Coach Mom Newsletter - May 2010
Craving Some Savings
The other day two
young boys walked into a grocery store,
picked up a box of Tampax off the paper
goods aisle and walked to the check-out
The man at the counter
asked the older boy, “Son how old are you?”
“Eight,” the boy
The man continued, “Do you know how
these are used?”
The boy replied, “Not
exactly, but they aren’t for me.
They are for my brother — he’s four.
We saw on TV that if you use these
you would be able to swim and ride a bike.
He can’t do either one.
That story, which I
received over email, made me laugh about
But as a mom, I haven’t done much
laughing when it comes to shopping with
By the end of the
shopping-trip-gone-long, the newborn was
usually screaming for her next feeding, and
the two-year old potty-trainer was
simultaneously saying, “I have to go…NOW!”
(of course at the corner of the store
opposite the bathroom!)
But one thing that does
make me smile is seeing something like this
on my grocery receipt: “You saved 55%
today.” That sight has been more frequent
since I implemented an organized coupon
If you are interested
in maximizing your coupon efforts, I hope
you will consider using this efficient
system my friend Angie Bowsher shared with
1. Make a
a. Buy a notebook (1
½-2 inch binder, preferably zippered)
b. Buy dividers, and
label them according to subject, which
reflects sections in the store (see
suggestions in sidebar).
c. Place clear baseball
card holders in each section to hold
a. Newspaper Coupons –
i. Buy multiple
newspapers - 2-4, or however many you need.
ii. Collate coupon
sections, so that each like sheet is stacked
together. For each cut you make, you are
able to cut multiple copies of the same
iii. Place each set of
cut coupons in a baseball card holder sleeve
in the appropriate section.
This keeps identical coupons
together, and easy to see.
b. Internet Coupons –
i. Get free coupons
from websites such as coupons.com,
cellfire.com, and coolsavings.com.
ii. Also get savings
tips from the following websites, which will
link you to free coupons: Mysavings.com,
coupontodisney.com and groupon.com.
websites are a great source for coupons for
products you frequently use.
c. Other Sources for
Coupons – Some grocery stores run “$5 off
any $50 purchase” in local coupon books such
as The Entertainment Book.
Maximizing Your Coupon Savings –
Wait for items to go on
sale, and use multiple coupons when stores
are doubling or tripling coupons.
If you join a coupon group, such as
The Grocery Game, they will do the research
for you (for a small monthly fee) and alert
you to sale/coupon opportunities. Other
sites, such as mygrocerydeals.com, offers
many of the same benefits for free.
For example, a box of
cereal that is regularly $3.99 is on sale
Using a 35-cent coupon during a
triple coupon sale makes the item $1 off.
The $3.99 box of cereal sells for
Many grocery stores
will allow four of the same coupon per
visit. If a person bought four boxes of
cereal with coupons, she would walk out the
door with cereal valued at $15.96 for $6.00.
On shopping day, take
your notebook and a clothespin to keep
coupons clipped together as you pull them
from your notebook to use.
Although I can’t
promise you anything about swimming or
riding a bike, I can promise you there is
some fruit to be gleaned, and not just from
the produce section. It’s found on the money
tree located inside Sunday’s newspaper:
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Ask Coach Mom
I know you talk about
the benefits of coupons, but I’m so
overwhelmed with life in general that I
don’t know what to do. I have a newborn, a
two-year-old and a four-year-old. I’m doing
good to just get a shower each day (and
sometimes can’t even get to that!) I love a
deal, and it makes me feel defeated to know
what I’m missing out on. Please share with
me how I can make this work!
This is not the season
for you to deal with coupons. You can get to
that if you choose when your children are
older and able to do more for themselves. My
friend Angie was after me to do coupons for
years before I finally jumped in, which
wasn’t until my youngest child got out of
diapers. Making the most of coupons requires
a time investment each week of at least 1-2
hours, and if you can’t give that, then wait
until you can.
My advice to you in
Plan your menu.
You might look at grocery ads as you do
this, in order to take advantage of great
sales. Wal-Mart will match grocery store
sale prices on identical items if you
present the current ad at time of purchase.
Be sure to check what you already have in
your pantry as you make your list.
children. When my children were young,
I had one day a week that I ran all my
errands. I either traded off with a friend
who wanted to do the same, or hired a sitter
when I was able.
Walking down the isles of the grocery
store by myself almost felt like a spa
getaway in those days!
Shop at a place
that is known for low prices across the
board. A word about warehouse shopping:
don’t assume because you are buying “bulk”
that you are getting the lowest price
available. Warehouse prices are good
compared to most normal retail prices on
name brands, but you can often do better at
grocery stores sales or on store-brand
products. Things that I’ve found to be a
good value at warehouses: produce, dairy
products, vitamins, rotisserie chickens, and
some snack foods.
Take your list, and stick to it.
My friend Debbie created her own grocery
shopping list sheet on the computer, listing
items by sections in the store.
She prints off the list and only has
to make a check next to the item when she
sees that she has a grocery need. Many of
the shopping websites allow you to make your
list and print it off from their website.
Another option is writing what you need
under the appropriate category, such as
produce, dairy, etc.
If you retain anything, remember the part
about going without children.
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Want to Learn More?
Want to know how to
save more money in your grocery shopping?
Listen to two great
interviews from Focus on the Family
featuring Jonni McCoy, author of Miserly
Moms: Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy.
Brenna's blog for her latest entry ...
coming soon - a discussion on