Been reading Proverbs this month and you know what? Some days I really don’t like “that” woman. She has been this daunting image in my mind this week of all the things I don’t feel I am living up to. Due to homeschooling preparations, I have been organizing and reorganizing everything! That process allows quite a bit of reflection opportunites for all that has been lacking and all the areas I have not been diligent in. Topping the list were ineffecient meal planning and eating our money! The number one way for me to be a better steward of our families finances is to cook smart and eat out less. We do eat at home on average 5 out of seven nights but then there are a couple of lunches out and crazy weeks and next thing you know…hundreds of dollars down the drain.
Brooke and I were discussing this yesterday and she told me about a clip she saw on Sonoran Living (an AZ show) yesterday advertising a website based out of AZ called www.couponsense.com.
This site is pretty awesome. Membership is $15.00 a month (first trial month is $4.00) but theoretically you save so much it’s worth the membership fee. This site manages ALL the grocery store adds at my local stores AND tells you were all the applicable coupons are on the web, in the Sunday paper, and on the in store adds. They suggest you buy an A to Z accordian file for filing adds and coupons by week. They label their weeks A through Z and then number the coupons by where they can be found. This way, you just file the whole Sunday coupon/advertisment section in the applicable letter file and then wait to cut anything out until you need it. They allow a multiple of sorts and searches, send you alerts on products you select, show you what final prices will be after sales ads and coupons (single, doubled and tripled), and allow you to make out your shopping list online dragging and dropping from sales adds. You then print your report and you know what you need to buy at each store you choose to shop at (you set your stores up in the settings). They also have an “add match” report just for Walmart since Walmart matches everyones adds. The advertisements are saying that many women are saving 50 to 75% of their monthly bills doing this!!!! Wow! Here are my pro’s and con’s on this:
* To make this most effective, I need to make my meal plan AFTER checking out what the best ads are for the week. That is time consuming and limiting.
* In some cases, I may shop different name brands than usual to make good use of the ad/coupon. That would only be beneficial to me in some cases. In others, I am very brand specific.
* Time consuming process.
* If you want to make use of double/triple coupons, it requires shopping Fry’s/Safeway/Bashas. Walmart doesn’t double and I typically shop Walmart for most stuff (though not all).
* If I am going to pay for a Sunday paper and this 15.00 service, I HAVE to make use of it to make it worth it. I would need to save a significant amount over my expenses to makeup for my time.
* I would be a better steward of my family finances.
* I shop more than one store anyhow because I don’t like meat from Walmart.
* IF IF IF I was good at this, I could save a KILLING. I can’t believe the savings women on this site are reporting. I would have to try it to believe it but what if???
* During homeschool table time, when Tanner is working on excercises, it would be a perfect time for me to surf the site, check out the adds, create my meal plan, and clip appropriate coupons and print sales adds. They make it very simple by putting it all together. Would be an awesome use of my “down” time and would keep me from wandering away from Tanner and getting involved in a task that would interupt school time. This could be done piece by piece as time allowed so I think it would work well.
* I would be happy happy happy if I were good at it and I was saving a lot of money. If I could save $100.00 per month or more, it would be like I made our money work for itself without having to take a side job:). Managing coupons and sales adds may be a “job” of sorts but depending on what it “made” me, it might be well worth a couple hour time investment.
They have workshops where they give you a manual and teach you how to best use their website. Brooke and I and maybe Belinda are going to attend on August 7th at 7:15. I went ahead and joined and I’ll get a Sunday paper tomorrow but I think it will take some time to build up my coupon stock to save BIG money:). Too fun though to see women buying 200.00 worth of groceries and paying 20.00 bucks!!! Darin, my brother, who is a Sales Manager for the AZ Republic, told me today that he has met several women that were buying 3 or 4 Sunday Papers because they were www.couponsense.com members and they were making a killing with all their savings. That was encouraging to hear.
What ‘s the worst that could happen? I would just quit the membership if I couldn’t do it or if it didn’t save me much. I am actually excited about giving it a shot. I think it’s at least theoretically possible that the challenge of it would motivate me and I would find it actually FUN to see how little I could get away with spending on a grocery trip. By the way, if you don’t live in AZ, you MIGHT still be able to utilize this tool. They have a national program set up that costs 10.00 per month. They charge less because I think there are less options outside AZ right now but you have to check your zipcode to see. The site has tutorials and a lot of “advertisement” info so check it out if you are interested.
Wish me luck!