And Then I Went Coupon Crazy

It’s 2 days to move in and there seems to be only one thing on my mind–groceries. As you know, this year we’ll be living in our very own APARTMENT, liberated from the chains of a college meal plan and the monotony it provides (not that UE has terrible food. I always found it pretty tolerable). However, that ALSO means I now have to budget weekly trips to the grocery into my finances, and that is TERRIFYING. I like to sit and watch my money (very slowly) stockpile. SPEND it? On FOOD? Certainly not!

Don’t get me wrong. If there are two things I love, it’s cooking and going to the grocery. I love the possibilities that sing off the shelves, the colors and labels and sights of all the different products sitting there, shouting BUY ME! Maybe that makes me a little bit nuts (and, as my mother puts it, a stay-at-home mom, which made me scoff). But it doesn’t change the fact that I am determined to get the best deals possible. And thus, coupons.

It all began second semester Freshmen year when I chanced upon the show Extreme Couponing. Yes, I chuckled at the work these people put into their coupons, at how uptight they got about them. But there was no laughing at their totals. Those people were saving a TON of money. I vowed that I would use coupons, albeit less extremely, when I began shopping for my own groceries.

And now that time has come. I eagerly typed “coupons” into Google and began skimming through my options to find sites that were easy to use and had coupons that I would be able to use in my grocery trips. My rule was that I wasn’t going to print out a bunch of coupons for things I wouldn’t NORMALLY buy because that isn’t really saving, is it? Instead I scrolled through page after page, clicking the little check marks next to coupons for things like my Shampoo, peanut butter, cleaning supplies, etc. Online coupons are kind of fun because most of the sites run a tally of how much money your coupons are going to save you, and you get to watch it increase with each one you check off. It’s kind of like a game. A saving money game.

Naturally, I had to buy a coupon organizer thingy.

I’m a little skeptical of the ability to just print off deals, but I did my research and the sites I’m using seem legit. Naturally I’ll get back to you all when I’ve actually done the test run on Sunday, but I thought I’d share my favorite coupon-getting sites with you in the meantime. I hope you find them useful and that you get at least a little bit of the insane joy out of printing out coupons that I do.

My very favorite is a little place called shopathome.com. They have listings of grocery coupons from several different sites, which makes it a little easier to go through all that’s out there. It is a little less than user friendly at first, but with a bit of clicking around (go to Grocery coupons, click “get this coupon” on a deal that seems good, and it takes you to the page where you can click through tabs that list coupons on different sites which you can print). Another one I like is redplum.com–you can sign up for a newsletter that will come to your inbox and let you know when new coupons get posted (yay!). I’d also say it’s the most user friendly of the coupon sites I looked at. I also used Smartsource.com, which was pretty handy as well.

Happy couponing, internet people! Next time you hear from me, I’ll be sitting in my apartment at college, surrounded by my groceries and my friends.

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