Reader Spotlight – Couponing Through Tough Times

August 28, 2014 

 Reader Spotlight   Couponing Through Tough Times
This week’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from Kim, who has had a rough few years. She uses coupons to help her keep stocked on the basics and is even able to help others. Take it away, Kim!

I had a friend who introduced me to couponing a few years back. When she stopped couponing, I came across your site, and I’ve been using it ever since. It’s been almost 5 years now, and I have to say over the years I’ve gotten better with the help of your site!

Almost 2 years ago I was forced to move back in with my father or be homeless when my townhouse was sold out from under me. I moved in with my dad and we split the bills 50/50. He wouldn’t be able to make it without me being here, as he is living on his retirement.

Last year I was fired from my job. I had been hospitalized twice and when I ended up sick a 3rd time, I was fired. I live in Florida which is a right to hire, right to fire state, so there was nothing I could do to fight it. Plus I worked for a government agency, so no one would fight for me anyway.

After losing my job, I went on food stamps and I have been on them ever since. In the beginning, a single person would get $200 a month and as of last November it was reduced to $189. I know the prices today…without sales or coupons it is impossible to live off that much!

I still haven’t been able to find a permanent job; all I’ve been able to get have been temporary jobs. I’ve been living off unemployment to pay my bills when not working a temporary job. With the coupon matchups from your site as well as others for other stores, I have been able to keep food in the house. Even last summer, when a girl that I treat as the daughter I can’t have came to live with us, I was still able to feed her, her 2 kids plus my father and I as well. I just want to say, thank you for all you do!

I NEED YOUR STORIES!! My folder is very low! If you have written and not seen your story– please contact me as my inbox could have eaten it. If you have a story to share please send it–pretty please with a cherry on top icon biggrin Reader Spotlight   Couponing Through Tough Times

 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 intocouponing 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.

Reader Spotlight – A Lesson In Frugality

August 21, 2014 

reader spotlight Reader Spotlight   A Lesson In Frugality

This week’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from Andrea. Andrea has a great little lesson for us about how to get the very most out of what’s in our pantry. Take it away, Andrea!

I started my day out with a lesson in frugality and wanted to share it with you since I know you’re also very frugal. (I don’t like the word “cheap.”)

So, here’s how I started my day: I had a box of raisin bran cereal, which I love to eat for breakfast. It just happened that I had a good supply of cereal when I bought this box and didn’t finish this one. I hate to throw away food! I decided I’d be creative and find a way to use the rest of the box.

I started with the basic muffin recipe and was successful in seconds when I searched online for Raisin Bran Muffins. It turned out that the recipe I chose makes 18 muffins, so I had leftover batter. What to do with it? Don’t waste it! I decided to make a quick bread. Once again, I quickly found help online as to how to make the muffin batter into bread. Easy, peasy! The only thing was, I had more raisin bran cereal left. What else…cookies came to mind! I found a wonderful recipe for Peanut Butter Raisin Bran Cookies on the trusted Betty Crocker website.

But wait, there’s more! With the bread, I intend to use a portion for French Toast sticks that I can freeze for a quick breakfast, and the other part of the bread can be made into a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a stuffed French Toast that I fill with a sandwich spread of Nutella, peanut butter or Peanut Butter and Co. White Chocolate Wonderful spread. Yay! I’ll finally be able to use that coupon for the White Chocolate Wonderful spread!

I thought you might be interested in how many ways you can use a box of cereal. Instead of throwing it away, I was able to make many more meals. I’d love to hear what other readers would have created with this one box! Have a great day!

I NEED YOUR STORIES!! My folder is very low! If you have written and not seen your story– please contact me as my inbox could have eaten it. If you have a story to share please send it–pretty please with a cherry on top icon biggrin Reader Spotlight   A Lesson In Frugality

 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 intocouponing 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.

Reader Spotlight – Twin Blessings

August 14, 2014 

 Reader Spotlight   Twin Blessings
This week’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from Ellen. Ellen’s daughter got pregnant with twins and it was just what she needed to start her on the path to couponing!

