How to Get Back Into Couponing After Burnout

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You may have read my post from a few weeks ago, I Hate Couponing. The post really resonated with countless (and I mean countless) of you. Apparently, I’m not the only person who has a love/hate relationship with couponing! Many of you said that you did not enjoy couponing BUT you had to get back into it due to tight finances. And this post is for you! This post is for every person who is currently taking time off from couponing and is trying to figure out how to get back into couponing without getting burnt out again.  Or, if you are on a tight budget and need to save money at the grocery store, but don’t know where to start, this post will help you too.

Steps to Get Back Into Couponing After Burnout

1) Start Slowly. First, try to focus on buying what’s on sale and do not worry about coupons. And let me be even more specific – don’t buy everything that’s on sale at every single store just because it is on sale. Instead, buy groceries that are on sale (that your family likes and will use)  at one store and begin planning the meals you cook each week’s meals based on what is on sale at that one store. Specifically focus on Buy One Get One Free sales or 50% off sales!

Did you notice how I’m stressing that you need to shop at just one store? I can’t tell you how many readers get super excited about couponing and then decide to shop at two drugstores, one grocery store and one super center each week. Let me be very specific with you – STOP doing that. :) You will get burnt out if you are driving all over trying to take advantage of all of the deals available. Focus on one store and don’t get distracted by the other stores.

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2) Start Using Ibotta. I went back and forth between having this as your second step and having this as one of your last steps. Finally, I decided that because Ibotta is SO easy to use, as you are getting back into couponing, I want you to use this before you use a single coupon. Don’t forget, the goal is to NOT get burnt out again. Ibotta is a phone app. The way it works is when you purchase certain items, you get paid cash. We can get paid on purchasing specific items by specific brands as well as non-brand specific items like fresh apples or bagged lettuce or a jar of red sauce. If you haven’t signed up for Ibotta, go HERE to sign up. Download the app to your phone and browse through it to see all of the current offers.

What I do every week is once I get home from the grocery store, I scan the items onto the Ibotta app that have Ibotta offers and then take a picture of my receipt (while on my Ibotta app). Within a few hours, Ibotta will pay me. You can cash out after you have reached a minimum balance of $20.00. I have been paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars from Ibotta doing just this. It’s truly so simple.

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3) Start Printing Coupons. Once you find that you easily are able to cook based on what is on sale each week, start printing coupons to use on the groceries you are buying. My favorite website for printable coupons is HERE. Now. Remember we want to avoid burnout. So don’t print every single coupon. Only print the coupons on products that your family likes.

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4) Pay Attention to Coupon Matchups. Since you are already buying what is on sale, your next step is to combine the printable coupons you’ve printed with the sales. Don’t forget that I have coupon matchups for countless stores here on Addicted to Saving. (Go HERE to see all of the stores I highlight.) These coupon matchups list everything that is on sale as well as all of the available coupons you can use. And if there are printable coupons you can use, I give you the links to the coupons. The grocery lists are even printable so you can print out all of the groceries that you want to buy!

5) Start buying the Sunday newspaper. I’m no longer a huge fan of the Sunday paper mainly because where I live (Tampa Bay), the Red Plum insert no longer comes in our Sunday papers. So, while those of you who live elsewhere will get lots of coupon inserts most Sundays, I’m often short coupon inserts. But if you are at this point in your couponing journey, you should start buying newspapers. I recommend buying two papers a week. Why two? That way when there is a Buy One Get One Free sale, you can use two coupons on the two items on sale. This will instantly save you well over 50%! :)

6) Use Your Store’s Loyalty Card. If your store has an online coupon system that connects to a store loyalty card, use it! It is an easy way to save at the checkout counter just by scanning your card (or if you shop at Publix, by giving your phone #.)

