Sunday, January 31, 2010

Learning to be a Couponista

In my quest to be a Frugalista, I am now learning to be a Couponista. I found a local blogger who blogs solely about coupons.  Because she is taking about the stores I am familiar with I can follow her instructions.  Kim from Puget Sound Prudence is my new Couponista mentor.

I found out there is a whole language to learn when couponing.  I am still looking for a good key to all the initials they use to describe different kinds of coupons.  I saw reference to a Catalina coupon the other day and thought it must be something I would have to go to California for.  I sent her an email asking what Catalina coupons were and she responded by posting this article What Are Catalina Coupons. I suggest you go and check out this link to read up on Catalinas.  I had been getting them all the time and frankly did not even look at them most of the time.

Yesterday, I did a bit of homework and thought I would give her method a try.  I saw there was a special running on Pillsbury refrigerator rolls.  Now I am working on baking my own bread and moving toward whole wheat products and buying local, BUT, I do slip once in a while and like a fast easy hot gooey cinnamon rolls or flaky rolls with a bowl of homemade soup.  Bingo I was motivated.

First, I went to the Pillsbury website.  There are all sorts of interesting things there like recipes and coupons.  I downloaded the coupons and made two copies.  Fred Meyers, a local grocery and department type one-stop-shopping store, was offering Pillsbury rolls 2 for $3.  Usually they are $1.99 apiece.  Right there I would have saved $1 buying two.  I had coupons $1 off when you buy two.  So buy buying four, using the coupons they cost me $1 a piece which saved $4.  At the cash register, I was given a Catalina coupon for $4 off my next purchase.  The four packages of rolls were will in effect be free when I make my next purchase on anything in the store!!!!  You know FREE is my favorite word.

I did the same transaction for my Mother who was with me.  She was confused till I showed her the receipt and spelled it all out.  Now she is going to look for coupons for me in the newspaper.  She gets the paper and I don't.  I might begin to get the Sunday paper at the local Dollar Store because they sell it for $1.  I think it will make a good investment.

While I was standing and ogling the cheese, a woman began to talk with me.  She is a seasoned Couponista and had a well organized coupon holder that was color coded and full of coupons.  We were looking for the same offer from Kraft.  She said since the store was out of the Kraft cheese we were looking for, to go and ask for a store rain check and come back later on in the week when they are stocked up again.  I will end up getting two packages of Kraft cheese for $.75 each.  Ann, the Couponista, gave me a few tips and I told her about the new blog I was using.  She asked for the URL and I wrote it out on the back of a receipt for her (free paper) and shared my blog address with her.  I hope she will contact me and we can share coupon lore with one another.  It would be fun to make a new friend and learn another way to save pennies.  It is like finding a new hobby!  It would be especially nice to find someone local so we can share local bargain tips and be able to run out and make the best of sales.  I found a coupon holder in my stash of stuff and will begin to sort and organize my collection of coupons today.

I am aware that coupons are only useful if you use the product and won't buy items just because I can get them free.  Ann did share with me that sometimes she does get the free or very low cost items and then donates them to the local women's shelter!  What a wonderful suggestion.

So here I am writing this posting while my Cinnabons cook in the oven.  I can smell the yummy sweet aroma and my mouth is watering for a Cinnabon roll.  Mister T, the Chairman and Founder of The Frugal Fraulein Fan Club was distressed that the shopping bag did not have a new toy.  But, now he is sitting her in my lap drooling over the smell coming from the kitchen.  I will have to share my breakfast with him.  Just think if you were here I would invite you over coffee (a free package of Geneva coffee that came in the mail) and a cinnamon roll.  All for freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

P.S.  The rolls were yummy!  I ate 1 1/2 rolls and Mister T ate the other half and begged for more.  The coffee was delicious too.  Geneva has an offer that if you give them $10 they will give you a coffee maker to keep and some coffee to try out.  If you do not like the coffee or do not wish to sign up for their delivery service you cancel and keep the coffee maker.  Pretty good deal for a little effort and the coffee tastes pretty darn good.  


razr said...

Thank you for the couponista info....I never knew till now what they were either.... Will try to get better with the coupons and have found someone to help me with a pressure canner as per your suggestion to ( afraid of pressure cookers) Thank you so much Connie

Anonymous said...

send on this way - everyone is doing cinammon rolls, a FB frient made some. what does the Frugel Canner know about gluten free recipes?

The Frugal Fraulein said...

Yikes I don't have experience with gluten free sorry about that.
I recognize many have allergies and it is becoming more prevalent. I wonder if it has to do with genetic modification of wheat and the chemicals used now a days. Our bodies way of telling us the wheat is no longer good for us. I have not gone gluten free as a test to see if I feel better. One of these days I will try it.