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Utilizing Rain Checks for Grocery Shopping

bake bread (1)

Yesterday, for the first time, I went to customer service at my local grocery store and asked for a rain check. I have never done this and didn’t even know it was still a thing some stores do until someone talked about it in my couponing group. Rain checks are still a thing so how and when do I ask or use them?

Typically in my shopping adventures, if the store is out of something on sale then I won’t worry about it. This week was a different story because I went to Shoprite twice for my Creamate French Vanilla creamer and they were out. The creamer was on sale for $1.66 so I wanted to stock up on it because I go through creamer now that I am back to drinking coffee everyday.


With my coffee, I am a creature of habit either French Vanilla or Pumpkin Spice (I could drink it all year long if they would make and sell it) or Peppermint Mocha (only in December before Christmas). If I wanted to drink coffee that tasted like Cookies and Cream or some other gross flavor (sorry if I offended anyone) , then I would have gone home with creamer. I just couldn’t do it.


After I was done checking out, I put on my big girl panties and went to customer service to ask for my rain check. For some reason, doing stuff like this makes me nervous and shy. So I stumbled over my words when I asked for a rain check and the girl needed to know exactly what I wanted it for. I didn’t realize she needed the exact flavor… whoops.

Eventually, I was able to find my big girl words and walked away with my rain check for my french vanilla creamer! A little more success for my shopping trip!

After some research, I found out that my local grocery stores will issue rain checks. As far as I know, Walmart and Target do not issue rain checks for any of their grocery products. I will now be using this knowledge to help in my future shopping trips to save money and you should too!

If you or your family have products that you love and they are out of stock when they are on sale, then I encourage you to ask for a rain check because it can help save you so much money especially if you end up getting a coupon for that product in the future! Double win!

This week’s trip was small because we are moving over the next 2 weeks and I don’t want to stock up on to much and have to move even more stuff. I spent $30.73 and saved $87! My only complaint is that my $2 digital coupon for diapers didn’t come off so I will be going to customer service this week to get it fixed. Diapers are expensive as it is so saving an extra $2 is helpful (it is enough to purchase my creamer with my rain check!). Instead of paying $3 for my diapers, I spent $5…

My free items this week were the detergent bottles, scent booster, stain fighter packs, bananas. Halos  were $2 (I bought a bag of these earlier in the week as well), Raisin Bran Crunch $.50, Kellogs and Frosted Flakes were $3 for both, pasta $1.50, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream (not my fav chunky monkey sadly) $1.50, bacon $2, ground beef (3 pounds) for $6 and the water was 3 cases for $6.

I definitely missed stocking up on some stuff but still grabbed great deals. I plan on splitting the ground meat into 1 pound bags to freeze and use in the future for pasta meals. We plan on packing our kitchen over the next couple of days so we will be eating lots of easy stuff like cereal so thankfully the cereal was a great deal. Even though we won’t go through 3 cases of water before we move, I couldn’t pass up this deal because at Walmart you buy a case for over $3 a case for their brand.

Have you used rain checks? How was your shopping trip this week?

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Organize Your Shopping Trip to Save Money



If you are anything like I was, you would mentally have a grocery shopping list but didn’t write anything down. If I had coupons, it would be a couple and not on sale items. I had no plan which ended up costing me three times the amount of money because I impulse shopped.

Impulse shopping is one of the worst things for a person/family living on a budget. You end up buying thing you THINK you need instead of buying what you KNOW you need. For over 15 years this is how I shopped but not anymore!

Going into the store with an organized game plan was a game changer for my spending habits and budget. I am going to show you my steps to Organizing My Shopping Trip to Save the Most Money….

1. Set aside a block of time to organize every week. Gather your coupons, coupon binder, flyers, meal plan and 2 sheets of paper to make your list.

2. Cut and organize your coupons into your binder. Don’t forget to throw out the expired coupons you have in your binder.