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7) Begin to Stockpile. I know I know. You read this an your insides got a little queasy. I’m not telling you to go crazy stockpiling. But I am telling you that if you find an awesome deal on pasta sauce, buy 4 jars of it instead of one or two. I don’t have a magic number for you for stockpiling either. As you get really comfortable couponing, my general rule of thumb is to have enough food to last you a couple of months in your stockpile. That said, always pay attention to expiration dates.  It’s not worth it to buy 3, 4, 5 months worth of food if it expires in just a few weeks. 😉

Lastly, Take a Deep Breath and Have Fun. If you are spending hours and hours getting ready to go shopping each week then you are doing something wrong. If you are going through printer ink and printer paper every month because you are printing so many coupons then you are printing too many.

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Take Control of Your Finances w/ the #onUp Movement and SunTrust

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onUp Movement and SunTrust

Have you heard of the onUp Movement and SunTrust? SunTrust to inspire us to take control of our finances so that we can pursue a life well spent. Tell me, do you find yourself dealing with any of these issues?

  • Over 70% of Americans are financially stressed
  • 12% of Americans skip going to the doctor because of financial concerns
  • 80% of people admitted that their personal finances keep them awake at night
  • 21% of couples who rate their financial stress as at least “somewhat high” are arguing more
  • 32% of adults say their finances keep them from living a healthy lifestyle

I don’t know about you, but many of the issues above I struggle with. If you had to label either myself or my hubby the analytical worrier, I would win the award. There are many times when I review our finances and stress out. The fear of the unknown (what if we need a new roof, what if our AC dies, what if we don’t get approved for adoption grants) can cause me to lose sleep. My worry doesn’t do anything to “fix” our problem. It just causes stress which causes health issues. If I had to tell you which of the issues above we deal with the most, it is that our finances keep us from living a healthy lifestyle. I SO wish we had the finances so that I could go to our acupuncturist again and also so that I could go to my chiropractor whenever I want. But instead, I will often avoid going to the chiropractor because I know that I only have a few more sessions that we’ve already paid for. And I know that once those run out, I will be given a bill that will not fit our budget. To combat this problem, hubby and I have an HSA and will slowly deposit money into the account. That way, we have money to put towards unexpected (and expected) medical bills.

SunTrust is launching a national movement to inspire millions of Americans to take control of their finances and gain financial confidence so they can pursue a life well spent. SunTrust wants us to talk more about money and to take more control of our finances. They have launced the onUp Movement. It’s a movement of optimism to encourage all of us to take control of our finances so that we can focus on the moments that matter in life instead of wasting time and energy on financial stress. SunTrust’s goal is to have 5 million people take the pledge at onup.com, join the movement, and make the commitment to get control of their finances, and gain financial confidence so that they can pursue a life well spent! Will you join the movement? Head HERE for more information and begin to take charge of your finances!

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you.

The onUp movement was created to guide millions of people one step at a time towards a more financially confident life without ever losing sight of the moments that matter along the way.

Join the growing number of people transforming their stress into positive motivation to move onUp.

Join the movement

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.

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I Hate Couponing

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You know the feeling. The burnout. The feeling of dread when you know you have to go to the store but realize you haven’t cut out your coupons yet. The anticipation of receiving your Sunday newspaper to get caught up on the news only to remember that along with the paper comes coupons that you are supposed to save, use and NOT just place in the recycle bin. The feeling of guilt after leaving the grocery store knowing you didn’t use any coupons. You are burnt out.

I’ve been couponing for 8+ years now. Through the years I’ve had periods of time where I’ve loved everything about couponing – I’ve loved the highs of getting awesome deals (that felt more like “steals”), overflowing stockpiles, and finding those amazing deals where you know you will never get a better one (I mean really, can you beat getting paid to take home toothpaste by CVS?). But along with those highs, I’ve also had some lows. The moments where exhaustion from parenting, working full-time and trying to maintain a home have overcome me and instead of shopping with coupons, I have skipped shopping entirely because I didn’t want to feel the self-imposed guilt from knowing I spent full price. I’ve also been so frustrated that Tampa, Florida no longer gets Red Plum inserts that I’ve wanted to kick, scream and throw a tantrum while at the same giving up on couponing entirely. The highs are always fun. But the lows are always just as disappointing and frustrating.

Through my years running this blog, I’ve had countless friends give me excuses as to why they don’t coupon.

