All of my adult life I have debated whether it is worth the time and effort to scour store ads and coupon books trying to find the best price on cheese. I've wondered if I drive the fifteen minutes it takes to get to Wal-Mart to save a few bucks am I really saving more than I'm spending in gas when Safeway is just two minutes up the street. Do I really want to change my 15 year standard of buying Prego brand marinara to Barilla just because it is on sale and I have a coupon for it? Now that I have a family of five to feed, which is getting more and more expensive as my toddlers have turned into growing boys and a preteen girl who are always hungry I have had to reevaluate my views on coupons and sales.
A few weeks ago after seeing the results of my sister's almost obsession with coupons I decided to give it a go. She turned me onto a few websites and I took it from there. I visited a website called Wild for Wags (Wags=Walgreen's) and discovered that not only does this woman post all kinds of great deals and links to coupons that can be printed on the web, every Saturday she posts a buying scenario. Her scenarios are very detailed and even include links to certain coupons, prices, and which issue of the coupon booklets you can find certain coupons in. She also runs a site very similar site that deals with Target. This was a great way to dip my toe into the world of coupons. I was so excited when I walked out of Walgreen's that first time and I had a box of Estroven that I actually made $2 on. I kept looking over my shoulder thinking someone was going to follow me outside and tell me I had done something wrong...either because I left the store with essentially more money than I came in with or because I'm not old enough to even need Estroven. As I said earlier, I was excited...so excited I had to tell my husband, who looked at me like I was nuts and asked if maybe I could find deals like that on stuff we actually needed, my mother, who wanted the Estroven, and my sister, who I think might have shed a tear at my succumbing to her corruption.
So is it worth it? I think if you can stay organized and sane, spending time scouring the sales ads and coupons for good deals are worth it. Driving the fifteen minutes to Wal-Mart? Well, if I am going to buy a large amount and will be saving at least $10 buying the same items from a closer store, then yes it's worth it. Ditching Prego for Barilla? Jury is still out on that one ;P
Next Week: Tips on how to get started with coupons including organization and time management. HAPPY MONDAY!