3. Time to make your grocery list!

  • With your meal plan and 1 piece of paper, go through the flyer and write down the items you need that are on sale.
  • Add to the list the items you need for your household
  • Now, with your coupon binder out compare your list and flyer to the coupons you have. One thing I have learned with my couponing is that the coupon inserts or coupons from coincide with the weekly flyer so that you can maximize your savings.
  • This is where I get my 2nd sheet of paper out… In order to keep my shopping on track and stay on budget with my list, I reorganize my list to follow my way around the grocery store. Depending on what store I am going to depends on what section I start in. Shoprite (my go to grocery store) starts at the produce than bakery then meat, deli, dairy, frozen and so on. Walmart starts on the opposite side of grocery so once I get through the rest of the store, I start with household then dairy, meat, pantry, frozen etc.
    • Organizing my list by section has been super helpful in staying on track. Don’t get me wrong, I have still impulse shopped when I see a sale I might have missed in the flyer like the popcorn that was on clearance plus I had a coupon for so I got the box for $.70!
    • I prefer starting in the produce and meat sections because those are items that go by weight and if I need to skim my budget then I would rather take a pantry item off my list then a core item.
    • I organize my coupons by section as well so that I can easily pull them out and check the details of what I need to purchase for them.
    • I always have my binder and coupon binder with me in case they are out of something I need then I can get a rain check or chose something else and see if a coupon will work.
  • I always calculate what I am spending as I shop so that I am staying on track because with the weighed products, you can easily get off track. My most recent trip, I had calculated that I was going to spend $46 but when I got down checking out my total was only $38 because some items were a lower price then I had calculated. You can’t beat spending less than what you calculate and walking out with more money in my pocket!

**My weekly trip takeaway: Total Spent $38.56

Big Savings: Razors $0, Chobani $0, Gogurt $0, 2 boxes of cereal $3.50, coffee $4, diapers $4, blueberries $1, hummus $1, eggs $1.70, 2 boxes of waffles $2, sausage $1, 2 packs of wipes $1, Ghiradhelli brownie mix $1.50, vegetable oil $3, popcorn $.70 and alot more savings. Total savings $65!

Photo Feb 03, 6 11 56 PM
Spent $38 Saved $65!
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Create your own Coupon Binder

It’s Savings Sunday and I am going to chat about my couponing best friend… my Coupon Binder! Through my research of extreme couponing, I learned that (after the coupons) a couponer needs to have a coupon binder to organize and keep track of their coupons. Each person has their own method to their couponing madness so I am going to share my Binder and madness with all of you!

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure page for more information.

To create a simple coupon Binder you will need:

1 Binder (I am using a 1″ Binder but I know others that use wider binders)

Scotch tape that has a matte finish because the shiny finish will wipe the pen/marker off

Sharpie or pen (I prefer a sharpie because it’s easier to write)

Clear plastic sheet protectors (I have a set of 12 but could use more to break down my categories)

Coupons of course (yes I am being a total smart ass now)

Now my preference is to use full size sheet protectors because I print a lot of coupons from the internet which tend to be on the larger size. Alot of extreme couponers use baseball card protector sheets because you can group the multiple coupons together. I tried this way and didn’t like that the sleeves required me to fold the big coupons in odd ways to get them to fit.

I use the tape to create labels for my sheet protectors. My categories are household, beauty, medicine, beverages, breakfast, pantry, frozen, meat, dairy, produce, baby, and miscellaneous. Ideally, I will get another set of protectors and breakdown these categories even more for easier organization.

The inside binder pockets are used to store my new coupons before I get them cut, the store flyer (when I can find them because our town doesn’t have them delivered to us which is just stupid!) and my receipts (because I like to keep track of my savings).

I now keep my coupon binder in the diaper bag so it’s always with me in case I need to make an unexpected stop for something.

This week’s savings update: I made this week a small trip because I was given the heads up, in the couponing group I am in, that this coming week was going to have lots of coupons and our local store was going to have super coupons. Better to get what we need and save the money for next week. What did I get? My deals…. 2 Chobani yogurts for free (could have been 3 but I forgot to take the coupon off of the printer), Orange juice for $.99, 3 boxes of cereal for $4.50, 6 pack of flavored water for Danyella for $.88 and waffles for $1.19. In total, I bought 13 items for $15! I can’t complain about that at all!

I can’t wait to see what this coming weeks deals will be!!

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Couponing Terms with Printable List

8 foolproof ways to

As I have been researching and participating in groups on couponing, I found myself lost because I couldn’t understand the terms these couponers were using. OOP was the most common. Then there is stacking and catalina and frees. What in the heck are these people saying? I didn’t quite realize that couponing came with its own language which the 4 years of Spanish in High School will not help me here!

