Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Challenge

As my friends know, I have been a "couponer" for about a year and a half now. It is amazing that such a small change in my lifestyle has benefited me and my family so much. This has not been something I became good at overnight. At first I was very nervous every time I went to the store and often would leave knowing I had made at least 1 mistake and therefore didn't get the best deal I could have. However, I decided that saving even a little money was better than nothing so I tried not to beat myself too much over it. After a few months I stumbled across some amazing websites that opened my eyes to a whole new level of shopping with coupons and I set some new goals for myself.

1) Create an inventory of all the items it takes to run my household for 1 year so I am only buying what I need and not stuff I will never use. Once I have stocked up on everything on my list I could honestly could not shop for 1 year (other than milk and fresh fruit & veggies) and be okay!

2) Learn to shop at Walgreens. This was intimidating as I had read some horror stories about this store but it truly seems to have amazing deals on personal and home care items.

3) Fine tune my spending. I want to get the absolute best prices on the products I spend my money on.

4) Look into stores that offer rebates.

The status?

1) I have created an inventory for everything I need to run my home. This includes food, personal care items and home care items. I keep a running total of everything on these lists. When I am preparing my shopping lists for the week I check my my inventory to make sure I actually need it and if it is in my "best price" range.

2) I have grown to LOVE shopping at Walgreens. I typically shop at the store in Springville and have had a wonderful experience. Many of the cashiers are also coupon shoppers and often share their tips and help to make sure you're not missing any of the good deals.

3) Because I have been doing this for a while now and am past my "stock-up" phase I can be more picky when it comes to the price of the product I am purchasing. For example, I won't buy a bottle of body wash if I can't get it for at least under a dollar but ideally closer to .50 cents or free!

4) I haven't taken the time to look into rebates yet but I have been thinking about it more often so hopefully I'll take the time to research this soon.

That said, I want to focus on my 3rd goal. This past week I stumbled across a blog where the author challenged herself to only spend $5.00 at the grocery store. It motivated me to try and work on upping my game, so to speak, so I have come up with a challenge of my own. My goal is to only spend $10.00 per week at Walgreens. Remember, I am only buying products I will use and which will contribute to my first goal of being completely stocked for 1 year.

So, anyone up for a challenge and want to join me? I would love to hear how you do.  As always, if you have any questions either leave comment or send an email to mapleandvine@hotmail.com.
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