I’ve been into couponing for about 3 years now.  I started in AZ when I wondered if we should pay rent or buy groceries.  I often found myself in conversations about coupons with ward members and discovered A redeeming quality about Phoenix AZ.  It’s super coupon friendly.  After ordering the Sunday paper, asking 5 million questions and using trial and error, after about 6 months, I knew what I was doing and felt like the extreme couponers on TV.  It was amazing!  I had a teacher friend who got papers for her 2nd graders.  2nd graders DO NOT need Sunday coupons, so she gave me 6 of her inserts.  I felt very blessed.  I started shopping differently and cooking differently, and donating a lot of food to the food bank while spending very little out of pocket.

While I still love coupons and using them, I would have to say that I’m quite underwhelmed by the utility of coupons in KC.  The environment here is different in that regard.  Where Fry’s (local grocery store) sometimes would triple coupons or round .55 coupons up to a dollar in AZ, a .55 coupon is a .55 coupon here.  No triple coupons here etc. 

Do I still use coupons?  Yes!  However, the best way to start stockpiling food and household items here is to shop strategically.  Price match.  Buy generic-when it’s a good deal.  Buy alot when it’s on sale.  Use printable coupons.  Play the drugstore game.  Get the Sunday paper.  (an introductory offer should cost you about $30/6 months).  When your introductory offer expires, see what the KC star is offering you to renew it and evaluate if it’s worth it.  Oftentimes, it’s expensive ($90 for 6 months/WHAT????).  I would NEVER pay $90 for the paper.  I think I might have even seen that you can get a copy at the dollar tree for $1.  (follow up on that lead and let me know if that’s true!)  Find out if your neighbors friends use their coupons.  Look for ways to get coupons other than the paper.  Oftentimes, one can sign up for P&G home mailers with some great coupons.  Check out deal blogs for deals (see next post for some of my favorite).

Shopping strategically is far more than being a coupon shopper.  Coupons are great but in the area-the appeal has it’s limits.