I decided to start a list and make it printable for all of my fellow newbie couponers to understand what other people are saying. I printed this list out so when I am reading an article or scanning through Facebook groups, I can look up the term without needing to google it. I hope this list will help you! If there is a term that I am missing please feel free to leave it in the comment so I can edit the printable list. Click here for the PDF free printable:  Couponing Terms to Know

For this week’s big savings: I was really proud of myself to watch what the extreme couponers in my area were doing and following suit, on a smaller scale. Our local grocery store had Arm & Hammer laundry detergent 3 for $1.77 each, a digital $3 off 3 coupon and a manufacture $3 off 3 coupon which made these FREE! Plus Schick razors were on sale for $5.99 with a $1 off digital coupon and $4 off manufacture coupon which made them $.99! Plus, Huggies diapers on sale for $6.99 with $2 digital coupon and $2 manufacture coupon which made them $2.99! There are a ton of other deals that I scored and wish I would have taken a picture but I will from now on. In total I spent $20.06 and saved over $75 between sale items, digital and manufacture coupons! Oh and I can shave my legs again now that I can see them after I had the baby so double score for me!!

Keep an eye out for next week’s DIY Coupon Binder to get us started with organizing all of these coupons!


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Jumping Into The World of Couponing


Let’s be honest for a moment, the cost of food and household necessities are overpriced and most families can’t afford to buy what they need without setting an extreme budget and using different ways to save. For over 18 years, I have tried to get myself into couponing but it never stuck. Time and time again, I would get myself all psyched up to get into the world of couponing. I wanted to become like all the amazing stories I would read about or hear about on tv. Even before the Extreme Couponing tv shows, I wanted to find ways to use these coupons to save my family and I as much money as I could so we can use that extra money to enjoy the fun things in life.

I am not going to lie, the thought of jumping into this couponing world does overwhelm me. I joined a local couponing group to get the heads up on deals in the area. I watch these women purchase $100s of dollars worth of products for just a few dollars. I am in complete awe when they display the pictures of all the products they just brought home and the receipt of how much they paid and saved. Now to get to be like those women and save, save, save!

When I began couponing, the only coupons I knew about were the ones in the Sunday papers but now you can print them off at home as well. One thing I do need to be vigilant about is purchasing the weekly papers for the coupons. In my area, one paper comes out on Saturday and one on Sunday that covers the best coupon inserts. There has been multiple times, I completely forgot what day it was and never purchased my papers only to watch these other women show the great sales they just got from the coupons I missed out on. Now, I set an alert on my phone to remind myself to buy my weekly papers.

In addition to the weekend paper coupons, you can print coupons from various websites including the manufacturer sites which just amazes me because in less than 20 years things have changed so much in the couponing world. Anyway I can get a coupon to save money, I will use those ways and my ink/paper to spend less money at the grocery store.

With a new baby in the house, we will be needing to purchase diapers and other baby items so finding those coupons are going to be a must. Plus, the little shopping trips to Walmart or my grocery store for those items we run out of faster like milk, bread and fresh produce the coupons can come in handy. I love when I find coupons for the halo oranges because Danyella could eat a bag all by herself!

The world of couponing, not even extreme couponing, can be intense and overwhelming to start which is why I am going to do a couple of in-depth posts about couponing to fit around your schedule and some key tips on how to save the most money on those products you need to buy over and over again. Stayed tuned to next week’s post about what essential things you need to get started with couponing.



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Craft and Art Store Coupons #savingsunday

Using Craft Store Coupons for Supplies#SavingSunday

As a Fine Arts Major, Artisan, Crafter, Mom to budding artists and craft supply hoarder, I have learned the art of using coupons to get what I need for as little money as possible. Recently, my Painting Professor emailed us the list of what we needed to purchase for her class with the links to Amazon to purchase all of items. When I put them all in my cart, they were over $300… not in my budget at all!

That is when I turned to my local craft/art supply stores! In my local area, I have Michaels and Hobby Lobby which we frequent both because each something different to offer plus their coupon structures are very different. If I need to look elsewhere, I can travel about 45 minutes or so to Joanns or AC Moore but I prefer to stick to the 2 stores that are only 10 minutes away from me.

