I have ALWAYS been cost conscious. Growing up in a household with seven kids, makes you aware of what is a "need to have" or a "like to have". Once I got my first job (one of the most GLAMOROUS jobs to have in Collierville, TN at the time... Sonic Carhop!) I started being responsible for all of my own school clothes, gas and whatever else it was that I wanted/needed. I've worked my entire life and have dabbled in couponing my entire life upon until now... I was laid off from my job in February (Thank you Jesus!) and now needed to get very serious about saving money. In comes the couponing craze! One of my besties attended a couponing class at just about the same time that TLC started showing Extreme Couponing. I couldn't get away from it! Every time, I talked to Jonna, she was telling about how much money she was saving. Every time I went to her house, she was showing me her ever growing stockpile. It was starting to make me a little crazy. I mean, I was cutting out the coupons in the Sunday paper. I was looking at the sale ads that I got in the mail. I was making lists upon lists upon lists and still not seeing the results that I wanted. Finally Jonna organized a coupon class at our church with I Heart Coupons. For me... this was my last chance.
I walk into the class (with Mister in tow- surprisingly, he wanted to attend?), sat down, got out my notebook and waited for the class to start. Friends were streaming in, chatting, giving kisses and hugs hello while I sat. and waited. for the class to begin. I was not here to socialize. I was here to save some moolah. In walks the coupon lady. The class begins with her asking who has used coupons and what their experiences had been like. I raised my hand and shared that I suck at couponing and if she wasn't able to make this all come clear to me, I was never going to cut another coupon again. And I said all of this with a challenge in my eye and in my heart. And over the course of the next couple of hours, the coupon lady picked up my challenge and pretty much made mince meat of it. It made sense! It all finally made sense! In theory... would I actually be able to go to the store with these little scraps of paper I had cut out of the newspaper and get stuff for darn near free?
Fast forward to today. I did my homework, read couponing blogs, made my list, clipped my coupons, and just to prove to the world what a brave and virtuous woman I am..., I took my 4 year old to the grocery store with me. In less than an 1.5 hours in the store, I ended up walking out saving $121!!! I saved over 55% of my grocery bill! Amazeballs!!
I could not believe it! All of this food was mine, all mine! I had chicken breasts, produce, dairy, 10 boxes of Rice-A-Roni... Food, real food! I Heart Coupons is a mad mother shut your mouth when it comes to spreading the good word of couponing! I am eternally grateful for the knowledge she has shared. Now I can be a much better steward of the money that God has given me and can grow a stockpile of items to be donated to local charities. I can not wait for next week's ads to come out so I can see what other amazing things are going to fill up my pantry!