I had vowed to myself that I WILL save money this year. Over the holidays while sitting on my parent’s couch watching TV, I was inspired by TLC’s show Extreme Couponing. It’s a show where these average Americans spend hours cutting coupons to save loads of money on their grocery bills. I literally held my breath every time the extreme couponers got to the check-out counter in anticipation of finding out how much they were going to save. These EC’s not only saved hundreds on their grocery bills but were also able to get merchandise for free. So I decided to do the experiment myself when I got back home. What better way to save, right?
Firstly, I did some online research on how to go about this coupon madness. Some super helpful websites I found were The Krazy Coupon Lady and Things-Places. I was completely overwhelmed. There was so much prep that went into starting the couponing process. I went out and bought baseball trading card holders to organize my binder like the websites above suggested.
It seriously gave me anxiety because I wanted AND expected BIG savings. My fear was that I was going to spend all this time clipping and organizing coupons to only save $5.00 or something. I even held out on buying groceries for a week due to my fear.
However, I knew the day had come to face my fears when I received that Tuesday’s mailer for Alberstons’ savings book, which included double coupons for a 3-day weekend sale. This was my opportunity to save big. I had everything planned out. I created a shopping list prepared my stacked and double coupons. The husband and I headed out Sunday evening at 7:30 PM to our nearest Albertsons for the big shopping trip. I intentionally chose that time because most people would be at home eating their Sunday dinners. I didn’t want to hold up any check-out line due to my coupon madness.
The husband and I had a system down. We went down every aisle and would check my coupon binder to see if there were any additional items that were perhaps on sale but were not advertised in which we could still use coupons for. The key is to buy ONLY items on sale with your coupon. We also discussed whether or not we needed the items that were not on our list but were a good deal with our coupons. That ensured we were not buying things we never would use. By the time we got to the check out stand our cart was filled with items such as almond milk, healthy canned soups, pasta, pasta sauce, dish washing soap, cereal, pre-bagged salads, etc.
As we stood at the check-out stand, my heart was beating faster than ever with each and every scan. The total before the Preferred Savings card came out to be roughly $128.00. After we entered in our Albertsons’ Preferred Savings ID the total came down to $86.00. But then…I timidly handed over my coupons to the clerk. He was amazed my the stack of coupons. The clerk scanned them in one by one as I stood there holding my breath. To everyone’s amazement the cash register total just kept going down and down. Our final total came out to be $57.03!!! I was in complete and utter shock! The clerk told us we were professional shoppers. I couldn’t respond and was in silence until we left the store. It was a high that I had never felt. I didn’t know that saving money could feel so good.