Some say “I only buy organic food.” (and then I look in their shopping cart and see non-organic ice cream, cake mix and chips…). 

Others says “I don’t have the time.” (and then I see them commenting on Facebook all.day.long which leads me to think they do have time – they just use it on other endeavors.)

While others will say “I don’t know how to use coupons.” (and then I feel bad because it’s my job to help them learn how to use coupons and obviously, it’s my fault they are confused.)

But the truly honest will say “I hate couponing.” And to you, I want to tell you that it is OKAY for you to hate couponing.

If you are someone who experiences the highs and lows of couponing like me, when you get sick of couponing and find that it is more of a frustrating chore than an empowering endeavor, TAKE TIME OFF. Stop buying Sunday papers (Yep – I said that). Save your ink and computer paper and stop printing coupons. Go ahead and pay full price without paying attention to what is on sale for a couple weeks. And then, once you feel ready to start saving money again, ease back into couponing slowly. The world will not stop if you take time off from couponing.

If you are burnt out, examine how much time you spend couponing. You should not be spending hours and hours each week getting ready to shop. (Unless you are a frugal blogger like me in which case every minute of the day is spent looking at coupons and online deals 😉 )

When your grocery store’s sales flier comes out, flip through it and buy what’s on sale. If you need something that isn’t on sale and it’s urgent (i.e. bath tissue), buy it full price. (Yep – I said that too.) If you need something but have enough to last you a week or two, hold off paying full price and wait to see if it goes on sale. Then buy it.

Then, slowly integrate coupons back into your life. Start with printable coupons. I’ve found that within the past year, 75% of the coupons I use are printables. Honestly, if I stopped buying the Sunday paper, I probably wouldn’t miss many deals (especially since I no longer get Red Plum inserts being that I live in Tampa.)

I post high value coupons daily. Head HERE to bookmark my High Value Coupons page and once you are ready to start using coupons, follow this page. And once you are ready to buy what’s on sale, head HERE to see if I post your local grocery store’s coupon matchups. I try to do all of the hard work for you.

If you are saying “I hate couponing”, take time off to regroup. Once you are ready to start couponing again, it will be fun and you will once again be empowered as you save money that you can put towards debt, savings or luxury items. Couponing should be enjoyable. Not another job. Let’s be honest, we all have a lot of jobs already don’t we?

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Ends Tonight: Enter to Win a Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 Windows 10 Tablet

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Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 Windows 10 Tablet review

Do not miss this awesome giveaway! It ends tonight! Have you heard of the new Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 Windows 10 Tablet? When I was emailed and asked if I wanted to type up a Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 Windows 10 Tablet review on Addicted to Saving AND give away one of them to my readers, I jumped at it! (The giveaway is at the bottom of this post) I know that so many of you are looking for tablets to give a Christmas presents (or to give as a gift to yourself 😉 ) and I wanted to learn more about this tablet and then show you! This tablet is conveniently sold at Walmart – head HERE to check it out!

nextbook-box

When you open the box of the tablet, you will immediately think of it as a small laptop. It comes neatly packaged in the box and there are not a lot of loose pieces floating around which means the set up should be easy. (And it was!)

The Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 Windows tablet features both a touchscreen and detachable POGO keyboard. The new Nextbook Flexx 10 ships with the Windows 10 operating system, and includes a free subscription to Office Mobile, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote apps that are built for Windows tablets and designed for work on the go. Once you charge it (mine was pretty much fully charged when I opened the box), you will want to connect it to your wifi. And from there, it’s ready to go!

nextbook
The first website I wanted to go to to test out the tablet was of course, my own! Addicted to Saving looked great on the  Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 Windows 10 Tablet and even more importantly, it was very easy to navigate throughout my website using both the keyboard AND the touchscreen when I removed the detachable keyboard. The keyboard is smaller than many typical laptop keyboards but the keys were still large enough that I was able to type quickly without any typos.

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Above is a picture of the  Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 Windows 10 Tablet after I detached the keyboard. You can see that the keyboard appears on the actual tablet and the buttons are nice and easy to type on.

