This week for Mommy Monday I'm interviewing my sis. (no tissue needed for this post)(I emotionally can't handle two tear jerker posts in a row!) Johnna is mommy to FIVE kiddos. Her and her hubs live in a sweet, modest home in Oregon. She has chosen to stay at home with her babes. Raising five kiddos on a good but not huge salary is not always the easiest thing to do, she rocks it, makes it look easy.
This week Johnna is going to let us in on one of her thrifty secrets, the oh-so hot trend of extreme couponing. Truthfully peeps, I have not bought into the the whole couponing thing, maybe she can convince us all:)
Tell me about how you got into this whole crazy coupon gig?
Last fall I noticed the cost of everything going up and not just food. My weekly Winco bill was about 30 dollars more than it had been previously and I was buying the same things. My Costco bill was insane! So I started to meal plan, that alone cut my food bill almost in half. I have a good friend that is a couponer, she would drag me out to get a few of the really good deals like 20 boxes of oatmeal for 5 bucks. Finally I called her up and said, "Okay I'm in. Where do I begin?" she took me under her wing and started teaching me the ropes. I'm very thankful for her.
Is it hard to do?
YES....at first. It was hard for me to wrap my mind around it. Honestly I never thought I would
understand it. The first month I called my friend a lot and asked her all sorts of stupid questions. There are several blogs out there that do the work for you but I wanted to learn without the blogs. It took many hours the first month but now... I'm a pro :)
What about embarrassing?? (of course I'm going to ask that!) The first time, were you like.. "I'm sorry I'm buying 134 boxes of cereal..here are my 134 coupons..don't stare!" Are people rude??
Embarrassing really? You're asking ME that :) I have done WAY more embarrassing things than handing a checker some coupons for cereal. I've never really cared what people thought of me and that's not always a good thing....
Mostly people are intrigued and ask how I do it.
Ok honestly..do you really save money? Is it worth all the hassle?
The first month you do not save money, in fact you spend more building your coupon stock. You run around from store to store and it's frustrating and it made me grumpy. This is not everyones experience, but it was mine. Thank God I had a friend to help me. Give yourself a chance to learn. Once it clicks and you figure out the couponing system that works best for you, you will save TONS of money.
What was your best deal EVER.
There are two that stick out in my mind, the first one was just last week.
55 bottles of Loreal vive pro. shampoo and conditioner for FREE! Retail they are about 3.50 each. Will I use that much shampoo and conditioner? YES! I have very long hair and 4 girls.
The other deal was a few months ago. I got...
9 bags of rold gold pretzels
2 loaves of wheat bread
9 boxes of hefty gallon freezer bags
9 cans of starkist tuna
5 boxes of healthy harvest whole wheat pasta
8 tubs of crescent rolls
5 boxes of fruity snacks
all for 5 dollars!
Some products I don't normally buy and some products truthfully are just plain bad for you. However I always have more than just my kids around the house, I can't afford to feed them all organic cheeses and sprouted crackers. So I buy what I call "filler food" for all the kiddos who are at my house....all the time :)
Ok, lets say you totally convinced me..where should I start? What do you do?
Start by buying a Sunday paper, lots of them!! I buy 5-10 papers each week depending on what coupons are coming.
EVERYONE who knows me knows that I am NOT a computer person. I have only 1 couponing site that I really LOVE, it's called Fabulessly Frugal. They post all the deals, their site is super easy to navigate and they have a killer DVD you can order to teach you the all the basics of couponing. I have it, I love it, if you REALLY want to get couponing order the DVD it will save you tons of time.
There are a lot of other sites out there, I just don't have the time to sit and check 10 different couponing sites.
What do you think about the new show on TV?? Does it make what you do easier or harder?
I have not seen the new TLC show because we don't have cable. (tv is bad for the brain) However, I did read that some of ladies on the show were being scandalous and using expired coupons and clearing shelves. This is bad coupon etiquette, those are the types of things that give couponers a bad name. Remember it is a TV show and things are not always as they seem.
I think because of the show and because food is getting so much more expensive, people will start to couponing and that will make the shelves clear out faster.
However it's a little like the roller derby recruiter told me,
"Many will try, few succeed."
I sucked at roller derby so now I'm a couponer.