Responsible couponing – weekly shopping trip

Couponing. It’s not my favorite word. It implies an activity done by greedy hyped up consumers who somehow get a rush out of getting 6 bags of croutons for free. You know who I’m talking about.

They keep personal stock piles the size of a small grocery store.

Dozens of containers of toothpaste, shampoo, canned goods and boxed meals. They seem to have everything but enough.

Like millions of Americans, I hopped on the speeding coupon train in 2011. Not to create a stockpile, but to tighten my grocery budget by a couple hundred a month.

That first year of clipping coupons had some pretty embarrassing moments. Amateur mistakes such as forgetting expiration dates, buying things I didn’t need because “it’s such a great coupon!” and spending hours crafting the most efficient coupon friendly shopping list only to realize at the store that just buying the generic versions were a way better deal than using my coupons.

I’m much better now. I no longer aspire be one of those extreme coupon people who pay only $2 for $900 worth of groceries. Yes, it would be a nice rush. But in the end, you’re left with more than you need and that’s just silly to me.

Instead, I have fun planning a weekly trip to Target to get the best deals for our household of the things we need or will certainly need in the future.

This week, I had one of my best values yet! Here’s my loot:



8pk of Bounty paper towels (3); 2liter of soda (5); loaves of bread from the bakery (2); 24ct Ibuprofen (2); 32ct foil muffin liners (2); Degree deodorant; Chocolate-covered almonds.

Total: $20.47

It’s no extreme couponing, but it’s a nice rush to see the total on the register drop from $75.05 all the way down to $20.47.


Day 9 of Money Challenge #1: $500 in 31 days – Trouble at Target

After a night hanging out with friends, I slept in ’til noon today and laid awake thinking of how to make some money to keep my cash streak going. Since The Beard and I go to Target most Sundays to peruse the aisles for deals and get frozen meals for the week, I thought of something to make some fast cash: I’d return two clothing items I bought a Target months ago that I have since decided I no longer want. They have the tags on them still so I figured this won’t be a problem.



A dress and a top that I bought on sale and didn’t like how they fit once I got them home. So I packed them up and we went to Target. That’s when I ran into some trouble with my plan.  Since I bought the items a couple of months ago and didn’t have a receipt, the rep couldn’t give me any cash, so I got this instead: 


A gift card for $35.51. I was okay with it but because of my money challenge, I couldn’t figure out how to factor in this game changer. Do I put the gift card in the money bag? Does it count at all towards the challenge? Do I exchange the gift card for cash to put in the money bag? Do I try to sell the gift card? Finally after we were done shopping, I applied the gift card toward our purchase and decided that I wouldn’t count it towards the challenge at all. 

After using the gift card, taking advantage of a Buy one Get one sale, a $3 off coupon, a $2 off coupon, and 5% off by using our Target debit card, we paid only $53.25 for a $105.70 purchase. Not bad for a poor girl! 

Unfortunately, none of this counted toward my money challenge. I still have to come up with a way to make some cash.