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One of the common concerns I hear from readers about tablets is that they won’t be able to read their Kindle books on it. With the  Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 Windows 10 Tablet you can download the Kindle app (it took me about 20 seconds to download) and then immediately have access to all of your Kindle books.

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As I’ve been testing this tablet out, I’ve loved using it just to browse the internet. I’m so used to only using my laptop for blogging and other work related things (which honestly, are stressful a lot of the time). So I enjoyed relaxing and reading non-frugal related articles on the internet with it! :)

nextbook-netflix

After browsing the internet a bit, I downloaded the Netflix app to check out the video quality. While my picture above doesn’t do it justice (it’s tricky to take pictures of screens without seeing yourself in the reflection), the upload speed was fast for Netflix and I was very quickly able to submerge myself in a cheesy and yet heart-felt Christmas movie.

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So what are my thoughts? I have only used this  Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 Windows 10 Tablet for about 5 days now but I love it. I can blog on it and they keyboard is extremely friendly for people like me who type really fast. From a blogging standpoint, most tablets I am unable to actually work on. While I may be able to respond to emails or approve a comment here or there, I can’t blog. With this, I can easily navigate through wordpress and blog. The size and weight of this tablet are perfect to fit in my purse and I love knowing that I can work while out and about!

And now for the giveaway! One lucky Addicted to Saving reader will win this Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 Windows 10 Tablet! To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter below. Or, if you are on your phone, head HERE to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you don’t miss ANY deals on toys, games, electronics and more! Join Addicted to Saving’s Holiday Deals Facebook group and stay on top of all of the latest deals! And, don’t miss my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide to see all of the gift ideas I am loving this year!

This post is sponsored by Nextbook but as always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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What The Holidays Mean to Us

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Isn’t it amazing how in the blink of an eye, a year will fly by? Throughout the year there are the hard days that seem to go by minute by minute, second by second. But before we know it, the hard days are over and time is flying again at the speed of light. Christmastime feels that way for me. Before becoming parents, there were a few years where hubby and I didn’t put up a tree or decorate – not because we were anti-Christmas – but because we were so busy with my blogging schedule and his work responsibilities that by the time we had a free minute, we were just days away from Christmas and we would decide not to decorate.

Now, as parents to a very aware 3 year old, who is very excited about Christmas, I was ready to start decorating the day after Halloween! But life and busyness kept us distracted until a few days after Cyber Monday when my hubby went into the attic and pulled out our Christmas tree and our boxes of decorations. Slowly and steadily we have decorated a little bit every day since. And we’ve been listening to Christmas music since Thanksgiving. I love that my son has taken to singing songs like Away in the Manger and Silent Night.

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As we are getting closer and closer to Christmas we have also been steadily revising and compromising how we are going to handle gift giving. From a financial standpoint, I have been watching our bank accounts closely and trying to figure out just how much money to put towards gifts. I love the image of a beautiful Christmas tree and abounding presents underneath it as children giddily opening the presents on Christmas morning. But you may have read my recent blog post Thoughts on Ethiopia and Giving and if you did, you know that I’m wrestling with how to handle gifts after all that I saw while in Ethiopia.

I posed the question to my Facebook friends asking how to they give gifts when they are trying to be intentional about removing consumerism, gift expectations and gift giving chaos on Christmas. I know that if I give my son 20 presents, he is not going to remember all 20 presents that I gave him. And chances are, he’s going to expect that he will receive lots and lots of presents each year. So as a family, we are trying to figure out what works best for us. (I realize that what works for us won’t necessarily work for every family – and that’s ok! :) )

Some of my friends gave me the great idea of giving four gifts: Something you want, Something you need,
Something to wear and Something to read. I LOVE this concept. While I already have a few more gifts for my son than just those four categories, I’m sticking much closer to those four categories this year and maybe next year we will be even more diligent about it. In addition to those four gifts, we are doing a surprise gift (okay – two or three) and we are doing family related presents. So family games, family activities, family books.. basically, anything that we can do to promote family time.

