Monday, March 23, 2009

Coupon Savings

Due to my recent interest in clipping coupons and inspiration from some mom blog sites such as Consumer Queen and tidbits of information I've run across on Twitter, I decided to track my savings through couponing both store and manufacturer, watching for store discounts, and checking into free offers. I have always been careful of spending as I am a stay at home mom, but to be truthful I would not always remember to take the coupons or to even clip them. In an effort to prove or disprove to myself whether it is worth the time and effort to look for the coupons, to be sure to use them before the expiration date, and to even remember to give them to the cashier, I decided to track savings. Have I ever been surprised.

It has not been quite 30 days, and I can track savings of $233.41 to date. The breakdown is as follows:

Store coupons $43
Store discounts $94
Manufacturer coupons $58
Value of free items $26
Miscellaneous $12

I have only followed the receipts from my purchases and haven't include any of my husband's, as he is not specifically targeting sales and coupons but in general purchases items as he needs them. On the other hand, I have been thoroughly reviewing the sale ads for Fred Meyers, our main grocery store chain that we purchase at. We also shop at Target, K Mart, Costco occasionally, and eat out as infrequently as possible. I utilized online coupons found through Consumer Queen and free offers that show up through Twitter. Sure it has taken a little more planning than just running out to the store and getting what you need when you need it. My husband preaches "time is money, and money is time", but in today's economy I can see that my time is worth the savings that we are incurring.

I plan on continuing to track our savings and am hoping to do a better job of matching up manufacturer coupons with local store offers. We do not have double coupons in our area so what you see is what you get in terms of coupons. I also generally purchase generic over store brands as Fred Meyers is part of the Kroger chain and carries their own high level line of products under the label of Private Selection. With the exception of Q-Tips - which generic just do not cut it in terms of quality - their store label brands beat out the unit cost pricing of major brands unless there is a fantastic store sale/coupon match up.

Time will tell if a little more planning will bump up our savings, but it will be interesting to watch nevertheless.

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