Make sure you know each stores policy.

    and don't worry about calling me..........

    OH and by the way - the math on some of the sites I told you about? HORRENDOUS. BUT in all fairness? They do a LOT of good, and not everyone is good at keeping it straight. So do NOT depend on THEIR math, and their stores prices. I've found a LOT of mistakes. YES it is upsetting.....just write it out - on your own - and adjust. it's about all you can do.

    I made my own excel spread sheet when I started - but then again -i was analana...and there is NO substitution for just getting out there and doing one deal at a time. Seems to me food is easier.

    Oh and even with food - I did a few (three) deals and then paid......just to check my own math......Then id' let the cashier ring up a few more deals -----then pay. Check my math. Till I got some confidence. I mean what does she care? Know what I mean??

    Huge HUGS......and refunds not get discouraged.....
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Actually has videos up and she'll walk you through actual shopping. That made a big difference for me. AND she posts HER planned transactions for each for the the week, how she plans to pay ect.........which if I'm wanting the same deals for basically the same reason is HUGE for me. Otherwise I write down what I plan to buy and easy child does the transaction plan to get me the most bang for my buck. Because sometimes I really mess that up.

    The envelope for each transaction in each store is exactly what we do. Coupons for each separate transaction is placed in their envelopes so I don't get confused.

    Try to start out very small scale. The first 2 weeks I only did one or two deals at a time, nothing big. I was too scared of messing up and blowing cash I didn't have to blow. Still, both easy child and I messed up a couple of times.......not horribly, but it frustrated us. Thing is we learned from those mess ups. I gradually increased the number of items and or transactions.....but other than krogers I don't do it still on a very large scale. I won't do sales if the product is going to cost me more than generic. Not happening. I'm out to save money. I'll hold on to the coupons and buy the generic first. But I do buy a few items I don't really use......toothbrushes tend to be moneymaker deals (or just free), so does toothpaste, deodorant, and I can usually find body wash and hair products dirt cheap. Toilet paper and paper towels you have to be careful it's really a deal. I've gotten a few, but they don't come around as often as the others.

    Today's kroger haul was my biggest ever. Made me scared as all hades at check out too. I had a whopping 70 bucks in my purse and a whole cart load of stuff. But using krogers current 10 for 10 deals and buy 10 get 3.00 off at check out deals plus coupons......I managed to get over 100.00 worth of food for like 51.00. Just with their store deals I saved 30.00......then another 20.00 worth of coupons. And once husband gets paid this week I'm hitting them hard again for a 2nd round with more added to it.

    I'm very very careful buying food at drug stores. If I don't know the going price at walmart and kroger I won't touch it until I do. I worked for Rite Aide......I KNOW how expensive their food stuff tends to run.

    I won't use electronic coupons. They scare me. lol I have to see what I have or I loose what I'm doing. And our kroger won't double electronic I can usually print off the same ones online somewhere and get them doubled.

    You're braver than I am Janet........I'm too chicken to go for cvs' gas card. I only buy maybe one or two items when I go there or to rite aide. I prefer walgreen's where they keep me from getting confused and messing up and krogers who tend to do the same and don't throw the tantrum walmart can. But I will price match those sales at walmart and have LOTS of times. It really bugs easy child that I am not eager for rite aide and cvs deals.....but oh well. It's working for me the way I'm doing it. I'm price matching cvs' .69 cent 2 liter cokes at walmart because I don't want anything else from there. lol

    Just go slow at first until you catch on and gradually build up. And Susie is right.......if you get confused, make them stop until you figure it out.

    I *thought* I messed up at kroger today.......until I took out the receipt at home and went over it. Then I saw that everything rang up the way it was supposed to and breathed a huge sigh of relief.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    What Star said.

    Take it back if you're really not going to use it and you didn't get the deal you were aiming for. No sense in wasting the money.

    I have issues with the math.........that is the part that actually can mess me up really bad, even WITH the calculator. So I'm still avoiding the really complicated deals unless easy child maps them out for me word for word.......product name and how many, what coupon to use, in ad coupon if it has one, other products I need to buy, how many, their coupons, their in ad coupons if needed ect.....otheriwse? forget it. Doesn't make sense to me, I get lost in the process still.

    Usually, I write out my deals......I try to stick to ones I have coupons for. These deals are fairly simple. Buy X product, use this coupon for this much off, sometimes also an in store/ad coupon.....and rarely a drug store coupon booklet coupon too. (ok let me tell you that one took me at least 4 wks to learn....the stacking thing, especially at the drug stores because they have extra coupon books all over the store to pick up) I prefer buy this product use this coupon. lol But it doesn't always work out that way because IF you can stack, you save a LOT more.

    In truth.......I've nearly given up at least 3-4 times in frustration. It's definitely a learn as you go type thing. And honestly if it hadn't been for our super helpful walgreen employees I don't think easy child and I would have caught on as quickly as we did.

    Now? I'll go nose to nose with the most stubborn cashiers in the world to get my deal. I'll pull in the manager if needed. I try to be polite but I'm as stubborn as an ox and if I dig in my heels it won't be ME backing down. I double check my plans, I double check my coupons, I double check coupon policies, I go in prepared.

    Imagine..........and it wasn't that long ago when I dreaded getting in line behind a person with a stack of coupons and a cart load of stuff. :rofl: Not that I begrudged them their savings........but yeah.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I have math with think have dyscalcula.....
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I got really confused with their gas deal. I thought it was just buy 30 bucks with coupons and get the gas. guess not, I guess it was only on certain items because neither tony or I got the cards. I came like 2 bucks from the 30 bucks and said....wait...I will buy a diet coke and a candy bar or something else i had a coupon for but really didnt want like shampoo but they said I needed like 20 more dollars. Evidently I only had one correct coupon in my basket. tony had more in his which I noticed when I got home. If we can take stuff back, I will send him back and have him return a lot of stuff and put the paper towels i got on his card and get the gas.

    Leave it to me to try the hardest thing first,
  12. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    You can totally take anything back there. Even without a receipt they would just give you store credit.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    If it makes you feel better, Janet, easy child says the gas deal is too hard for her to bother with too. Our deals are smaller.

    I got the gift cards at kroger for Red Lobster because they quadruple your gas points. Yup. Easy good deal, right? Nope. husband filled my car at SPEEDWAY. Month turned over and lost all those bleeping bleeping gas points! UGH