Already, knowing that I have these four categories to follow (want, need, wear and read), I feel a huge weight off my shoulders. It gives us much more awareness and purpose to each gift that we give and it also helps us stay focused and prevents us from spending more money than we need to.

SunTrust’s purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. They want us to have the resources, tips, and tools you need to feel confident and in control of your finances. Having some financial breathing room (especially during this holiday season) gives you that confidence and control so you can save for your goals & splurge knowingly on what matters most to you. SunTrust has a resource center you can visit that has tools, tips and calculators available to help you stay within a budget, pay down debt and put money into savings. Head HERE to see SunTrust’s budget guide and HERE to see their holiday planning guide.

This year, because we are being more intentional with presents, we will be saving more money. Did you know that according to the National Retail Federation, the average American planned to spend about $800 celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas and/or Kwanzaa? Think about it, how much money do you spend each year? Do you overspend? Do you stay within a budget? We are doing our best to stay within a tight budget.

suntrust-rudolph

This year we are being more intentional about family. Gifts are fun. But we are diligently spending focused time with our son (not always the easiest when your child is a busy 3 year old). Every night we read our advent book with our son and afterwards he opens up the door to his advent calendar. It’s a very simple family tradition we started this year that I am hoping we can carry on through the years.We are watching Christmas movies (can I tell you how thrilled I am that my son loves Rudolph as much as I do!) and reading Bible stories focused on the birth of Jesus. We are doing all that we can to focus on the meaning of Christmas while spending quality family time together.

And this year we are being more intentional about making memories. I am very much looking forward to a few days before Christmas when I will stop working (or just work a couple of hours each day) and just play with my son as we get excited for Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day.

How do you make the holidays more than just about the gifts? Share what #HolidayMeans for you and your family! There is no right answer – each family has their own traditions and thoughts on what works best. I would love to hear your thoughts!

The holidays are for focusing on moments that matter. But for many Americans, financial stress can get in the way. This year, you can make small changes that make a big difference for your financial well-being.

In this holiday planning guide, you’ll find tips for getting organized and making a plan for holiday spending so you can feel confident in your ability to stay on track with your budget. You’ll see how other Americans are shopping, traveling, celebrating and giving in ways that make the holidays cost less, but mean more.

Download Guide

For more holiday planning advice visit holiday resources

Meaningful spending made easy with a budgeting tool to help you make a plan and stay on track with your holiday spending. Download here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.

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How to Save on Black Friday

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Make sure you don’t miss ANY deals on toys, games, electronics and more! Join Addicted to Saving’s Holiday Deals Facebook group and stay on top of all of the latest deals! And, don’t miss my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide to see all of the gift ideas I am loving this year!

ACK! Black Friday is almost here! Can you believe it? This is the absolute busiest time of year for me from a blogging standpoint. I’m constantly updating my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide, posting regular grocery store and drugstore deals as well as posting as many gift deals as I can find. In the midst of my work schedule, I will take the time to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Do you go shopping on Black Friday? I know many of you do. Personally, I will not be stepping foot in any stores on Black Friday.  Instead, I will be sitting online all day Black Friday and all day Cyber Monday posting deals on Addicted to Saving for all of you.  But if you ARE planning on heading out in the chaos known as Black Friday, I have some tips for you to make your day smooth AND frugal.

1) Make a Plan

Don’t go into your Black Friday shopping frenzy without a plan. Most stores will offer their sale ads online days before Thanksgiving, and we will be posting Black Friday ads as soon as they come available here on Addicted to Saving. We also have a Black Friday Category and a Black Friday Page that we will be updating as the ads/deals come available, so bookmark the page in your browser for easy access.  Of course, you can grab a newspaper and plan your strategy after your Thanksgiving meal if you prefer. Either way, you need a plan.  Saving money doesn’t just magically happen!  Decide which bargains you want to go for then make a plan to make it happen. You will need to decide which stores you want to shop at and make a list of the items you want to buy at each store. Decide in which order you will go to which store.

