I am Cheapskate, Hear Me Roar

I’m no gourmet chef. I generally can’t create beautiful decor to improve my home and I can’t sew. At all. (I need to – and would genuinely like to- work on that particular deficit.) My home is spotless only when company is coming and… well, when company is coming. However, one of my redeeming qualities is my ability and penchant for saving money and paying as little as possible for everything. And I mean everything.

Life experience has instilled an attitude of saving in the very core of everything I do. I am frugal to a fault. My husband and former roommate had to loosen my grip on my piggy bank and help me understand that it’s okay to spend money and LIVE every now and then. I can’t stomach buying full-price clothing, I buy clothes and toys for my kid at yard and consignment sales (yeah, I paid $3 for his corn popper – retail price $14.99) and I coupon like crazy. Today I had a fair success at our Kroger Marketplace.

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Forty-two percent?! Yayuh! Almost $90, people. And because competitors love to try to steal your business, check out these catalina coupons I got for CoffeeMate after buying International Delight (with a coupon of course).

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When it comes to having some basic French Vanilla creamer, I’m no snob so these will come in handy when it goes on sale next. I must say though that Int’l. Delight has some fab flavors, including the York Peppermint Patty flavor that I just got! Woohoo! It’s the little things. Creamer tangent over. Moving on.

It’s pretty exciting to see a 42% savings. For a long time, I was oblivious to how much I was saving on groceries if any. Then I inherited a cousin by marriage. At least that’s what we call her. She’s actually my MIL’s cousin, so however you want to interpret that. At any rate, she co-writes a couponing blog called Stockpiling Moms and is the authority around here on extreme couponing. During my unemployed pregnant summer, she invited me to one of her coupon classes, and though I’ve slacked off at times, I’ve been more savings-conscious than ever since then. I follow her and a few other coupon mom blogs to know what’s a good deal and what’s a gimmick.

How did I, the world’s biggest penny pincher, not know about all the things you can get for free on a regular basis?! I don’t pay for toothpaste anymore. I pay next to nothing for pasta, condiments and Pilsbury products. This is the part where I admit that I’m no extreme couponing guru, but by following a few blogs and checking out price match-ups I do pretty well and keep our family from giving Kroger so much cash. Below are some freebies or serious steals I got on today’s trip.

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Everything in this photo cost a little over $1. The hot sauce cost me a whopping .49 each and I’m sure I paid tax on the Kleenex even though I paid ZERO for them after Kroger’s Mega Event sale price and coupons.

Breakdown:

Frank’s RedHot Sauce – regularly $2.89, sale priced $1.99, -.50 Mega Event savings, with two .75 coupons that double up to $1 = .49 per bottle.
Kleenex – regularly $2.09, sale priced $1.49, -.50 Mega Event savings, with a coupon for each at .55 that double up to 41 = FREE!
Ro-Tel – .94, with a .25 e-coupon loaded on my Kroger card AND a paper coupon for an amount I can’t remember, but I know it doubled and was worth more than 69 cents.
Kraft Ranch dressing – regularly $2.69, sale priced $2.29, – .50 Mega Event savings making it $1.79. Thanks to my Kroger card, I get packets of coupons in the mail on occasion that are tailored to my previous shopping history. This last pack included a coupon for one FREE Kraft dressing. (I often get coupons for a free box of Eggo waffles. Awesome!)

So there you have it. I get ridiculously excited about free stuff or paying pennies on the dollar for stuff we use on a regular basis. If you want to learn more about stockpiling and extreme couponing, head over to Shelley’s blog, Stockpiling Moms, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, get their deals via e-mail and more. In these hard economic times, everyone could probably stand to keep a little extra money in their pockets, under their mattress or in my case tucked in random cabinets, vases, jewelry boxes and books. My husband gives me grief every time he finds a $50 bill in a book or behind the tea bags. Probably because I tuck Benjamins away and forget I put them there… Oops?

Do you coupon? Balk at paying full price? Hide money under your mattress?

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