Take it away, Ellen!

Three years ago my daughter would have rolled her eyes when I pulled out my coupon box. She has learned just how valuable coupons can be.

Our daughter came to us over 3 years ago with the news she was pregnant. At the first ultrasound we discovered she was expecting twins. After a very difficult pregnancy she delivered a beautiful 4 pound little boy and a little 2 pound miracle. Both are bouncing healthy little boys now.

Early in the pregnancy my daughter declined the offer of WIC. We started on a plan to save money. Long before the boys were born she had over 250 jars of Beechnut baby food stored in a spare bedroom. All had been purchased at Publix using coupons and 1/2 price sales. The managers at Pulbix were wonderful to let her preorder 12 pack of different foods. Between breastfeeding and formula she was able to manage fine. She never bought Similac without a $5 coupon often given her by friends.

She was able to get name brand diapers by using coupons and sales. During the last year of potty training, she has gotten unbelievable sales. She has gone from a coupon skeptic to a believer!

Now my daughter in law is expecting in October. We are already stockpiling diapers and just waiting on a Publix Beechnut sale. I can not thank you enough for I Heart Publix. You will never know how much help you are especially to young mothers!

I NEED YOUR STORIES!! My folder is very low! If you have written and not seen your story– please contact me as my inbox could have eaten it. If you have a story to share please send it–pretty please with a cherry on top icon biggrin Reader Spotlight   Twin Blessings

 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 intocouponing 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.

Reader Spotlight – Love At First Click!

August 7, 2014 

heart mouse Reader Spotlight   Love At First Click!This week’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from Stephenie. Stephenie started off as a fan from afar but now enjoys all the wonderful perks offered by the best grocery store ever!  

Take it away, Stephenie!

I first started couponing back in 2008. Just here and there, using coupons to try new products or on something that I already was purchasing. I remember visiting my in-laws in Florida and visiting a store called Publix. I don’t know if it was the housewife in me or what, but I was in L-O-V-E. The in-store coupons, the coupon matching of other stores, the BOGO’s! I think I spent the rest of the trip asking to go back at least once a day. At the time we were living outside of Seattle, WA where I’m from and my husband was stationed for the Army. I had recently quit my job and we were living on his income – not a lot when you factor in the cost of living in the Seattle area. I had no idea about the “art of couponing” and the ability to be able to condense our bills with a little time and work on our grocery list. It wasn’t until early 2010 when my husband got a job offer that brought us to Huntsville, Alabama that my grocery budget got a true makeover. We lived just down the road from a very large Publix. I was your typical newbie – I didn’t realize BOGO here in Alabama meant I only needed to buy 1 and thus get half off the listed price! I didn’t realize they took competitor coupons or doubled coupons that were under 50 cents each. I was just enjoying the thrill of saving without even needing a coupon with all the BOGO’s and sale prices. About a year later I discovered IHeartPublix while browsing sale ad’s online. Love at first click!

I have been a weekly regular of IHeartPublix, stalking for deals and which coupons to print. Waking early every Monday to snag the preview list and get to sorting my coupons and working on a menu plan… especially with a little one due any day and a toddler entering his first year of pre-school (more diapers, more food and more money to budget!). I have learned how to watch for revolving items that may come on BOGO every 4-6 weeks (My favorite? Fruittare Lime Bars, yum!) and stockpiling enough food to hold me over between those sales so I don’t ever have to pay full price. I’ve been able to buy cereal for under $1 a box so many times that I don’t think I’ll ever be willing to pay retail again for cereal. My husband loves when I can score deodorant deals and pizza for free – or nearly free! He’s always bragging about our stockpile, I’m sure people find us hoarders but come weather warnings (tornado, snow, you name it) we don’t have to stress. I love knowing I can feed my family and close friends without spending a lot.

I’ve been entering the contests to win more coupons… Joining the twitter parties – and winning gift cards for my shopping trips! I have bragged about this page to more people than I can count, turning countless people over to the wide world of couponing at Publix. Especially to all those naysayers who tell me “Publix is expensive, how do you afford them?”. Maybe so, but I think not.

