Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Year

I know it's already the 18th of January. My new year didn't start out as planned. I ended up sick right after Christmas and long story short I am going to a ENT specialist on the 24th to probably have tubes placed in my ears. So, not how I wanted to start out this year.

On a bright note Josh and I made a huge decision and now I'm a full time stay at home mom. Now that we will be missing that extra $ I am really putting my frugal skills to the test. We have been working towards this for quite a while. One big factor was paying off my car. The only debt that we have now is our mortgage and our goal is to have it paid off in the next 7 years. I want so badly to be debt free. I have been studying blogs, websites, and every book I can get my hands on to learn how to stretch a buck till it screams! When looking at our budget and spending the biggest problem area we have is food. We are totally guilty of eating out too much. So, my quest, mission, goal is to cut that food bill in half. Right now I am reading The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half by Stephanie Nelson, founder of http://www.couponmom.com/. This is a great guide and resource. To learn even more I had the privledge of attending a free how to coupon class last night. It was great!! Misty, is awesome! She gave us helpful handouts and she is full of insight. She also has a blog, http://www.thefrugalfamily.blogspot.com/ that is so wonderful. It's like a step by step guide. She is having another class soon and you can bet I'll be going. : )

So today, armed with this knowledge, my CVS ad, coupons, and store card in hand I made my first trip. I did what Misty said and scanned my card first thing to get a "mystery" coupon and out popped $3 ECB (extra care bucks) Holy cow! $3 free! I thought this is my lucky day. On the inside I was totally doing a victory dance. On the outside I was wearing the biggest smile! I went through the store and got everything on my very meticulously organized, in order list. Then, the moment of truth: THE CHECKOUT. That's when my stomach bottomed out and I started sweating (just like Misty said). In truth the cashier was nice. Honestly I think I had "Rookie" stamped across my forhead. So, thankfully she didn't give me a hard time. At one point I got confused and put the wrong thing with the transaction and I ended up spending more than I was going to. I've been kicking myself all day about it and I'm bound and determined to do better next time. It was embarassing when the cashier had to call for another clerk to come help because of the line that was forming behind me. But, like Misty said think about your goal and why you are doing this. So, I looked at my sweet 2 year old and knew exactly why I'm doing this and he is totally worth it. I thought I would let you see what I got during my first trip:
Can you guess how much I spent? If I wouldn't have used any coupons, ECBs, or had a store card I would have spent $76.18. I spent $33.67 and it would have been a couple of dollars less if I wouldn't have made a couple of rookie mistakes. I ended up getting 16 double rolls of Charmin, 12 rolls Bounty paper towels, 6 boxes of Puffs kleenex, 5 bottles of Dawn dishwashing detergent, 4 packs of Orbit gum, 2 tubes of Crest Prohealth toothpaste, 2 bags of Halls cough drops, 1 box of DayQuil, and a green tag for bringing in a reusable tote that you scan on each visit and on the 4th visit you get $1 ECB free. Would you like to know how I did it? Here's the break down:

Transaction 1: 6 boxes of puffs at     .99
Charmin      9.99
Bounty   9.99
Total: 28.19  (I got $10 ECB back)

Tansaction 2: Halls (2) at 1.50
Dawn (5) at .97
Crest (1) 2.99    (my mistake)
I used the $10 ECB and .75 off of the crest
Total: .81 (I got $2 ECB for the Crest)

Transaction 3: Crest  2.99
I used the $2 ECB
Total 1.25 (I got $2 ECB again)

Transaction 4: Dayquil 4.99
Orbit (4) buy 1 get 1 free  1.29
Green bag tag .99  (mistake #2)
I used $2 ECB, 1.50 off Dayquil, and 2.00 off orbits
Total: 3.42 (I got $1 ECB)

I should have paid for the Orbits gum with transaction #2 and then paid for both Crests seperately. I should have paid for the green bag tag last with my $1 ECB. It's a learning experience and it's going to take time! I don't think I did too bad for my first time.

1 comment:

  1. I am a couponer as well and enjoyed your post. I absolutely love saving money and of course free stuff. I was cracking up that you mentioned your mistake during checkout - I have done the same thing and get frustrated when I feel like I "waisted" some savings. When I get to my car I always have to disect my receipt to make sure everything was correct. LOL! Couponing is definetly a great hobby with many rewards. :)