Ok…I had planned to put this spotlight up in January but like usual…I got busy and forgot. I was going down the list in my spotlight folder (which is getting thin btw…hint, hint!) and found Karen’s story next in line.
While I am a little late as far as being a New Year’s resolution idea…I still think her message is valid no matter the time of year.
Take it away, Karen –
In January, Michelle asked what our new resolutions for couponing would be. Initially, I thought I had reached a plateau. I was menu planning, sticking to my list; I had ferreted out every possible source of coupons. In short, I was pleased with my savings.
However, it occurred to me an area of savings related to grocery shopping which did not include food: the gas card. Although we have been underemployed for several years, my husband and I are in a unique situation where we earn most of our income from at home work. Also we plan just one shopping trip per week and run any needed errands at that time. I decided to take advantage of the gas card deal each time it was offered to further increase our savings on gasoline. Because of that decision, I have only had to purchase gas out of pocket less than ten times in 2014. It has made a huge difference in the amount of money we’ve been able to save for home repairs this year. Not so much the actual money saved on gas but the psychological effect it had led us to put back more money.
I often see comments suggesting there are not enough deals to reach the fifty dollar minimum. Each week I shop Publix and Kroger (mainly dairy, bread, and peanut butter), and I’m limited to $45 to spend at both places. Here’s my strategy: Collect and set aside free Q’s. Old Orchard has games which I play to earn points for free juice. I also get coupons for free Powerade from My Coke Rewards, and of course lately, I’ve ordered three coupons for the 12 pack cokes. Also I get free or high value coupons from playing instant win games. During the last gas card promotion, I had over $5 in free products. Also, if there are Kellogg’s products on sale I will usually redeem points for the high value qs. I check meat and produce prices. Sometimes I’ll have Kroger store coupons for $ off meat and produce purchases. I check the coop fliers and hold off those purchases in case the gas card deal shows up during the sale cycle. Rainchecks are also used at this time if I have any. I don’t limit my purchases to just food but look for good prices on cleaning products and health and beauty items. I’ll stack manufactures coupons with store coupons for matches which are good prices, even without a sale. In the past, I’ve bought Listerine, rubbing alcohol, shampoo, and q-tips. I’m even willing to spend a few cents more if that means I have one less store to shop. Finally I’ll check staples like tomato sauce, paste, dried beans, and rice. I’ll fill out my purchases with store brand products if needed. As long as I’m within budget, and I know I’ll use an item, I don’t fret if it’s not the best deal.
Low gasoline prices have been an added bonus. I just filled my car, and I still have a balance on one card, plus another card saved. I’m expecting the deal to come up again right after the holidays. This worked so well for us this year that I’ll be doing it again for 2015.
You have a plan and are sticking to it. A great plan sets you up for success – great job!
I NEED YOUR STORIES!! If you have a story to share PLEASE SEND IT IN –pretty please with a cherry on top??
Your post can be about almost anything to do with couponing. You can tell us about a particularly good or bad situation you’ve dealt with as a couponer, about how you got into couponing or how couponing has impacted the rest of your life, you can make a list of things every new couponer should know…just about anything, really! If you think it’s interesting and it has to do with couponing, email me with your idea at contactiheartpublix @ gmail.com.This is one of my favorite features on the site! Be sure and check out all the past Reader Spotlights HERE.