At one point in my life, I worked for Michaels because the discount was great and I loved being surrounded by arts and crafts all day long but sadly I needed money for then fun so I went back to waiteressing. Still, when I walk into Michaels, I know at least one person so I can get the scoop of what is new in the store which is awesome! Michaels offers more of a broad range of art and craft supply items so that you have a little bit of everything to choose from but I can’t always find that exact thing I need or idea that is stuck in my head.

Now back to the subject Michaels coupons…. They offer a rewards app that includes all their coupons for the week. Most weeks, you will find a 40% off one non sale item. On certain days or weeks they will offer special coupons like 20% off your entire purchase or 30% off yarn. Some of these coupons can be great, especially if it includes sale items! Another plus for Michaels is that they will accept competitor coupons, so if Joanns is offering a 60% off coupon, they will allow you to use it at Michaels (score so savings there!). My one gripe is that there is a HUGE exclusions list which includes books! They have cool coloring books for adults, craft sets for kids that have books plus pattern books. If it has a book then it is excluded which just frankly makes a crafter very angry! Before I go into Michaels or while I am walking around, I will look at the other craft stores to see if they have a better coupon offer to max out my savings.

On to Hobby Lobby…. they offer fabric which Michaels does not which is a plus in my book! They have added to their soap making supplies (though they still make that damn melt and pour soap a big thing like you are really making soap but that is a post for another time) which I like being able to go there to buy some of my butters and oils when I need to make a small batch of something. Everything else is pretty comparable to Michaels with having a little bit of every type of supplies.

As for Hobby Lobby coupons, they only ever offer one coupon… 40% off one regular priced item. They do not accept competitor’s coupons so you can only ever use that one coupon. On the plus side they have very little exclusions and they allow coupons on their books! This has been huge for me because sometimes I get a request from someone to make a specific item and if I find it in a pattern book at Hobby Lobby then I get a bunch of patterns for a much lower cost!

Back to my painting class supply search, I learned that Micheals and Hobby Lobby had a majority of what I needed on this list so I was going to use my coupons as much as I possibly could to save as much money as possible. Hobby Lobby had the wood panels so I have been going there nearly everyday (except Sunday because they are closed) to purchase the panels. The rest has come from Michaels and they have had a 50% off coupon this past week which has been a huge help! So the list that would have been $300 or more has cost me about $150 with just a few things left to get.

If you are a parent, these coupons come in handy for kids projects for school and home. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to utilize these places and coupons for book reports and science projects that needed to done for school. In my opinion art and craft supplies are so overpriced to enjoy the stimulation of the artistic side of our brains so use these coupons and save some money to enjoy more art projects in the future!



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Ordering Your Groceries #savingsunday

Order YourGroceries

One of the best decisions that I have ever made was to order my groceries from our local grocery store. This is a service that Shoprite has offered for a few years but I thought I was better then paying the fee to have someone else do my shopping for me. Boy was I WRONG!


Shoprite offers either a pick up or home delivery service. After hearing my coworker talk so much love on the pick up service, I decided to give it a try and I am so glad that I did because all I had to do was create my order, pick my time slot, pull into a designated parking spot, open my trunk for them to load my car (blue bags are your cold items) and drive home! Super simple and easy.

Over the past year of using this service, Shoprite has made many changes to make it easier on the customer to use this service which I love because I can order right from my phone when I have spare time. Another great upgrade is that they save your prior list so you can shop from products you have already purchased without searching for them.

When you begin your order, you have the option of adding items from a previous purchase list, a saved list, the interactive weekly flyer (this my preference), browsing departments or searching for the item.  There have been times where I have had to input a specific item and then they call me to verify the item for my order but this has been rare. Keep adding all the items you need and want on your order.

One great thing about shopping online is that you are not being sucked into those impulse purchases. I know that even a “quick trip” to Target can add an easy $100 to my bill because you see other things that you might “need” and just throw them into your cart. This helps curve those extra items that in the end you really don’t want or need in your home.

Next, let’s talk about additional ways you can save with Shoprite from Home. You can use coupons, whether they are the digital ones that you can upload from Shoprite’s site/app or paper coupons or both! This is the best way to help save money because you can get those sale items plus coupons and get them for just a fraction of what the cost would have been. For example, about a month ago Arm and Hammer laundry detergent was on sale for $1.99 (small bottle but still a great deal) plus I had $1 coupons from which means I got 4 bottles for just $4. We have only gone through one of those bottles and I do alot of laundry in my house.

