Saving

Coupon Mom Olympics

I started couponing about eight years ago. My first job out of college paid practically nothing and using coupons provided a way to stretch my budget. Almost everything I learned about coupons back then came from CouponMom.com, so I was excited to have the opportunity to shop in her Coupon Mom Olympics last week.

Six shoppers were given $50 to buy as many groceries as possible for a local charity in less than 30 minutes. I’m by no means an extreme couponer, but I was hoping years of coupon knowledge would help me take home the gold, silver or bronze ($500, $250, $100 Kroger gift cards respectively). My training consisted of asking friends and co-workers for coupons and creating a spreadsheet with my shopping strategy. I was feeling confident until I saw two of my competitors come in with bags and binders full of more coupons than I have used in the past calendar year. And became completely intimidated when they said they got them from going dumpster diving each week.

Maybe I don’t have what it takes to be a coupon champion, but it was fun to pretend that I was on an episode of Supermarket Sweep. After realizing that we could do more than one transaction at the register (something I ordinarily have no patience for), I figured out a last minute deal and only spent about $37. I should have thrown more items into my cart to use up the $50 budget – oh well. While waiting for the rest of the contestants to check out, I sat with another shopper and my shopping assistant (by the way, having a shopping assistant was fantastic) in rocking chairs that were for sale in the middle of the paper goods aisle of the Kroger. They have surprisingly comfortable chairs for a grocery store.

About an hour later the results were announced. I came in 5th place with under $200 in groceries. The gold medal shopper, Ashley, stretched her $50 budget to $700 in groceries for North Fulton Community Charities. Together, all of the shoppers purchased nearly $2,000 in groceries to provide hunger relief in our community. A reporter was there to capture the action for the local news, if you want to see the Coupon Olympics for yourself.

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Birthday freebie emails are starting to hit my inbox, so it’s officially August! Instead of spending the last month of my twenties engrossed in episodes of Big Brother and drinking Sinless Margaritas by the pool, I’m planning on blogging more with updates about tackling my 30 Before 30 list, some money saving tips and other randomness.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this Mint infographic about the high costs of being a single lady. Did you know that a single woman’s expenses total over $1 million more than her married counterpart over the course of a lifetime? Excuse me while I go clip some coupons…

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Breathing Room in Finances and Life

February 28, 2013
BreathingRoom

My church started off the year with a great sermon series called “Breathing Room.” The concept behind Breathing Room is that our lives are face-paced and hectic, and that we’ll burn out if we don’t slow down. You can watch all four parts of the series here, but I particularly love that part three talks […]

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Try New Products for Free with Influenster

January 8, 2013
Cosmo Vox Box

I have a confession to make: late last year I got a little obsessed with subscription boxes.  I ordered everything from beauty boxes to pet boxes because I love good deals and getting surprises in the mail.  Over a month or so, I amassed a ton of sample-sized products and spent more money than I […]

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Six Ways to Save During the Holidays

November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are almost here, so it’s time to start thinking about ways to make it through the holidays without overspending.  Here are six things I do to maintain my budget during the most wonderful (and expensive) time of the year: Make a Reasonable Budget I’ve been making a Christmas shopping budget each […]

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A Frugal Confession: I Hate Birthday Dinners

August 14, 2012

The birthday dinner is a great thing, in theory, but they can also be budget breaking, inconvenient events too.  I loved celebrating friends’ birthdays over dinner in college when we had $7 entrees, split a pitcher of margaritas and paid separate checks at the counter of our favorite cheap Mexican restaurant.  Yet, as we got […]

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Are Subscription Boxes Worth It?

July 31, 2012

Last week my first “subscription box” arrived in the mail.  For those unfamiliar with the concept, you sign up through a website for a subscription to a box full of surprise items from beauty products in a BirchBox to toys and treats for your pup, like the BarkBox I got for my dog.  I signed […]

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Three Ways to Save at the Airport

June 5, 2012

I just got back from a trip to Delaware to celebrate my youngest cousin’s high school graduation (Congrats Shay!) and I was overwhelmed by the ways people waste money at the airport.  There are lots of temptations to spend in the terminal and in the air, but packing the right things can help you save […]

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