A Year in the Life of A Couponer – The First Year
Here it is, the first month of 2017. The past year has FLOWN by. In reality, I never wanted it to end.
My first FULL year of couponing. I started in September of 2015, so in the last three months of that year, I couldn’t tell the full potential of my savings. It has gone beyond what I could ever imagine. In April of this year I wrote an article as a 6 Month “Check-In” , you can read it >>HERE<<
Not only have I accomplished goals I made in April. I have SURPASSED them beyond my wildest dreams.
By April I had a pretty significant stockpile of items my family and I used on a daily basis. At this point I was only shopping for free or almost free items. My grocery bill hasn’t gone beyond $20-$40 a week. My youngest got out of diapers, which is a blessing all in its own!
I had saved up enough money to enclose my new house with a fence. You can see that post >>HERE<<
That brand new car I made a goal to buy in 2017? Yeah well…. because of paying off my debt with my coupon savings prior to April, by June I had the credit to purchase a used 2015 Hyundai Elantra. Good Bye 200,000 + Mile Subaru that broke down EVERY WEEK. With my grocery savings weekly, I was able to budget my new car payment and insurance payments without thinking twice.
I took my family on vacation to Boston. Not far, but it was a vacation. Using AAA rewards program and Hilton Rewards program combined, I was able to take all 4 of us for 3 days for under $200!
I surprised my little sister with a 4 day trip to Universal Studios for her birthday. Using Hilton Rewards, JetBlue One Day Specials and Ebates, I was able to take both of us to Florida for under $900 for 3 nights, 4 days. (this includes food, transportation and souvenirs.) No I’m not joking.
I booked my first cruise! It’s not until March 2017, but booking early (I booked in July) gives you plenty of time to pay it off! Carnival offers a down-payment option, where you can make monthly or weekly payments on your cruise before a certain date.
I opened 5 un-secured credit cards. Meaning, I didn’t have to pay a lump some of my own money to obtain them. I started with 2 store credit cards, a cash back credit card, a jetblue credit card, and a regular credit card. You may ask why so many…I figure if I’m going to be spending money why not earn rewards on my money. Meaning…I don’t use my actual money anymore. I live off of my credit cards and pay them off monthly, with my “real” money.
My Cash Back Reward Credit Card – Offers 2% Cash Back, 1% when you buy, 1% when you pay. Why not earn 2% instead of earning nothing at all?
My JetBlue Credit Card – Offers 3x Flier Points on all JetBlue Purchases, 2x Flier Rewards at Grocery Stores & Restaurants, and 1x Flier Rewards on anything else. They also gave me 100,000 bonus flier rewards on sign up, best part is none of the rewards ever expire. Now that I can afford to travel why not get my airfare for free? This is the card I use the most because taking us all to Disney in 2018, I don’t want to pay for airfare
My Amazon Credit Card – 5% Back on all purchases as a statement credit. If you’re an Amazon fanatic like me, this is a MUST HAVE
My Kohl’s Credit Card – Just a basic store card, BUT Kohl’s offers awesome rewards to its cardholders with discount codes, sales, coupons and Kohl’s Cash
My Capital One Credit Card – My normal, if emergencies happen, there is nothing special about this credit card.
^^^You can make money, on your money! Why not?
I have been utilizing my rebate apps. Why not get paid to buy your favorite things? It seems like a lot of work, and not a lot of money, but it all adds up!
Ebates – Offers a % Back on Purchases, Mailing you a Check every quarter – HERE
Ibotta – Take Pictures of your receipts and earn a specified amount back – HERE
CheckOut51 – Like Ibotta
Savingstar – Like Ibotta & CheckOut51 , but you can also link store loyalty cards – HERE
I got about $243 back this year, and made an extra payment on my car 🙂
This year I’m adding a few more to maximize my savings:
I’ve been buying discount gift cards from RAISE & Ebay. If I know I’m going to go shopping somewhere, I purchase a discounted gift card. I did this all year long, and maximized my savings at stores, combining sales or clearance. I also bought gift cards at Stop & Shop, offering 4x-5x gas points, meaning I’m earning FREE gas for my car on these purchases.
I shopped for FREE basically all YEAR at Kmart & Sears. Buying items that give you 100% back in Shop Your Way points, making them FREE. I highly suggest becoming a Shop Your Way Member >>>Click Here<<<
I am spending conscious. “Do we need it?” “Will it be used in the next 6 months?” My two biggest questions especially with stockpiling. I don’t have much room for storage and I know it will be on sale again at some point.
I was able to donate. Never have I been on the giving end of that situation. Getting FREE items, or near free I was able to make quite a few rounds of donations over the year, whether it be clothes, food or toiletries.
We wanted for nothing. Never was there a time this year that we had nothing, or were in fear of having nothing. We were fed, clothed, clean. That was a complete 180 from the year 2015.
My Bible How To Shop for FREE the Book – HERE
I didn’t cry over money. It’s an amazing feeling. Not having that knot in your stomach, lingering thought in the back of your mind It’s shameful it’s how it can make us feel. I didn’t feel like that this year. My whole demeanor changed. I wasn’t miserable, cranky. I enjoyed life. I enjoyed my children and my sister. I was happy, I’m still happy. I’m actually at a point that I want NOTHING to change. I’ll keep couponing, keep making goals and surpassing them. I know life will throw things my way, but for once in my life I’m ready waiting for them, instead of wondering , “when?” “how?” why?”.
Coupons have saved my life.