When you factor in the friendliness of Publix employees paired with the BOGO’s & stacking coupons, you can’t be beat. I love going in on a day when I’ve had bad news brought upon me or just need a pick me up. The employees at my store always bring a smile to my face before I leave the store. My son is almost 3.5 and has been going in with me weekly (if not daily!) since the day he was born. They have watched him blossom through Speech Therapy going from the shy little boy to the chatty toddler, giving high fives and conversations, bringing smiles to THEIR faces. They’re just employees, they don’t need to show compassion toward us, but choose to. They know me by my regular stack of coupons and never doubt me, generally pushing a coupon through that may not be scanning. They’ll open a new lane and sneak me in first, unload my cart for me (especially now that I am 9 months pregnant) and they always, always are persistent on bringing my bags to my car even when they are incredibly busy. I’ve been to other stores, but no one treats me as well as my Publix does. UPDATE: Stephenie welcomed her little bundle of joy this past Tuesday- CONGRATULATIONS!!

I NEED YOUR STORIES!! My folder is very low! If you have written and not seen your story– please contact me as my inbox could have eaten it. If you have a story to share please send it–pretty please with a cherry on top icon biggrin Reader Spotlight   Love At First Click!

 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 intocouponing 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.

Reader Spotlight – Spending A Little More

July 31, 2014 

i heart publix Reader Spotlight   Spending A Little MoreThis week’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from Emily, a couponer who likes to spend a little more ;)…I think you will understand why when you reader her story!

It’s my pleasure…to spend a little more.

Now before I’m tarred and feathered for speaking sacrilegiously on a site dedicated to saving money, allow me to explain.

I started couponing a little over 3 years ago when I was pregnant with my first daughter and would soon be leaving my job as a high school teacher to become a stay a home mom. With one income and no company benefits I knew that I had to contribute in some way in order to maintain a semblance of our previous lifestyle. Enter: couponing.

From the first transaction I was hooked. I spent countless hours looking up deals and ads. I printed every single coupon mentioned by a blogger. I bought 10 copies of every AJC and meticulously clipped and organized. If there was a deal across town, I was there. Some days I was hitting 4, 5, even 6 different grocery and drug stores, trying to snatch up every deal I saw. This was all fine and dandy when all I had was an immobile, sleepy, poop-machine to care for, but that soon changed.

As my daughter grew, I found myself unable to dedicate the time and energy into traveling to many different stores. I grew weary of clipping and organizing but there was no way I could ever pay full price again. That was when I decided that I would only shop 1 grocery store and 1 drug store. Convenience played a huge part in my choices of stores (both my Publix and chosen drug store are less than a mile from my house—I know—I’m a lucky ducky) but I would still gladly drive farther in order to get Publix’s great customer service and clean store.

I do all of my grocery shopping at Publix alone. So yes, I do often spend more on my meat, fruit, veggies and such, but it is more than worth it considering the time and gas money I save by only visiting one store for everything. I don’t have to follow 10 different bloggers and matchups—I rely wholly on I Heart Publix to help me create my shopping list. I also am very well-known at my store, and since all of the employees know me so well, I am always trusted and welcomed, along with my stack of coupons.

For me, my time with my two young daughters is worth more than the money I would save by trying to always get the “best” deal.

Thanks so much for sharing, Emily! 

I NEED YOUR STORIES!! My folder is very low! If you have written and not seen your story– please contact me as my inbox could have eaten it. If you have a story to share please send it–pretty please with a cherry on top icon biggrin Reader Spotlight   Spending A Little More

 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 intocouponing 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.

Reader Spotlight – A Lot Of Mouths To Feed

July 24, 2014 


10365905 10153061579744237 7986704002980405554 n Reader Spotlight   A Lot Of Mouths To FeedToday’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from Alexandria, who has done some very special things with coupons. Check out her story!!

I am the oldest of four, of a low income family, so money was always tight. So I was always looking for ways to stretch out my money at a young age. When I got married and moved out at age 19, that is when I really started couponing. I had always loved saving money buying groceries. It was money I knew I could save, and when you and your husband are working full time and in school full time, every penny counts!

