Bonafide Addict!!

I've posted a time or two of the fact that I do not watch television.  Never.  Ok, well, the word "never" is maybe a little about 99.99% of the time?  Better?  I think yes.

Well, a couple weeks ago, during our move... (yes, I know I have not posted of that either, but I can explain :()
In another post.

Back to my original story:  for a couple days, my washer & dryer were not connected.  In fact, they were not even in the house.  So what did I do?  I went to do laundry at my moms.
Yes, I was too cheap to go to the laundromat.  And my mom was at work anyway.

Now, I don't remember if I have ever told you, but my mom's TV is on all of the time.  So as I did laundry,  I couldn't help but watch TV.  The TV was set to whatever channel this is on:
 I know it's TLC, but I do not know which channel it is. My mom has that show to record automatically whenever it is on.  (Again, since I watch television maybe 1 hour a month, I don't know the technical word for that, but I know there is one.)   I also can't tell you what channel TLC is to save my life, but I was intrigued.  Very much.   How intrigued?  I actually sat through FIVE episodes!  Yes, 5!  And I was instantly addicted.  So much so, that I got right up, looked for my mom's Sunday newspaper and clipped every single coupon from the inserts.  I did!
I wasn't sure what to do with them to save money, other than saving their face value, but I was on a mission to learn.  I've actually learned some things already, although my knowledge isn't even in the same universe as those expert housewives on the show that end up with a grocery total of $1,300.00 and only pay something crazy like $3.52, but give me time (:

Yes, I admit:  I am now officially a coupon fanatic.

Tita decorated a binder for me: 

She titled it "Honey's Coupon Binder" (:
And because I'm very visual, an accordion file just will not work for me to keep my gazillion coupons, so I went to Office Depot and got some clear card holders for under $5, for a pack of 10 and it works for me. (Each sheet has 4 -3x5 pockets.)
So now, my binder looks like this:

and, this coupon junkie actually invested in this:

Yes, I'm THAT serious!  I am now the proud owner of a paper cutter! Yay!
The binder is for the manufacturer's coupons and the accordian file is for the coupons from Target, Walgreens, Safeway and King Soopers.  Pretty neat, huh?

My hubs, Tita, my mom and my brother and I spent 3 hours yesterday completely gutting 17 newspapers of coupons! We bought 8 newspapers and my mom bought 9.

After all that work, you're probably wondering if we've used the binder already to save lots of money...right?

Uh....yeah!  This is what we did.  And please remember, we were couponing virgins who really didn't have a CLUE what we were doing, but we were willing to give it a shot.  I figured, what do we have to lose?  Absolutely nothing.  We needed those groceries anyway, and we never use coupons, so it didn't make a bit of difference.
Our budget was $200 because with midterms, sick kids, snow days, etc., our cupboards were almost bare!
On the way to the grocery store, I told the hubs that my goal was to save $20.00.  (Big goals, huh!?)  I told him I would be happy if we saved 20 big ones, and he agreed.
So this is what we did.  I know I have TONS to learn still, but again, this was my first attempt:

1.  This last weekend, if you spent $75 at Safeway, they were giving a $10 coupon that you could use on your next purchase.  So I told the hubs that I would go buy groceries, separate it into 2 transactions, so we would get TWO $10 coupons.

2.  About 3 weeks ago, my mom gave me a $10 coupon she received in her mail for Safeway because she never shops there.  I remember I took it, but was sure it would expire before I remembered to use it.

3.  I took my binder full of both manufacturer's AND Safeway coupons.   We got to the store at almost 11 pm because a)  I was frickin' nervous, b) I didn't want to hold up the checkout line with tons of people behind me in line, and c) I would have died of embarrassment if I didn't do it right and had irate people behind me.

Well, it wasn't as hard as I thought.  My total was $ $220.87.  (Gulp!)  Over our budget by $20.87.
I scanned our Safeway card and I felt the rush you feel when you're at a casino and the slot machine stops on the three 7s.
Then, I nervously handed the cashier my coupons and voila!  The same rush!  Instant high.
 Thank God my addiction is to save money, rather than something like gambling!!

It was very exciting to see this:

My total before was      $220.87
My total after coupons: $128.64
Total Savings:               $  92.23
That's right!  I saved 41% of my total by using coupons and my Safeway card! (Ok, this is where the hubs and I did the happy dance!)

Oh, and the register spit out TWO $10 coupons for next time!  All I have to do is 2 transactions (one for $50 and the other requires me to spend anything over $10, so I spend $11 and I pay $1.  How's that for awesome? 

I am very happy with my purchase and in my opinion- successful. (have I mentioned that already?!)
The only thing I did not like? My kitchen counter looked like this:

Not any more though.  I got those babies filed away now!
Oh, and wanna see our new family picture?

I will post once a month to tell you how much dinero we've saved!
Something else I'm excited about is that with some of the money I saved, I bought an old, ugly table and 2 even uglier chairs at Habitat for Humanity and we've already done some work on.  I'll post those this week!

Have a happy Tuesday!!

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