Tag Archives: Groupon

End of Year Couponing Update for 2012

3 Jan
Hot off the press!

Hot off the press!

As many of you remember, I accepted a challenge from my college roommate, Karen, last January and tried my hand at couponing. I began at the end of January, right around the 28th of the month, or thereabouts.

My first couponing trip was to CVS and with that one trip, I was hooked on saving money!

This week marks the start of the new year, a whole new year of saving money. To celebrate, I am sharing with you some photos of a local magazine article in which I was one of the couponers featured. This magazine, Prime Time, is the January issue and it’s put out by the same company that puts out the two newspapers I work for, Beacon Communications. I was so excited when they asked if they could feature me for the story. Also featured is my friend Pam, who has been so helpful in teaching me her couponing strategies along the way.

Clip, clip, clip...

Clip, clip, clip…

I thought that with the feature story coming out today, it’d be a great day to share with you some of my couponing savings totals for the 2012 year.

Remember, all of the items I purchased were from places I already shopped, for things I already buy. I did not add any other stops to my already busy schedule and I did not start purchasing things I don’t need, like baby wipes for example, when I don’t have a baby, just to use the coupons.


CVS: I saved $1604.36 at CVS this year. At CVS I utilized their own store coupons, stacked with manufacturer’s coupons, along with sales and their Extra Bucks Rewards to make the very most of every penny I spent there. I also made sure to enroll in their Beauty Club and just yesterday, their brand new prescription program, both of which earn you additional Extra Bucks for purchasing things you already were buying.

TARGET: I saved about $90 this year just by using my Target Red Card, which is not a credit card since we do not use credit cards, but rather a debit card. This does not count all of my savings from manufacturer’s coupons or Target store coupons, which I stack in order to make the most of my savings. With the Target Red Card you save an additional 5% off your total purchase after coupons. Caroline recently used our Red Card herself when purchasing an item that was over $200. She had saved up for months and used her Christmas money and a Target gift card for the rest, and saved herself quite a bit of money out of pocket by using the Red Card.

STOP AND SHOP: I only recently started popping into Stop and Shop  due to our new dietary needs, for things that my other grocery stores don’t have. Therefore, I only have one month’s worth of savings on my last receipt there, but I have saved $62 in that one month alone, according my last 2012 receipt.

I have also saved with coupons at Walmart, Staples, AC Moore and Michael’s. I’ve saved online using Groupon, Living Social and other group buying deals, throughout the year. I accumulated over $200 in rebate money through the year, which I used to start off my Christmas shopping early this summer.

My kids and my husband have also picked up some great couponing skills. They all scan the CVS card when we enter the store, as many times as it will let us, and they can spot a good coupon right away. We recently went to CVS to get some Zyrtec. I had a $4 manufacturer’s coupon and when we walked in, a $5 store coupon off that very product came out of the machine. Elizabeth came running down the allergy aisle holding it up. She knew we would now save $9 off a product we used to pay full price for.

Of course, being my competitive self, my goal for the new couponing year is to beat the 2012 totals for the next year in order to save my family even more money!

Time to get clipping!

What We’re Doing for Fun This Summer: Using our group buying deals

6 Aug

Do you use Groupon? How about Living Social?

There are lots of group buying websites; sites where special deals are offered if enough people purchase them. The two I use most are Groupon and Living Social.

Excited to be at our Mystery Ride destination!

Because our funds are particularly limited in the summer months, I look throughout the year for things that I can use for our summer fun. Earlier this spring I found a Living Social deal for a local historic spot nearby and I purchased it. The deal gave us a one-year membership to Coggeshall Farm in Bristol, RI which is a historic working farm complete with horses, chickens, turkeys, a vegetable garden and much, much more.

We used our Living Social Deal a few weeks ago to take our kids on our latest Mystery Ride. I also knew that there was a letterbox on the Coggeshall Farm property and the kids were excited to find it.

I had never been to Coggeshall Farm but from the description online, I thought it would be right up my kids’ alley, and I was so right. They absolutely loved it and we had a blast.

Finding the eggs which had been laid by the chickens on the farm was a thrill for the kids. They were so proud to bring in the basket with eggs in it.

I must admit, it was very cool to be able to pet a chicken.

From petting a chicken to finding their eggs in the nests, the first time experiences that the kids got at this farm were invaluable. They couldn’t wait to help out with the farm “chores,” which we found completely surprising since they’re not usually so excited to help out with our house chores. After collecting the eggs and bringing in firewood for the kitchen fire, they checked out the farm’s garden and the rest of the farm property.

Learning about life on the farm was fascinating.

After we’d seen everything on the farm and done the chores, , we moved on to the letterbox hunt, which was a success, adding a new stamp to our book. We ended the day with a picnic lunch by the water nearby. It was a perfect day for a picnic, a perfect day for being near the ocean and we took advantage of being outdoors on such a gorgeous summer day.

If you live in the area, I’d recommend a visit to Coggeshall Farm, and if you haven’t tried out the group buying websites, I recommend them as well. They’re great for introducing you to places and ideas that you might not have thought of on your own and the deals are well worth the money, in my experience.