But it was in 2012 when my husband and I went to work at a local non-profit organization called Children in Crisis. It is a foster home that focuses on “Providing Homes and Establishing Hope” for the abused, neglected and abandoned children of Northwest Florida. My husband and I became “House Parents” where we moved into one of there 3,500 sq ft homes and were essentially the mother and father of up to 12 foster children at a time. It was an amazing job, and a blessings to know I was helping children in need.

One of my duties as house mom was to shop and cook meals for my kids. Of course with a non-profit you have a tight budget. And when I could only shop at Walmart or Sams because of my credit card I really had to buckle down. We also had a food pantry (where people would donate food) that I tried to base most my meals off of, and was a huge blessing. But I still saw a need that needed to be filled.

It was a few months after working there that we got a special, one-time-only food budget of $300 cash to buy stuff that we needed/wanted for the kids. I knew I wanted to spend it at Publix and stretch it out as much as I could. And after a lot of planning and three weeks of couponing, I was I able to turn $300 cash into $886 worth of food! I was proud of myself and so happy I was able to bless my kids with all my savings.

My husband and I resigned and now have a baby of our own, but whenever I have extra stuff in my pantry from a good shopping trip, I love to bring it to Children in Crisis and bless the children….and I encourage anyone in the Northwest Florida area to do so as well!

Thanks so much for sharing! 

I NEED YOUR STORIES!! My folder is very low! If you have written and not seen your story– please contact me as my inbox could have eaten it. If you have a story to share please send it–pretty please with a cherry on top icon biggrin Reader Spotlight   A Lot Of Mouths To Feed

 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 intocouponing 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.

Reader Spotlight – Financial Relief And Stress Relief

July 17, 2014 

things are looking up Reader Spotlight   Financial Relief And Stress ReliefToday’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from Carrie, who survived some devastating setbacks in her life with the help of coupons!

Couponing for me is not only a way to help save money…….. It is so much more!

Back in early 2013 my husband and I celebrated our 3rd year anniversary. We were doing very well, I had a great job as a manager of a chain restaurant, and my husband was progressing in his line of work. We had moved into a lovely house just a stroll from town. The house was a bit older, but had cute character, and a neighborhood that the girls could really grow up in safely! We had just bought a great car (that I still have and am still so grateful for), and everything was looking up!

My salary was by no means 6 digits, but we lived peacefully middle class, with savings build up in the bank, and were basically very comfortable. I had began lightly couponing, mostly for diapers – some here, some there, knocking $20-$45 off my totals.

In early 2013, my promotion at work fell through. It was a little disappointing, but I roll with the punches. All of a sudden my entire savings account was drained in a mere 2-3 weeks! I had no cushion and needing answers I started looking into it.

I cant explain the amount of physical pain I had inside when I had found out the worst news…. My husband had gotten caught up in drugs with some of the people he worked with. My response to this was: my way or the highway. I took all his access to our money, the car keys, and he called out sick for two weeks to go into detox. On top of everything, he got the phone call I was dreading…his employer let him go.

Worst of all, I had become very ill and couldn’t work for a week. Here we were – no food, hoping for a miracle. I took the knowledge I had built up from casual couponing and put it to the test. I couldn’t afford food, but regardless we had to eat!

I remember my first big shopping trip to Publix. After coupons I spent $12, and got $118. Of course this didn’t mean that we were getting back on our feet, but it eased the stress a bit. Slowly but surely we started putting all the pieces back together.

During this time, couponing was more than financial relief…it was stress relief too! It was getting away from the past due bills, and leaving the depression in the house, it was having a sense of control over my finances, at least while I was at the store. As silly as it sounds, some nights when I would lay awake, I would think to myself, “At least I can feed my family.” We left our house for something like half the price (and an 8th of what we had), and we cut off everything that we could spare.

