Well, fast forward a couple of months...my friend Mandy mentioned that a friend of ours had told her all about this system and Mandy was going to try it out. She was super excited about it. I was kind of hesitant, but Mandy sent me the info to check into it and immediately I was fascinated...and convinced. I definitely thought it was something I would love to try. So, I won't spend too much time getting into details of the system on this post (keep reading to learn more), but it's basically a system where you combine coupons that you get from the newspaper and online (or wherever really) with the in-store sales and specials and promos.
Now, one thing I have to say right this moment...when I first started out, it wound up being WAY more time consuming than I had anticipated and that almost overwhelmed me. When I was first reading the information from other various blogs, they made it seem so simple. So easy. So quick. You just kind of sit back and let the websites do the work for you. Well, in my case, I was running around like a mad woman to every store in town trying to score every single deal because it was like I thought it would NEVER happen again. I also planned every single trip down to every last little detail and was the most organized coupon shopper ever. Well, since then, as things became more second-nature, I have started shopping mainly at two stores (Albertsons and Walgreens) and I do not have to plan every trip with such detail. The math and lingo and process just comes naturally and I don't really have to think about it so much anymore. It just becomes a WAY OF LIFE. Seriously. So, the reason I'm saying all of this is I don't want you to lose hope! It IS a lot of work in the beginning to get started and it can all be so confusing...but, I have put countless hours into scouring the internet and reading all the different blogs and articles I can about the system. Hopefully, by my doing that, I can now share everything I've learned with the readers of my blog and cut out some of that middle part (scouring the web for countless hours) for YOU!
I have just really put a lot of time into it, but the thing is....I ENJOY IT! I absolutely LOVE it! It's truly become a hobby for me. When you think about it...it's pretty much like a part-time job....I am getting "paid" to do this with the money we are saving on groceries. In fact, with three kids I would have to put into daycare, I am probably making MORE this way, and it's a job that I love. It's exciting, fun, challenging, stimulating, and, though it can be hard work, you get to see the results pretty much immediately, which makes it very rewarding. Again, you can put as much or as little time and effort as you want into this and still save a lot of money. As with anything, the more you put in, the more you will get out...but don't feel like you can't save money because you don't have a ton of time to devote to this! Start small and see where it takes you! Even if you save $10 a month...that's $10 a month! With my website...you'll learn how far $10 can take you!! :)
There are a few blogs that are my favorite and that I check daily (sometimes many times daily) as there are always new posts alerting us of all the current and new deals and match-ups with area stores (You can see them listed on my right sidebar under "My Fave Sites"). (My darling husband even just showed me how I can use Viigo with my blackberry and it will automatically update me when a new blog is posted on any of the blogs I am subscribed to so that I will never miss ANYthing. (If you have a BlackBerry and want instant blog updates sent right to your smartphone, click HERE for a tutorial on how to set this up)
So where DO you begin? Well, I'm going to do my best to explain the system and get you started. There are many blogs out there that provide a wealth of information. One thing to note here is that not everyone uses the SAME system. This can be both helpful and not-so-helpful, at times. It's a plus because you can get to learn about the different ways to do it and decide which one works best for you or you can also take a little from each system and kind of tailor it to your own needs. It can also be a negative, though, because it can really start to make things a bit confusing trying to keep it straight! Really, you just have to read around and try to figure out what's going to work for you.
Really, the more time and effort you put into it, the more money you will save, but if you want to do the bare minimum...there's still a ton of savings out there for you! If you decide to go a different route, there will still be plenty of tips here you will find helpful. :) I used to maintain this blog daily and keep it updated with weekly matchups to various stores and weekly menu planning and lots more, but it proved to be too time consuming and it took away time to spend with my kiddos. So, I have decided to discontinue that part of the blog (read more about it on the post below this one). Now I just leave this blog up as an educational tool for others who are interested in learning more.
There are many other blogs out there with coupon matchups for other stores. A few that I really love are AThriftyMom, FabulesslyFrugal, and Discount Queens. These have great local information. If you are not from Idaho, I still have some great info for you! You can also go HERE to find blogs for your local area!
Not quite convinced or a little skeptical? Click HERE to see an example of the money you could be saving. Click HERE to go to the next step in becoming a successful coupon shopper!