I’ve started, like so many struggling Americans, to consider couponing as a serious method of protecting my financial future. First off, “Free” is my favorite “number”. I’m sure it’s yours too!
Second, the idea of having a ready stash of toiletries is unabashedly appealing, especially as a woman. (Ladies, you know what I mean!) Besides, that stuff is truly expensive!
The problem, however, is that I live in a one bedroom apartment. There is no “spare room” or basement crawlspace or attic, let alone an “unused corner of my (non existent) garage”. I have about 800 sq ft, a third of which serves as kitchen and bathroom space. I actually have a fair amount of cupboards, but they’ll never accomodate dozens of cans of, say canned soup or chicken stock as well as the food for regular consumption. I also have a decent walk-in closet, but it’s hard to organize much more than half a dozen 12 packs of toilet paper in there… assuming I want to actually store our clothes in there too, that is.
So what to do? This is what I’m pondebring this week. If I could, I would attempt to find bookcases or other storage units, but I’m broke! Given these limitations, the answer is simple: DON’T go all “Extreme Couponing”. Instead, concentrate on specific areas of savings, and simply look for good deals on things I can and will actively use where the rest is concerned (meaning food). In practical terms, I want to concentrate on:
- body soap
- toilet paper
- paper towels
- tissue paper (because winter is coming)
- feminine hygiene products
Once I have those going, we’ll see about anything else. Who knows? I might save enough to be able to purchase (or make?) a shelving unit or two for canned goods. Tomatoes and stocks are a great way to start: you can make an interesting meal with either or both, just keep watching for deals on pastas, rice, and other staples. Right? Right! 😉
Speaking of good deals, last night, while I was pulling tags, I discovered a decent deal on Imagine organic soups. Kroger had them on sale “Buy one get one free”. Now the regular price is $3.89. At Kroger, “Buy one get one” actually means you can buy just one for half price, in this case $1.95. However, there was a manufacturer’s coupon to $ave $1.50 when you buy any two. That means I’d get one for $1.95, and the other would be only $0.45, for a total savings of $3.44. Needless to say, I got two boxes. That was cheaper than two cans of, say, Progresso soup, or even two cans of Private Selection organic soup. Wait, does Private Selection make organic soup?
Anyway, my receipt tape says I saved $8.26 including coupons, or 17% of my total purchase, but that’s woefully inadequate, as I also stocked up on marked down items (Extension cords, anyone? How about lunch storage boxes?) They were all half price or better, and the 3x5ft American flag I got to replace the one I left behind in the divorce was only $5.89, compared to the original price of $18.74. In fact, let’s tabulate this:
I saved 59.81% on my purchases today. Not bad at all, if I do say so myself! 🙂 How much will YOU save this week?