Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Long Overdue Catwoman Changes Your Life Post

So I didn't share my secrets in my post about how I've been saving money.

And the comments and the crazy number of emails I received were pretty pissy about how I teased you all with all my free stuff and didn't share.

Which hello? How long have you guys been reading me? I'm a bitch residing in a post-baby body. You're just figuring this out now?

It's not that I'm a bitch though, it's mostly, I didn't want to write a post that seemed like a commercial for a paying site.

But since you guys are mad at me, fine. I'll tell you my secret.

So first? If you guys aren't getting the Sunday paper? The one with all the coupons? Start getting it.

If you are getting it? Start buying a second one. Trust me, the small investment of two bucks will save you loads of money each week.

Second? Start stealing folders or large envelopes from work. Or just go buy a pack at a store. Also worth the investment.

Now, every week, you'll grab a large envelope (I recommend an envelope instead of a folder, stuff less likely to fall out and stuff) and write that Sunday's date on the front. Now stick the flyers of coupons in the envelope. Do not cut them out. (once again, trust me and the system, will ya? I'm a professional, people).

Next, go to The Grocery Game. Spend the dollar to get the 4-week trial. Seriously, trust me, it's worth the dollar. And it's worth the $1-$2 a week you'll spend for a membership after that. (Side note: feel free to use me as a reference when you sign up, email address is catwoman.in.texas at gmail.com)

Basically, the grocery game is this awesome system that tells you where to buy stuff and when to use your coupons. If it's not on the list, you don't buy it, simple as that.

This past week? Because of the system? I got six bags of free cat treats (sure, my cat will be 19 years old in a month, and this is probably a lifetime supply for her, but hey! FREE!), three bottles of Frank's red hot sauce, deodorant for 50 cents, Ken's salad dressing for 50 cents a bottle (or maybe it was a dollar, hard to remember, it was cheap) and mucho, mucho other things. In fact, I got more than $232 of groceries for just under $100. I'm not making this up. You should see our pantry. Food is falling out of it. Same thing with our freezer.

In fact, I have so much free or dirt cheap (think 20 cents) bottles of shampoo and soaps, that I've started a large grocery bag where I'm putting the excess now. Once the bag is full, I'll be bringing it to the nearest battered woman's shelter for their clients to use. So not only am I getting free stuff for my family? But now, I'm also giving back, something that has me excited.

The Grocery game is your best bet to get started. I'm now past my trial period and am happily paying them $20 for three stores worth of lists. Because holy hell, have they continued to save me a small fortune. No more store brands for my family, becauase literally? The name brands are so much cheaper for me now.

Then there are some other great sites that you should get to know, that will teach you how to get free stuff and cheap stuff at other places.

Here are some of my favorites:

I Heart CVS: I haven't really gotten into the CVS shopping, because it seems the nearest one to me is out of everything even when I show up at opening time on the day the circular deals start (WTF by the way, CVS...), but people swear by it.

I Heart Walgreen's: I've gotten three free rolls of aluminum foil and a year's worth of free shampoo thanks to this site.

For those of you with Rite Aids in your areas? The sites above have a I Heart Rite Aid site linked on their home pages.

The Centsible Sawyer: A great site that'll tell you how to get cheap or free stuff at a number of stores. She does weekly cheap Target, Walmart and many other stores posts. Another great one to start with.

Surviving the Stores:Another one that's now in my blog reader. Today's post has links from other couponing bloggers for stores around the country, so you can probably find your local couponing experts on the post!

The Freebie Blogger:I think this is the site Texas Mama told me about? So thanks Texas Mama! (And if it's not, well, just take the credit for it anyway!) This site is awesome for free promotions! I've downloaded free songs thanks to this site (yesterday? I got Taylor Swift's "Love Story" for free, which made the 13-year old in me very happy. Two weeks ago? If I'd known about it? I could have downloaded Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" for free instead of paying iTunes for it.) Also? I'm now cancelling my Netflix membership, which will save us $10 a month, since there's a redbox free rental code every week on Freebie Blogger, and I'll just rent a fre movie, watch it on Monday night with Sweetie Pie and we'll just Tivo our Monday shows and watch them on Saturday night, our usual movie night.

So there you go. My secrets. I've shared them with you. A few tips for you newbies:

- There are three kinds of coupon flyers: Redplum (also called Vasalias or something like that in other regions), Smart Source and Procter&Gamble. All coupon sites will tell you what coupon to use by listing the coupon flyer by one letter (example: S or SS for Smart Source) and the date, so R 3/15 would tell you to look for the coupon in your Redplum flyer from March 15th. This is why you want to keep your coupon inserts whole and have them in an envelope or folder with the date on them. Some people believe in cutting out all the coupons, sorting them in baseball card holders or coupon organizers, but you know what? I find that I never find any coupons that way, because I can't remember if I've got toilet paper coupons in paper or in toiletries and how the hell do you know what date it's from then? Trust me, do it my way.

- You'll need to figure out your individual store's coupon policy. One of my grocery stores? Only doubles or triples your first coupon for an item. I use the self-check out, so that way I can split my shampoo into two or three transactions if I have multiple coupons for it that I'm using that day. Another one does it for three, so keep an eye on your bill on check out the first time, so that you'll know for the future.

- In Texas, coupons only get doubled to 50 cents. I'm highly jealous of those people in the North East would get coupons doubled up to 99 cents. Do you know how much free stuff I could get then?

- Figure out what produce and meat is on sale where and fill your fridge and freezer the first couple of weeks with the basics like ground beef and chicken. Then plan your menu for the week based on what's on sale. It'll save you mucho, mucho money and you won't have meat in the freezer for two years. You want to use what you buy.

Questions? Post them in the comments, I'm happy to teach you everything I know, young grasshoppers. Unless you start clearing the aisles of my grocery stores because you live near me, and then I'll kick your asses, because I was here first!




susan said...

You still have to have a MNO with me!

Sign up for redbox sms alerts & they'll send you a code for a free night's rental every monday. They post a code on their blog every wednesday for a free night too. Today's code - GTL456

pam said...

Thanks o wise one for sharing. I know you must have soooo much time on your hands to do this for us ;)

Just know that your teaching does not go in vain.

Burgh Baby said...

I think I need more training. You need to just come out here and show me how it's done. I'll even show you my doubles-to-99c grocery store.

Loukia said...

Well I'm just glad you're blogging more now! Still... I want more! ;)

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!