Suddenly my couponing got lots of attention, and I started shopping for others. They paid me a certain percentage, and I saved them money with coupons. icon biggrin Reader Spotlight   Financial Relief And Stress Relief It was a hit – I was able to earn enough money to survive, and then a miracle happened, my husband got another job, doing what he loves!

Now we live in a lovely, yet affordable home. I took a position as a full time waitress, which actually increased my income!!!!!!! My husband is still at the same job doing what he loves, and drug free for over a year and a half now. My girls are so happy and loving life.

I once read that poverty is not a judgement it is a condition that can happen to anyone at any time, and if it was not for my coupons, I would not have been able to stay afloat, and the end results would have been horrid. And yes, I still coupon every week, and I will forever!

Thanks so much for sharing! 

I NEED YOUR STORIES!! My folder is very low! If you have written and not seen your story– please contact me as my inbox could have eaten it. If you have a story to share please send it–pretty please with a cherry on top icon biggrin Reader Spotlight   Financial Relief And Stress Relief

 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 intocouponing 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.

Reader Spotlight – Finding A Coupon Yoda

July 10, 2014 

coupon Reader Spotlight   Finding A Coupon Yoda
Today’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from an anonymous reader who learned about couponing because of a random and impromptu coupon class –  and couponing has helped her to make financial strides in her life!

I grew up in a large family and a small town. We did not live a lavish life, didn’t get everything new or what we wanted but there was always enough. Mom used coupons, shopped the sales, submitted rebates and shopped at yard sales for clothes when she couldn’t sew them.

When I left home, I did a little comparison shopping but generally just bought what I needed at a big box store. My husband and I were blessed with two boys and decent jobs with good paychecks. We lived a life that included credit card debt as a normal thing. A few years ago, my husband decided leave his job to follow his dream of owning his own business.

The economic downturn hit and that along with other business issues had us using credit cards to cover routine purchases. Right around that time, our church sponsored a family event on a Saturday morning and even though the boys protested, I pressed them to go with me. A speaker who was to have covered the emergency preparedness class was unable to attend. Two ladies generously agreed to an impromptu “couponing class.” They provided the basic tools including web sites and coupon sources.

The next morning I bought two newspapers and began scouring the internet and shopping. I over did it at first – trying to get all of the deals but I was hooked when I was able to buy 7 tubes of Crest tootpaste with EXACTLY 38 cents. Using couponing as a part time job for the past four years, I can see an end to our financial difficulties.

We have learned how to prepare great tasting and healthy food at home. We all realize that our budget won’t always allow wants to be filled, however when an item is on sale with a BOGO and I have a coupon, it is possible. My whole family understands sales cycles and that a deal will come around again soon enough and if the item is frozen, we were recently gifted with a freezer that I am putting to work.

I thank God for all my blessings and coupons make it possible to share with others without spending much cash. I am most thankful for two ladies willing to stand up in front of people and share on that Saturday morning. I have been asked to present a “how to coupon” program at work and perhaps it will help others. I Heart Publix will be one of the top sites I recommend to the group for my area – thanks for all you do. I hope that everyone can find their own “coupon Yoda” to train them – like I did!

Thanks so much for sharing! 

I NEED YOUR STORIES!! My folder is very low! If you have written and not seen your story– please contact me as my inbox could have eaten it. If you have a story to share please send it–pretty please with a cherry on top icon biggrin Reader Spotlight   Finding A Coupon Yoda

 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 intocouponing 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.

Reader Spotlight – My First Couponing Trip To Publix

July 3, 2014 

 Reader Spotlight   My First Couponing Trip To PublixToday’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from an anonymous reader who had a very successful first couponing trip to Publix…check it out!

I have always been a bargain hunter and have appreciated using coupons. We moved to Florida a few years ago and shop at Publix & Winn-Dixie mainly for their BOGO’s and other good sales. Most of our other grocery shopping is done at Aldi’s and Walmart.

Just a few weeks ago, I was using a coupon at a pet supply store and was talking to the lady who was ringing me up about the coupon I was using. I mentioned to her that I had not known that Publix took Winn-Dixie coupons and was curious as to how people were getting $5 off $30 or $50 purchase Winn-Dixie coupons (aside from ones occasionally found in their weekly ads). She turned me on to a couponing website, and after further research I found I Heart Publix.

