Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How I Shop: I Have Coupons, Now What? Part 1 Mindset

It has taken me about 6 months to start really understanding how to best utilize all of these coupons that I have been collecting!

Mindset has been the biggest struggle for me. I have been known to been know to bring home bargains that I didn't really need. Now with couponing, I am getting better because I have raised my standards on what I REALLY think is a good deal.

Here's what I mean: I used to go to a discount store (like Big Lots or Grocery Outlet) and think, "wow, that's a great deal!" However, those stores DON'T take coupons! Since I started my coupon adventure, I have learned that there were more deals (better deals) in the stores that I go to on a regular basis that DO take coupons and put items in my pantry for pennies on the dollar!

Twitter has been a great resource for my learning curve. I began following popular couponing "pros" like @thekrazycouponlady and right there in my twitter feed, were coupon match ups, and suggested shopping scenarios to help me maximize my savings! It really made my life so much easier!

Once I started finding the deals that they were posting about, I had to find the time to get to all of these stores to obtain the deals. Once I made this more of a challenge to myself to see how much money I could save, it became more of a field trip than a shopping trip. I have come to LOVE going to the various stores (some that I had not stepped foot in a LONG time because I THOUGHT they were too expensive).

There is a sort of "high" that you get when you are leaving the store with FREE or really cheap items (especially if they are items I use on a regular basis!).

I have learned some lessons along the way:

* Don't shop in a hurry! I always pay more!
* Don't buy just because you have a coupon! I've done that and I end up spending money on items I don't need which defies the purpose of me couponing!
* Work the sales! Once I got to a point where I wasn't always running out the door to "pick something up" (because I have a good base/Mini-stockpile). Now, I look at what I need, and look at the sale and try to buy more (for less!)
* Don't forget, you can stack coupons! It took me awhile to realize that I could use a store-specific coupon AND a manufacturer coupon to get an even better deal! Places like Target offer online store coupons that I print out and stack with the coupons I have clipped already! It's a great way to save even more!
* De keep an eye out for Clearance items and "Roll Back" (at Walmart) items! This is where I get some of my best deals because the item is not only on sale, but a rock bottom (hopefully) prices, and couple them with my coupons! I especially love this for items I wouldn't normally buy for myself at full price (Makeup, clothing, items I want to try).

Changing my mindset was definitely more than "half the battle" in becoming fully committed to being more frugal and fattening up my wallet!

11 comments:

  1. I found you on the Hoppin Weekend and I am your newest GFC follower. If you could check out my blog and follow me back I would appreciate it. Thanks Amber
    http://dragonflysweetnest.blogspot.com/

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  2. You definitely have to have a mindset... I am stopping and following from Relax & Surf. Congrats on guest hosting : )
    ~Melissa
    http://www.mnmrheinlander.blogspot.com
    http://www.twitter.com/MSRheinlander
    http://www.facebook.com/KUWTR

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  3. following you from sunday surf. Looking forward to reading through your blog tonight

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  4. I'm a new follower from Relax & Surf. I'd love for you to visit my blog and follow back.

    Donna
    http://potofgoldgiveaways.blogspot.com/

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  5. Lots of GREAT points in your post. Thanks!
    NEw fan from some hop. Not sure which one, cause I have been back & forth on so many!

    Come visit me sometime
    Thanks
    Michle

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  6. newest follower from the hop
    http://everydayproductsandmore.blogspot.com/

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  7. Hi! Following my bloghop...would love to have you return the favor:)

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  8. Great tips! Thanks for sharing.
    I'm following from the blog hop.
    I'd love a follow back at www.mikaspantry.blogspot.com
    Thanks!
    Mika

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  9. Following from the bloghop! Love it if you could follow me back! www.hopealicious.blogpsot.com
    Thanks,
    Hope

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  10. Thanks for being our featured blogger this Sunday. Have a great week.

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  11. You're newest follower from the hop! Following on Twitter and google!

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