Thursday, September 18, 2008

what I'm thinking about today...

Since we hope to move soon, it is inevitable that our monthly mortgage payments are going to increase significantly, which has led J and I to have the "what can we do to save more money?" conversation yet again. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about saving money any way I can, but the conversation gets a little old. And, here's the thing -- since I'm the one that does the grocery, clothes, and household goods shopping, I kind of feel like this burden falls mostly on my shoulders. J, of course, disagrees and offers to do what he can to help out, but I do take my "job" very seriously and am a little bit of a control freak when it comes to how we spend/save.

*Not sure if any of this is making sense, but I'll just keep on rambling.*

Sooo...I'm jumping back on the coupon bandwagon. For a while there I was a couponing machine. Sundays were filled with clipping/comparing/organizing. It's tiring. And boring. Needless to say, I fell off the bandwagon after a little while. It just became too much and I was wondering really how much I was saving. (Side note: we almost always use some type of coupon when eating out or really try to take advantage of "kids eat free" days. ) I have a couple of issues with coupons:

1. Organizing. I have a coupon file and organize them by foods, personal products, household products, baby goods, etc. You get the idea. However, the minute I get in the store I still feel like a disorganized mess. I have my list, my pen, my coupons, and usually a child or two. It just seems easier to get what I need and get out. Ya know?

2. I wonder if I end up buying things I wouldn't normally buy just because I have a coupon for a certain item. I'd say I'm fairly organized when it comes to meal planning. Generally, the day I am going to go to the store I plan out about a week and a half worth of meals. This usually lasts us two weeks since we have the occasional meal out or at our parent's. In addition, I find myself running to the store once or twice a week for milk, forgotten items or other things. So, the question is...do I plan meals based on the coupons I have? Or, do I plan the meals, then see which coupons I can use? All of this makes my head spin.

3. I have nothing against buying generic. There are just a few items that I won't go generic on -- peanut butter and diapers just to name a couple. Almost all coupons are for name brand items and when I compare prices on name brand items + a coupon, with the prices on generic items, the generic item almost always wins....making my coupon collection a futile effort.

4. Finally, a LOT of coupons read, for example, "$.50 off when you buy 2 packages of ____." Most of the time I don't need 2 packages. Nor do I want 2 packages. Nor do I have cubboard room for 2 packages. Get the idea?

So, my question for you, blogging buddies, follow mommies/wives/household CEOs...how the heck do you "do" coupons, save money, and keep your sanity?

4 comments:

Carisa Lowe said...

One place that I have found that has good coupons is Walgreens and they are on name brand stuff and sometimes depends who you get you can also use a manf. coupon also.
I know what you mean about the have to buy two boxes of something to use the coupon. I have tried the buying in bulk not sure if that saves a whole lot. It has saved me in formula.
A friend of mine follows the Dave Ramsey plan so we have been trying to do some of his ideas. Anything to help when I pay as much in daycare a week that we do.

Good luck with your house. Where is the one you like located?

The Laumans said...

do you guys use rechargable batteries for all the kids' toys? that has saved us a ton of money. a little more expensive up front but i haven't bought batteries probably in the last year! i'm not very good with coupons either because like you, i find the generics to be cheaper than the name brands with the coupons, so then I just get mad and stop using the coupons :)

Kelli Trask said...

A friend told me about this website and it's pretty useful. It's either grocerygame.com or thegrocerygame.com You can choose the stores in your area that you shop at, and the "game" tells you what coupons from what paper you should use at what stores. (Very wordy there, I know) It compares the store ads against coupons found in the Sunday paper from the past several weeks. Oh, and it even tells you when you should "stock up" and when you should only but it if you need it...even if it's on sale.

Pipsylou said...

I am SO with you there - buying items just because I have a coupon@ That is how they get you, I swear! I found your blog from Alisa's...I love it!

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