The chart above shows the rise in search interest in Google where you see it really took off in 2008 and has only continued to grow (the y/y spikes you see are around the holidays).
My interest in coupons started many years ago. My dad, in both an effort to save money and keep my brother and I entertained, used to make 'coupon clipping' a weekly family activity. When we got to the grocery store he would send me and my brother out on shopping "missions" where we'd have to find the item listed on the coupon. Dad kept track of the money saved using coupons and that money was put aside in a savings account. Every year we used that money on our family vacation in Ocean City, Maryland.
I got out my divided coupon envelope and got ready to clip...
SH doesn't share my couponing enthusiasm. He subscribes to the notion that coupons "make" you buy things you don't really need, or want. And his skepticism only heightened when on Extreme Couponing he saw the huge stockpile of items these women have (like the woman who has enough diapers to last months, but doesn't even have a baby).
So I've decided to make my own challenge...
Over the next year I am going to keep track of how much money we save* on groceries. I'm going to put that money away in a separate savings account and lets see, maybe we'll save enough to go on our own vacation ala my childhood.
I have NO intention of becoming an extreme couponer, but I do anticipate being able to save a good amount of money.
Here are the results from our first shopping trip today (combined from two grocery stores):
Booyah! A 34% savings!!
And before you say anything, yes, $228 is a TON of money to spend on groceries. We stocked up big time on meat to freeze and use throughout the summer. It likely won't last us all summer but it should last a couple of months. We hadn't been on a proper grocery store trip in well over a month so there were a lot of things we needed.
Sadly I threw away my bills before I could calculate what my biggest deals were on, but here are some I remember:
- At Shaws if you bought 4 General Mills boxes of cereals you got an instant $6 savings, combine that with a $1 coupon and we basically got 2 boxes free
- At Shaws 4C drink mixes were $3.99 each on sale 2 for $5 - if we bought two boxes we'd get a free 24 case of bottled water (about $4). We had one coupon for 4C for $1.00 of one type and another for $2.00 off a different type. So for $2 we got $12 worth of water and drink mixes...all of which we will use
- At Stop & Shop we bought 3 different types of meat (pork ribs, roast and ground beef) and got 400 gas points (gas points means for every $100 we spend at S&S we get 10cents off/gallon next time we're filling up our car...considering the INSANE commutes we have and the more than $160/week we spend on gas this is important to us) -- our next trip we'll be saving a combined 50cents per gallon which is about $8.50 savings - so while this isn't calculated in the chart above it's a true win!
*Money savings will only be tracked at stores where groceries are purchased, the savings will be a combination of using store loyalty cards, coupons and refunds for reusable shopping bags.