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2) Make a List & Stick To It

Don’t rely upon your memory — Black Friday will be stressful, confusing, and very busy. Write down your list of items at each store, or print the deals you really want from the Black Friday Ads in the Black Friday PageIf you veer from your list, you will end up spending more money than planned. And let’s be honest, on Black Friday it’s really easy to just pull our credit card out and buy everything we see because we automatically assume they are good deals. That isn’t always the case. So stick to your list and don’t get distracted by the bright shiny sale signs.

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3) Set Your Budget

I can’t tell you how important this is. While I will find you plenty of wonderful Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, you shouldn’t buy something just because it’s a deal!  Make a budget for how much you want to spend during your Black Friday excursion and stick to it. Will you be paying cash, writing checks, or using debit and credit cards? Decide ahead of time how much money you want to spend and how you want to spend it. I discourage credit card shopping as much as possible, unless you are in a financial position where you are 100% comfortable that you will pay it off in full the next billing cycle.  As you make your shopping list, note how many you need of each item. And keep in mind that some stores may impose limits on their best deals.

4) Bring a Friend

To make your Black Friday shopping a success, you may need to call in the troops. Enlist fellow savers in your shopping spree master-schedule. Will you be taking the whole family? Will you be shopping with friends? Put your heads together as you plan your strategy. If there are five shoppers in your group and five stores that you all want to shop at, make out your lists then split them up. Instead of each of you having your list of items from five different stores, send one person to one store with everyone’s list for that particular store.

5) Use Your Cell Phones

If you are shopping with a group, be sure to make use of your cell phones to communicate while you are shopping. Keep each other posted about your whereabouts and what items you have managed to snag so there are not unnecessary duplicates.

6) Shop Online

Since I’m online all the time anyhow trying to find deals for you all (and myself!), I’m more of an online kind of Black Friday shopper. Join my Holiday Deals group on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and set up your Twitter account to get a text every time I post a deal. Then turn it off once the Holiday Shopping season is over (or keep it on to get year round deals!)  😉  See my post HERE about how to turn on Text Alerts on your twitter account.  Both of these ways are excellent ways to stay on top of the latest deals.

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7)  Find out Return Policies and KEEP your receipts.

8) Realize that Black Friday sales are not always good deals. 

There was one year  when my husband and I decided to get up early like so many of you do on Black Friday. We left the house around 4:00 a.m. and were in line at Best Buy before the doors opened.  When the doors opened, we went crazy piling junk into our cart.  Why do I say junk? Because we had NO reason to be buying all of the stuff we bought! We got caught up in the frenzy and found ourselves buying things we didn’t need.  This brings me back to my first two tips Make a Plan and then Make a List and Stick to it! 😉

Make sure you join the group Holiday Gift Ideas for Less to insure you don’t miss any deals. 

Fraudulent $100 Publix Coupon

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Fraudulent $100 Publix Coupon
Publix shoppers – by now you may have seen the $100 off $120+ Publix coupon floating around on Facebook. If you haven’t seen this coupon, let me start off by telling you it is fraudulent. Last night Publix released a statement confirming that the coupon is in fact fraudulent and that the coupon is not valid at any of their locations. I would go so far as to recommend you not click on the coupon and especially do not give your email address (as pictured below) because I promise you that if you supply your info, you will begin getting lots and lots of junk email.

screenshot-publix

Fox 13 came over today to talk to me about the coupon. It’s tough for me because when I saw all of the Facebook statuses showing the coupon yesterday, I wasn’t tempted to click on it. I knew right away that it was bogus. But that said, many of my honest friends were innocently posting it thinking that it was legitimate.

If you were someone who thought the coupon was legitimate, I wanted to give you a few tips as to how to differentiate bogus coupons from legitimate coupons.

First – if a coupon looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you find a printable coupon for a free product or a high value dollar off coupon (example: $10.00 off diapers, $100 off groceries, etc), it most likely is too good to be true. Before clicking on the coupon, go directly to the brand or store’s webpage and see if the offer is there. If it is, then it may in fact be real. But 99 times out of 100, you will find that the coupon is bogus.

Second – a reliable place to find coupons is the coupon inserts in the Sunday paper. If you prefer to print out your coupons, reliable sources are Coupons.com, Smartsource.com, Target.com and Redplum.com.

