Monday, October 31, 2011

Learning to Coupon

Yep. You’ve seen the show, you get annoyed when you’re in line behind them and I’m becoming one of them.

I’m learning to coupon. Not to the extreme measures… YET. But all the same, I’ve found it’s amazing how much you can save with a little bit of work.
I made a coupon binder. Yep. I did. I now wished I did a shoebox organizing technique, but.. I’m now committed to the binder. The box would have been perfect, all you do is stick the coupons in there. With the binder it seems you have to place them so you can see them and those sleeves don’t always cooperate. With a shoebox method, I could just stick them in by category in front and cull through the expired ones at the back when needed.

I only shop at one store.. the only stores I’m entertaining being on my route is CVS and Walgreens..

Only the 24 hour stores though. Love the 24 hour stores.

On my first couponing trip to Walgreens I learned the following:
  • Don’t just buy because you have a coupon. (wasting your $$)
  • Always try to stack with store coupons (keep an eagle eye on ads and start just popping into the store for any items on sale or clearance not posted.)
  • If they don’t double coupons, do separate transactions.
  • Buy smaller sizes, they will be cheaper and if you have multiple coupons, they can apply to all the smaller sizes you buy rather than the jumbo packs and you don’t have to do separate transactions.

My goal right now is to save about $50.00 or more on groceries that I NEED.
The only stockpile I want to create is an emergency stash in case we lose power or something.
Here is a list of emergency supplies to keep in mind.
·         Water. Be sure to have 3 gallons per person and per animal in your home.
·         Food. Good choices are chili, tuna, veggies, and soup, as well as peanut butter, crackers, granola bars, cereal bars, and comfort foods like chocolate or candy. Buy foods with similar expiration dates to make it easier to refresh your kit. Don’t forget food for your pet.
·         A "refresh" card that lists the contents of your kit and the dates that medication and perishables will expire
·         First-aid kit. Standard kits usually cost around $25. You may need to add a couple pairs of gloves, and gauze, tape, and antibiotic ointment. First-aid kits typically don't include over-the-counter medications, especially for children.
·         Respirator/surgical masks to reduce exposure to airborne particles
·         Diapers and wipes. Refresh your diaper size!
·         Clothing. Have one complete outfit for each person, including sturdy shoes, a hat, and gloves. Remember to change this out as your kids grow. Put that on your refresh card.
·         Children's acetaminophen and a card with your infant or young child's current dose (often the bottle doesn't include it for kids under age 2). After each well visit, update your card with your child's new dosing info.
·         Medication. Get a seven-day supply of any prescription you or your child is taking. If your child is on an important daily med, ask your doctor for a one-week-supply prescription to fill for your kit. Add the expiration date of meds to your refresh card.
·         Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
·         Manual can opener.
·         Waterproof matches
·         Fire extinguisher
·         One large flashlight for each adult; one small flashlight for each child able to work it
·         Batteries. Have enough for flashlights and a radio. Include a full set of replacements.
·         Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
·         Utility knife
·         12-inch adjustable wrench for turning off your gas line
·         Whistles with lanyards so you can find each other in the dark
·         A corded phone, which will still work when power is down.
·         Cash
·         Chlorine bleach as a cleaner and sanitizer
·         Hand sanitizer
·         Tampons/pads
·         Garbage bags
·         Blankets. Have one for each person.
·         Duct tape and plastic sheeting to keep out airborne chemicals. The tape should be at least 10 mil thick; the sheeting, at least 4 mil.
·         Documents. Fill a waterproof bag with one copy of important documents including passports, bank-account and credit-card numbers, birth certificates, Social Security cards, and wills. You'll want to protect them or take them with you if evacuation is necessary. You might add family memorabilia, such as irreplaceable photos.
·         Fun stuff. Comfort your family or pass the time with a deck of cards, coloring books, stuffed animals, and puzzles or board games.

I send expired coupons to a military family overseas so I never feel bad about not taking advantage of some good coupons I may have needed. I know that the family I’m sending them to would love them and they have 6 months to use an expired coupon.

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