Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Guest Blogger The Savvy Steward

Today I am featuring a guest blogger. Annie Shaw from Savvy Steward is so graciously offering to bust the 'I can't save much/any money with coupons' myth. After reading Annies post, think of some questions you would like to ask her because SHE IS COMING BACK to do a Q&A for all my fabulous readers! Aren't we lucky?
Annie  was featured on the news for saving $15, 000 last year couponing. Yes, THOUSAND not hundred. It was this clip that caught my attention and had me thinking I CAN do this. And folks- let me tell you Annie is the real deal. You are about to meet a Godly woman of integrity, who I know personally. So please do not roll your eyes and say 'yeah right' SHE IS FULL OF IT.  After you read my blog, go check out Savvy Stewards blog and see if you can join in on one of her classes. Alright, enough  of me. Drum roll please.... HERE'S ANNIE!

Debunking The Coupon Myths:

Everyone has their own idea of how to save money. For some, it is eating out 3 times a week as opposed to 4. For others, it is taking the sales flier with you to the store, planning to buy healthy but cheap items…and then throwing all the expensive junk in instead. And for a handful of people, it is stocking up on items that you can get for extremely CHEAP or FREE, so you never have to pay full price again. I am in that handful of people. Many times I get comments about how people envy my stockpile and desire to learn how to get their own cool stockpile. (They don’t envy me, just my stockpile. I am just not as cool as 25 bags of free frozen veggies. Lol) BUT, more people often ask questions that lead me to believe, they just don’t think couponing will work for them. One of my long lost friends, Sarah, recently asked if I could debunk some of these “myths” that many believe about coupons, brand names, and fresh foods!

Myth #1: Your list will be limited to ONLY what you have coupons for and usually what you need is NOT what you get coupons for, the brand you use, etc.

Busted: Your list is always going to include the items that you need and want. The problem is, Americans are a “we want what we want…and we want it now” nation. If you truly desire to save money, you will start realizing that if you just wait a few weeks, you can get whatever you want/need for free or close to free. If you seek any specific brand, all you have to do is go to Ebay and type in the brand. (example: Gillette coupons). If you do not find that coupon anywhere, just contact the corporate office via their website and they will send you coupons!

Example: Your husband loves Gillette Fusion Razors. They are $11.00 a piece at CVS and pretty much every other place around. You pay $11.00 for that razor every other month, or so…which equals to about $66.00 a year. Just for a crazy razor for your husband. If you waited, you can get these razors free using a coupon and an extra care buck, about every other month at CVS! Seriously…just by buying your razor at CVS, you can save $66.00 a year!

You can normally stock up on whatever item it is that you love, but you have to be willing to wait for the deal…and then go out and get it!

Myth #2: It is cheaper to shop Aldi’s.

Busted: Aldi’s is for lazy shoppers. Lol. At least in my case! Whenever I did not want to spend the time to pull together my coupons and such, I would shop at Aldi’s. But, the truth of the matter is this: I spent more money…and got a pantry filled with sodium enriched food. Consider the fact that things rarely go on sale at Aldi’s and that you can not use a coupon. Now consider the fact that your local grocery store will often have sales and not only allow you to use coupons…but double them!

Example: Here is a price comparison of common items I might buy at Aldi’s compared to what I pay for name brand at Meijer with sales/coupons.

Aldi’s                                                                                          Meijer
Generic Spaghetti O’s .69                                                  Real Spaghetti O’s .25 (I buy reduced sodium!)

Generic Chicken Noodle soup .43                                     Campbell’s Chick Noodle .25

Loaf of Wheat Bread .89                                                  Aunt Millies Wheat FREE or .50

Cream cheese .99                                                             Kraft Cream Cheese (FREE or money maker)

Carton of OJ 1.99                                                            Tropicana .50 -1.50

Onion Soup .49                                                                Lipton Onion Soup FREE

Generic A-1 1.49                                                             A-1 THE REAL STUFF FREE + 2.00/meat!

Generic Koolaid 1.49                                                      KoolAid FREE ( made $16 to take 20 cans)

Generic Miracle Whip 1.99                                              Kraft Miracle Whip .75

Generic Oatmeal 1.79                                                     Quaker Oatmeal Free (this week even!)