Once you sign up with Shoprite from Home, you will begin to receive emails from them with different incentives including codes to get a discount when you purchase so much in groceries (before your coupons). Most times it is $20 off an order of $200 or more which we easily hit with our monthly order. Yes, we only put in one big order a month and then purchase the small stuff like milk and veggies on a weekly basis because they go bad or are eaten faster then a month. I see that savings code as helping to pay the Shop from Home fee so to me it is win/win.

When you select your payment method, pay cash because then you will get the money back from the coupons immediatly instead of it being applied to your Shoprite account and then you actually have to go into the store to purchase items in order to use that money. Now I have talked about the fee and here it is… $10 for the service. That is so small compared to what I am gaining and saving out of it. Last month’s bill should have been about $250 and with the coupons and code, I was able to bring it down to $202 which could have been lower but I didn’t have all my coupons organized (another post for another day).

All in All, I love the shop from home service because it saves me so much time, hassle from dealing with other people and most importantly, money! I know that Walmart has started the pick up service but I have yet to try it…. now I am motivated to research and try their service soon.

This post was not commissioned and is just my opinion on their service. If you would like to check out their service or see if there is a Shoprite in your area click this LINK


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Do Coupons Really Matter?

Photo Aug 13, 12 15 01 PMFor more years than I want to admit, I have been couponing on and off…. though more off then on because I would either forget it was Sunday to buy the papers, I was too lazy to cut the coupons before I went shopping or I would just forget the coupons at home when I was already in the grocery store. Also, I was doubtful that I was really saving any money because I would have to purchase 2 or 3 of a product just to get the $1 off. Well this past week taught me the lesson that I need to learn to be frugal and that there are good coupons and deals if I just pay attention!

So we all know of the extreme couponers that have a format to how they coupon and purchase like $200 worth of groceries for $20 (maybe a little extreme but not really if you watch the shows and documentaries). In my mind, those extreme couponers were a little crazy and had too much time on their hands which I didn’t have. Well now I do have the time on my hands and the financial need to cut down on our spending costs so I better start paying attention to what they are doing and copying their money-saving ways.

My lesson from last week is this…. Shoprite (our local go to grocery store for good deals) had Arm & Hammer laundry detergent on sale for $1.99 plus there was a coupon out in the world for a $1 off the detergent which means you can buy the detergent for just $.99! Well that $1 savings could go towards the fresh fruit and veggies that my family devours in a day or less. Lately, my go to couponing place (when I would remember to look) has been because I can easily print of the coupons and why would I need to go over their limit of only printing the coupon 1 time when I don’t usually stock up on things.

Lesson learned because we go through detergent so often with a furry puppy (yes I am one of those anal, I HATE FUR people so I was things almost everyday to keep the fur in control) that I could have purchased 10 bottles easily for $1 but I only had 1 coupon for regular detergent and 1 coupon for the sensitive skin (Danyella and the new baby). So I ordered (yes I order my groceries which will be a future post) 1 bottle of regular scented detergent and 1 bottle of the senstive skin detergent and used my coupons. After putting the groceries away, I was kicking myself in the ass about the detergent situation so I waddled my ass around Shoprite to get more of the detergent without the coupons. (insert crying face emoji here haha)

Next lesson on coupons I learned…. I may never become one of those extreme couponers but this morning I got out of bed early (a rarity just ask my boyfriend) and went to Wawa to purchase 2 Sunday papers to get those coupons. As I am cutting the coupons from 2 different papers (don’t know why I decided to try 2 different papers but something told me to do it), I find out that not all papers have the same damn coupons! The one paper had more coupons than the other but the other paper had a rebate coupon that doesn’t expire until March of next year. Shit now do I buy 2 of each of those papers?

This is a bit overwhelming and a little exciting at the same time. I am trying to find other ways to save money before this baby gets here and we have to add baby stuff to the grocery list. Since this is going to be an ongoing challenge for me, I am starting a series on couponing and saving on Sundays. If you have any tips or stories of your own please feel free to comment below.