Thirdly – don’t buy coupons online. If you go on ebay, you can find coupons for free products like Free Doritos, Free Huggies Diapers, Free Coca-Cola 12 packs, etc. The coupons will be pictured on ebay and may look real. But 99 times out of 100 they are not real. And when you go to the store to use them, the store will not accept your coupons. Or, the store will lose money if they do accept your coupons.

For me, couponing is a tangible way for me to help financially support my family by saving money at grocery and drugstores each week. I save hundreds of dollars each month using coupons and we can use that money towards bills/savings/etc. I am able to save hundreds of dollars and I don’t use bogus coupons. So I want to encourage you! If you focus on use legitimate coupons, you too can save hundreds of dollars.

If you have any questions about the legitimacy of coupons, leave a comment! I would love to answer your questions!

 

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Back to the Start

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screenshot(This was Addicted to Saving’s “look” in 2009)

When I started Addicted to Saving back in 2009, I really didn’t expect it to grow much. In fact, that wasn’t my intent. I was just trying to help some of my friends save money and I thought that typing up some of the things I had learned would be easier and less time consuming than helping each friend individually over the phone or via email.

At some point, Addicted to Saving started growing. And growing and growing. It became a part-time business. Then a full-time business. Then hubby stopped working at his job and he helped me on Addicted to Saving. We worked 10 hour days 6 days a week. We took one vacation during 7 years. It was a crazy time for us.

The website opened many doors for me and challenged me in ways that I did not expect. It allowed for me to become more confident in front of the camera. There was a couple of years when I had one or two TV interview almost monthly. It even allowed for me to learn how to speak from a teleprompter when I “hosted” a savings segment on Daytime. It also forced me to grow thick skin. For every 10 wonderful comments and emails I received, I would receive at least 1 or 2 that were harsh, rude and sometimes just mean. I’ve since learned that the delete button is my best friend and I have no problem deleting a rude email. That’s maturity for you.

During all of this time, as a family, we also worked on growing our family via adoption. Many of you were along for the ride as we experienced the highs and devastating lows of adoption. You were excited with us and encouraged us as we brought our son Asher home in August 2013. And you’ve watched him grow into a fun, busy toddler.

screenshot(This was Addicted to Saving’s “look” in 2011)

Through it all, Addicted to Saving has continued on. And it will STILL continue on. However, the traffic on it has slowed. And my work has slowed. I’m not able to work 10 hour days anymore. While I still have the same work ethic as before, being a stay at home mom with a 2.5 year old just does not allow me to be glued to the computer like I was before being a mom. Balance has become the new norm. It was difficult to learn at first but now it is definitely refreshing to turn my laptop off throughout the day.

All this to say, with the slowing of Addicted to Saving’s traffic, I’ve considered all options for it. And I’ve decided, I’m going to continue working it. I love it and I love helping people save money. I have a great gal helping me continue to work on it which frees up some of my time. However, I am going to weed back on some of the deals that I post.

screenshot(Addicted to Saving’s “current” look.)

When I started this blog, it was a “local” Tampa Bay blog. As it grew, I posted more state specific stores across the nation. Because I no longer have the time or manpower to devote to posting deals for state specific stores across the country, I’m going to focus on nation-wide stores like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, dollar stores and Whole Foods. And I’m going to focus on the Tampa Bay stores that I shop at which are Publix and Winn-Dixie. Since I love shopping online (who doesn’t), I will still continue to post online deals. And I am officially addicted to craziness of working 14 hour days over Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. So that won’t change.

I’m also going to add more articles on ways to save, things I’ve learned while adopting, ways to eat healthier, navigating life with a busy toddler, etc. My life is so much more than just saving money and I would love to share all of the things I’ve learned through the years (both the good and the bad) and also get advice from all of you!

And I need your help! If you are shopping and find an amazing deal, or if you know of a deal that I haven’t posted, please email me or leave a comment on this blog.

So bear with me as I start to make some small changes here and there. Thank you for taking this journey with me the past six years! I look forward to seeing what the future bring!

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