Generic Salad Dressing 1.19                                           Kraft Salad dressing FREE

Generic Cream Soups .59                                              Campbells Cream soup FREE

Generic Taco Shells .99                                                 Ole El Paso Taco shells .79

Generic Boxed Stuffing .89                                            Stove Top .50

Generic Frozen Steam Veggies 1.89                              Birdseye Steamfresh FREE

Bottled Water 3.79                                                       Ice Mountain 2.49

Generic Hefty Bags 1.99                                               Hefty Bags FREE

Generic Margarine .99                                                  I can’t Believe Its Not Butter FREE

12 oz Shred Cheese 1.99                                            16 oz Kraft Shred Cheese 1.32

To Show the real savings, multiply all of these items by 25:

$663.75                                 $208.75

Okay girls, BlessedMama here- I just did the mathand $455.00 is the difference. My retirement, savings, vacation, kids college funds could certainly use that kind of boost! Yours? Back to you Annie!

Myth #3: Coupons are for brand name items which are always more expensive than store brand!

Busted: That is actually true for the most part. Coupons ARE for brand names…which typically ARE more expensive than store brand. The problem comes in where a coupon and a sale price makes any given item CHEAPER than the store brand. This happens every week. I rarely ever buy store brand. In fact, I just checked my pantry and I have only 3 store brand items in it. They are chicken bullion (I just like this kind!), sugar (it was free), and Tortilla chips (.99 at Kroger).

Example: Generic stain remover was 2.79 at my local Meijer. TIDE stain remover was on sale for 3.79. I had a 3.00/1 coupon. I got TIDE stain remover for .79. I purchased 15 of them at this price and will not need anymore for the rest of the year. (Hopefully) 

BlessedMama Again- Annie spent 11.85 on a YEARS worth of stain remover. She saved $45.00, and will not be buying that item again for another year... Hmmm... Sounds like a plan to me!

Myth#4: The most expensive part of my list is organic and produce. Coupons are for junk foods only.

Busted: Where there is a will, there is always a way! My husband and I are currently on a 12 week Body For Life Challenge. While it is not easy, I still saved 50% off my clean food total. And that was with only 1 hour of prep work! I typically get all of my frozen veggies and fruits for free. I often get 1.00 off any produce coupons (have some right now!) If you are brand specific to organics…email the company and get their coupons. They have them. Just ask.

Myth#5: This takes too much time, time IS money!

Busted: I am a home school mom, a Pastors wife, and drive 45 minutes to get to my grocery store. You can do it. This is just an excuse. Please never say it to me. LOL

I take about 2-3 hours of prep time and then 45 min at the store. I spend about $35.00 at the store, and save about $150.00. If time is money, then I just made over 50.00 an hour. Sure, I could have spent those 3 hours of prep time, sitting in front of the tv or talking on the phone, but why would I when I know that I could make $150 in those 3 hours? If someone said that you could work for 3 hours and get paid $150…would you do it? Of Course! I know women who work 50+ hours a week…and still coupon. I know women who stay at home with 5 kids under the age of 7… and still coupon. I know women who have to drive 45 minutes to the store … and still coupon. 3 hours a week to save your family $7800 a year, is SO worth it. The typical cashier has to work 27 hours a week to make this much in a year! It is a matter of priorities, if saving money is not yours, then that is totally ok and up to you! But, it does not take much time when you think of how much you earn!

Thanks Annie!

Wow! Anyone elses head spinning? Good! Keep those wheels turning ladies and think of what to ask Annie. I already have some thoughts... The FREE really has me wondering!

While my blog will not become a frugal find blog on a regular basis, because there are so many great gals out there who do it SO much better than I ever could, I will be featuring some things over the next week or two to give you the resources to save money in this new year. I shared in my last post how I have been convicted to change certain things, and obviously being a good steward of what God has given us is one thing I am continuing working on. I realize more and more that no matter how little or much money we bring home, this is a LIFESTYLE. I mean, so what if hubby made 6 figures, (WE WISH!) WHY throw money away?
Remember- ask those questions in my comment box!


Hopeful Housewife said...

WOW! I am a couponer but a rather lack luster one.....I clip and forget. Yes..I actually take the time to clip them out and then forget them at home when I go to the store. Thanks for a little more motivation!

Annie Shaw said...

You can do it! (Ok, so I kinda sorta like the movie WaterBoy and have to say that with the right accent!)

Keep plugging and don't forget your coupons when you go to the store!