Monday, January 26, 2015

New at Couponing? Join the Club!

                                     

Hello Rexburg parents, newlyweds, students, teachers, and those of you outside of the Burg bubble! This blog is dedicated to you! It is sometimes hard living in a small city, with a lame Walmart and only so many places to shop. It's hard for me and I imagine it's hard for you too! Oh how I miss being able to go to one store and be able to buy everything I need. Instead, I find myself going to Walmart for my main items but I have to hit Albertson's or Broulim's as well to get  my fresh produce. So annoying. And tedious. With that said, I am here to try and save us all some money and teach some skills that can be used to better our situation of living in a limited shopping bubble. 
          
So, being 9 months pregnant I find it hard to find things to do. I've been cleaning and reorganizing everything in my home, getting ready for our little one. I also have been trying to find new things to do to keep me busy as well. That is part of the reason why I started couponing just last week. I have done it before in the past, meaning I would take a coupon or two to the store and use them. Even just using those few coupons made me feel like I saved something. Which I guess I did, but not much at all. Maybe a dollar or two off of my purchase. WOOHOO... 
         
If you are like me and love to watch TLC, then i'm sure you've heard of the extreme couponing pros. How do they do that?? Why do they do that?? I don't want to become anything like that! Too extreme for me, but it is sometimes fun to watch. After having watched that show over the past year or two I finally decided to learn more about how to coupon. There were a few things that I was so skeptical about. First off, I just don't understand it at all! Secondly, It is a bit scary to me. And thirdly, will I be able to keep it up? I am not necessarily going to tell you how to be successful in couponing but rather show you the resources and then give some learning experiences I've had so far. 

                    

I Don't Understand!


I love learning new things, so learning how to coupon was going to be like an adventure for me. Through my research I have found that it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and an understanding. Going into couponing totally clueless was a bit crazy! But doable! The first thing I set off to do was to learn about it. Some questions I had were: How many coupons can I use? Is there a store limit? Will they get rejected and then I have to deal with the embarrassment of saying I don't want the items anymore?? Well, with some research and some awesome website findings I got all the answers I needed. If you want to start couponing start on the web to find your information. I used YouTube so many times and it was a great help. Also, finding other couponer's websites that give hints and explanations is a great way to learn and get great tips. Some of my favorites are TheKrazyCouponLady and hip2save. These ladies have pretty much dedicated their lives to showing us how to save money and use coupons at their max potential. They can show you what coupon to use at what store and it saves me so much work in the long run. They have videos for beginners and help you understand every aspect. Pinterest has some great resources as well. So create your "coupon" board and start pinning. 

The Beginning


The first thing I did to start couponing was the research. I then moved on to finding coupons. Where? Well, in my apartment complex they deliver the Jobs Weekly paper and that has the Smart Source coupon book. Hooray for me! Coupons for free! You can find them in your Sunday newspaper and online as well. I am starting off using the Smart Source and coupons I can find online.  (My printer might be out of ink soon!) I cant seem to get myself to pay for coupons just yet, if ever. 
         
 My first week of couponing was full of numerous mistakes and learning experiences. I thought that because something was on sale I had to get it because, well, I had a coupon for it. Wrong! It is still so hard to get out of that mindset but do it early before you start wasting money trying to save it. When you see something on sale, and you know you have a coupon that will make it fairly cheap, ask yourself if that is an item that you need. Will you use it? Is it used almost daily? If not, then you probably don't need it. The only way I can justify getting something that I don't know if I really need is if it is a money maker, free or close to free. 
          
My first week experience....ugh. I gathered up some coupons, looked for deals in the local store ads and went for it. I found some good deals on things that I will probably use, BUT I found myself going out almost every day getting those deals. BAD! Not only is it a waste in gas running from store to store over the whole week but it became addicting. My first big couponing haul was at the Dollar Tree. I managed to score some free hand soap, toothpaste for .25 cents and toothbrushes for .50 cents. So I decided I was going to stock up. After all, that is the best part about couponing. Stockpile! So I went once, and then went another day to get the same deal, and was planning on going another day to really stock up. But then I realized that I probably have enough soap and dental supplies to last me for a year now. I decided that I needed to stop! I don't think there is anything wrong with stocking up with a few items but going back day after day, after day is little borderline obsessive. It is so hard not to be, but I am still learning and teaching myself self control. I'm telling you this so you don't make the same mistakes as I did.






My Purpose 


The purpose I wanted to have in this blog is to keep you all informed of some great deals in the area, using coupons with those deals, and also to help us all to be more open minded to ideas that keep us living more frugal. And to hopefully show you the does and don'ts along the way (My mistakes and successes). Now I am very new to all of this, so I will probably make tons of mistakes but we can make this a learning process together. Another purpose in my blog is to stay connected with all of you! I would love to hear all of your stories about your first coupon haul, recent coupon hauls or just some great deals you have scored.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, +1 it on Google, like my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/thriftyburg), pin on Pinterest, and follow my blog!
         
Questions for YOU!
What scared you the most about using coupons? What do you do when your shopping trip doesn't go as planned?
Please leave comments!


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If your interested in becoming an extreme couponer, then you might want to read this.

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