Leviner Couponing 101
Last May I shared with you my thoughts about couponing! That was when I had not one clue about couponing. My thoughts then were I really want to coupon but it looks very complicated and cumbersome. I knew the "jist" of couponing like how to organize the mounds of flyers by dates and some couponing sense like never go off ad at drugstores but not the hows of couponing. How do you really save money with coupons and have more "stuff" than before you began this hobby while spending half of what you do? Now eight months later I can share many things about couponing including the above picture to anyone that asks. You and I see the above picture totally different. Before I can start anything new I have to have a plan and a purpose. It can't be because I want to or because it looks interesting. It has to be because its purposeful and to somebody what I'm doing can make a difference or be beneficial. I mean I do like a challenge and in June when I started full fledged couponing, I was challenged. To tell you the truth I didn't want to embark another hobby. I already had several and I just could not possibly fit one more thing into my hobby list. I told you in May that I didn't want to become "one of those couponers" where all my time would be spent searching, sifting, and printing coupons. I also told you that I was not going to be a hoarder, this is still true, like I said we see the above picture with two different sets of eyes. For starters, I had to read about couponing (with what little time I had). I attended a coupon workshop with a friend that was lead by Jenny the Southern Savers queen. My neighbor BFF, Amy, and I spent countless hours in our driveways this past summer till well after midnight (when our babies were sleeping of course) with our coupon boxes trying to match our coupons with the Publix yellow and green flyers coupons and other store and manufacture coupons (called stacking) for the absolute best deals (I did once spend $115 on over $315 worth, once..I think this was to see my limit and how far I could really go..it can/does become addictive). When I thought I was well versed on the matter I even shared my coupon knowledge with some friends at church camp this past summer and to my knowledge they are still couponing (not because of me but because the mone they are saving). My new hobby this summer was tiresome. There was a part that I kinda fibbed in May about but at the time I didn't know the extent to what this whole business was about so the part where I didn't want to spend every spare second finding, clipping, or cutting coupons happened. I found myself doing that. Everyday after C went down for a nap I was on the computer reading SS, printing coupons, and making my grocery store list for the week and cutting out and compiling all of the coupons for the trip, and on and on and PHEW! This took what seemed like eons and I knew that once school began I could not continue this overrated ridiculous thing called couponing. Really, I'm spending all of my time trying to save $1 and for what? But I was relentless and perservered and continued. I don't give up quite easily but (well unless it's college algebra but whose counting, ha) it got way better..trust me for I am still couponing).
Anyways, my plan to start couponing from the very beginning was to donate. I've always enjoyed sharing and giving away. I surely don't need 25 bottles of Resolve or 15 detergents or 35 razors in my garage. I have already met one of those donating goals. I've donated to three families from my stockpile! So as I began stockpiling my sweet hubby started to build a nice shelf in our garage to house the "extras" like toilet paper, paper towels and detergents. I told him that I only wanted one shelf because I didn't have the need for two. Then all of a sudden I had all of this stuff and the "big shelf" in the garage was filling up quite nicely and then things began to pile up on the garage floor. Soon after, we saw the need for another shelf and viola, I had my stockpile. One of our garage walls is filled with SS things bought from coupons. I can't tell you the face value of all that we have. I don't want to know but what I do know is that I paid either nothing for the items or just a few dollars..and oh the Resolve was all free, except tax of course! Sam did build other shelves in our garage from the same materials as my SS shelves so in the back of the pic those are his tools and extra paint not a continuation of my stockpile! My stash goes from the lights on the far right to before the drop cord!
Anyways, my heart is full of joy as I get to donate to a new family from my stockpile this Christmas! I have already made my list for the family for things like toothbrushes down to "her" and "his" razors and shaving cream. These household items are expensive in general and I'm just delighted in knowing that somehow I can make a difference for someone or some family that considers even a basic need like toothpaste too costly to buy or provide for their families.
The couponing has become easier. It is not at all cumbersome or tiresome as this past summer. I think it was this way for me this summer because I was just starting and got way too into it. It is true that once you have a stockpile you will only find yourself going into the grocery store weekly and getting less than 15 or so items! It's great! It has defintely changed my life in more ways than I first thought and my hope is that somewhere down the line it gives at least one person hope!