Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Haven't Bought Shampoo in Six Years

It's true. And not only have I not bought shampoo, but add to the list toothpaste, deodorant, Tylenol, body wash, cold and allergy medicine, band-aids, razors, and most of my makeup.

Now before you think I have waaaaaaaaay more issues than I do: I actually use these products. It's just that I've gotten them for free for years now.

A typical weekly free haul

It's because I coupon *gasp*. I should also clear up that I am not "one of those" like on TLC's Extreme Couponing. I don't have 423 packages of Raman noodles in my basement or 109 stacks of toilet paper in my daughter's room. I also do not check out at the grocery store with a skid. (Although when some of those women leave the market with 23 free dark chocolate bars I do think twice).

It started when a co-worker and I discovered The Grocery Game. She happened to be a dietitian and a cheapskate thrifty like me and convinced me that it worked. I started shopping at Meijer in Michigan (oh, how I miss you) and would save anywhere from 65-75% of my grocery bill.

Then I discovered Hip2Save, a coupon and savings blog that is uh-maze-ing.  I watch the blog daily to find deals. I score a ton of free samples and often purchase designer items for 5-10% of the price.

Most of my deals come from local drug stores. I remember my first trip to CVS. "You spent $43 at CVS?!" Jamy was in disbelief. You see the idea at these stores is to spend money on things you can actually make money back on (through a store savings plan that gives you credit). BUT, the next week he was a believer when I got $258 worth of products, didn't spend a cent, and had $53 to spend next time. We've essentially been living off of that first $43 for 6 years now for most of our health and beauty products (even my makeup).

But are you one of those who spends 40+ hours a week couponing? Are. you. kidding. me? No way.  I spend about 15 minutes a week going over weekly deals and cutting coupons from the Sunday paper or internet. And I check Hip2Save daily. My goal is to save at least 50% off our grocery bill each week (it's so sad that after moving to KC the grocery stores don't offer half the deals Michigan did).

The truth is, I love deals. I'm one of those women that when you say, "I love that dress!" I'll say, "Thanks - I scored it for $4.23!" True story by the way.
$4.23.  (Originally $123)  For real.
But maybe someday it will get out of hand and you'll see me on TLC stocking up on cat food...


  1. I'm so inspired. This will have to come up tomorrow. :) LOVE it!

  2. i'm so impressed. i need to learn how you do this.

  3. you are amazing. i used to do this. used to. LOL. but it was awesome. this is jami not nato

  4. I love this post for so many reasons, including the fact that I was a part of the original coupon plan!!! In our house, our motto is "only suckers pay full price" and I apply it for EVERYTHING!!! Going out to eat? Use a groupon. Need to by something online? Better buy it when you get an awesome email deal, use and there better be free shipping!

    I am sad to report that Meijer's awesome deals have gone downhill in the last year or so and I've resorted to occasionally hitting up Family Fare for special deals. But Michigan's couponers sure do miss you!

  5. Jody - I'm so glad you read this! Fond memories of scheming in my office.

    1. And while you credit me to your couponing, I credit YOU for my etsy business, which has been booming in the last year or so!!! I never knew about etsy until you told me :)


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