So, here is my first week’s experience at Publix thanks to the couponing websites I’ve found:

Before coupons and any discounts, my grocery total would have been $45.40.

My out-of-pocket cost minus all coupons and discounts was $18.00.

That means that due to coupons and discounts, I had a savings of approximately 60% on that first Publix shopping trip!!!

Thanks so much for sharing! You did great…keep up the good work!

I NEED YOUR STORIES!! My folder is very low! If you have written and not seen your story– please contact me as my inbox could have eaten it. If you have a story to share please send it–pretty please with a cherry on top icon biggrin Reader Spotlight   My First Couponing Trip To Publix

 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 intocouponing 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.

Reader Spotlight – Living Within Our Means

June 26, 2014 

save money Reader Spotlight   Living Within Our Means

Today’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from Liz, who started couponing young after watching her parents go through bankruptcy. Their example really impressed upon her the need to save money and live within her means…and she is doing great!

When I was younger my parents never couponed. I never even heard about coupons being used except maybe by a few people, and then I just thought it was to save pennies here and there. But I was so wrong about the freedom and savings I could get using coupons.

My parents never really worried about saving money, and I never really thought about it much. We ate out all the time, bought whatever we wanted at the grocery store and I guess I went along with the lifestyle so cluelessly thinking everyone paid $200 for groceries. When my parents filed bankruptcy several years ago, that really hit me, how important it is to live within your means. I was determined to never ever get into debt and to do better than my parents once did.

When I started college, I still lived with my parents and after several finance classes, and looking for ways to save money, I came up on some freebie sites that got me really excited about getting free things. Little did I know later on I would coupon my way to free or nearly free items each week at the grocery store!

My mom and I started couponing together, and it was a lot of fun, but time consuming and kind of got in the way of school. When the show “extreme couponing” came out I learned a lot and my mom and I really enjoyed enjoyed watching it together. Even though many of the practices on that show are looked down on, I enjoyed learning about coupon binders, price charts, and saving larger percentages on my grocery trip.

When I first moved out, I had a hard time. I was taking 5-6 classes at time, and was blowing through my savings because I just didn’t have the time to coupon, or to go get coupons. I kind of fell out of it for about 6 months. I was paying $50-60 a week for groceries and necessities and felt like I wasn’t getting hardly anything.

I tried to keep up with couponing but wasn’t really good at it yet, and felt like maybe it was just too much trouble and felt helpless. Luckily my husband for over a year moved in with me, but we were still living on an extremely tight budget (which we are still living with). We realized that we had to do something, and that is when my couponing picked back up. But in all fairness, I have had more time since I have only been taking one or two classes a semester because I am finishing up my bachelors degree.

In the past year or so, I have gotten better and better at coupoining, but in the past 6 months especially I have done my best ever grocery trips. I have now gotten to the point of saving up to 50%-70% on my grocery bill. Our weekly budget is $50 for groceries, toiletries, etc. I haven’t paid over $50 for groceries for my husband and I in probably a year, but the great thing is we went from $50 for $60 with coupons to my best trip ever – $110 for $52 and $79 for $21!

I have a coupon binder busting at the seams, notebooks, price charts and spend hours and hours every week couponing – and I am only 22. I am so excited to see what deals will come to be in the future and I am happy to say that my husband and I are completely debt free. We live within our means but still have all name brands, and an abundance of food every week, and are very happy.

Couponing gives me a satisfaction and helps my self esteem and has helped tackle my depression head on. It gives me a purpose, it helps me give back to those I love and are in need and I am thrilled to be doing it!

Thanks so much for sharing, Liz!

I NEED YOUR STORIES!! My folder is low. If you have written and not seen your story– please contact me as my inbox could have eaten it. If you have a story to share please send it–pretty please with a cherry on top icon biggrin Reader Spotlight   Living Within Our Means

 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 intocouponing 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.

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