Diary of a Couponing Newbie: Totally Worth it or Total Insanity?

by Marcy on June 29, 2011 · 4 comments


The following is a guest post written by Devin Ventre for Stretching a Buck Blog, chronicling her journey into the world of couponing. This post is part 2 in the series “Diary of a Couponing Newbie“. Learn more about “Extreme Couponing the Smart Way” in the All About Couponing Series.

In my last post I was feeling pretty on top of the world, sitting at home with both my children in bed, gazing at my coupons and their corresponding sale items. Today, I actually took the stack of coupons to CVS with my two crazy children and bought stuff. I didn’t immediately need everything I was buying, but it’s all stuff I buy normally and would eventually need. (Stockpiling seems to be a big part of using coupons. It’s all beginning to click now…) I’m a makeup wearer, and I usually end up waiting until I can’t go another day without it and then paying full price with an extra 20% markup.

Here’s a run-down of what I got:

Lipstick—on sale (50% off) for $2.99, plus $1.00 coupon. PAID: $1.99
Mascara—on sale (50% off) for $2.95, plus $1.00 off coupon. PAID: $1.95
Blush—on sale (50% off) for $3.39, plus $1.00 off coupon. PAID $2.39
Concealer—not on sale, $1.50 off coupon. PAID $4.69
Foundation—not on sale, $1.50 off coupon. PAID $9.99 (This seems like a lot. In retrospect, this probably wasn’t the best choice.)
Deodorant—on sale ($2.00 off) for $3.99, buy 2 get one free coupon, PAID FOR 3: $7.98
Shampoo—on sale ($1.00 off) for $6.00, plus $1.00 off coupon. PAID $5.00
Stickers—These were needed to bribe the 5 year old into entertaining the 16 month old while I figured all this out. No sale, no coupons. PAID $1.00
Coupon organizer—Since I bought so many Maybelline products, I got $6.00 in CVS bucks which took that much off the cost of the organizer. PAID: $1.13

Total spent: $37.52
Total saved: $34.32

Day 2 was a total success in terms of money saved. However, I did have to chase the baby up and down the aisles with my coupons fluttering into the air, praying my five year old wouldn’t run the cart into any displays or shoppers, all while calculating the amount I’ll save in my head. Right now I feel kind of like I ran a coupon marathon, and I’m not really ready to get up tomorrow and run another one. (Yes, I’m talking about this 9 item CVS trip.) I’m committed though. I just bought a coupon organizer, so I can’t back out now…


Devin Ventre is a homeschooling mother of two living in northern Virginia who wanted a cleaning lady. She couldn’t afford one, and decided to save some money using coupons. Now she has her house cleaned twice a month. This is her story.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole June 30, 2011 at 5:01 PM

what kind of organizer did you buy?

2 Devin June 30, 2011 at 8:28 PM

It’s a small accordion style organizer. Downside: it only has 12 compartments. Upside: It fits in my purse. My overall opinion of it: … Meh.

3 Nicole July 7, 2011 at 8:48 AM

I just purchased a small plastic index card organizer, (for the larger size index cards). I’m going to make my own dividers. I have some file folders that are dated for the rest of the coupons I didn’t trim from the inserts, but they just sit in a pile.

4 Sica July 14, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I just started couponing and it is an intense experience! My first experience was much like this one, but I only have my daughter with me.. I went to CVS and she wanted to stop and play with EVERYTHING and then she didn’t want to move on. I’m trying to pay attention to her while digging through my coupons trying to figure out if I am buying the right thing or not. I had an accordion organizer that I wasn’t using and I just bought a few more. I needed more compartments.. I have mine right now set up with part food and part household/personal items.. so, I can use the other ones to split it up. I just am going ot end up being the crazy lady who is walking around with tons of accordions full of coupons. Lol. I don’t go shopping with my daughter anymore either. =o\

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