{Part 2} Couponing at 18: Elizabeth’s Journey

Here’s a different take on couponing that you don’t hear about often!

If you didn’t read the first little installment - go HERE.

I just wanted to start out by saying thank you to everyone who left a comment. I really appreciated the kind words!

Now, I would like to tell you a little about my very first experience using coupons. I was looking through all of my ads and I found an ad for Dawn dish detergent, and it was FREE.  I was so excited that I decided to leave the house at 9 p.m. to go and pick up my free detergent.  I arrived at CVS very excited to have found my first deal.  When I went in to pick my free detergent I found many other deals with my coupons. I checked out and decided to look at the Walgreens ad.  That’s when I realized that some of the items I picked up were cheaper there.  I felt SO SAD!

I went home and told my parents I wasted their money. They gave me a hug, and told me that I still saved a good bit of money, and I will save even more with experience. I am not going to give up, and I am going to do better next time! Stay tuned for next week, and I will fill you in on my progress in the coupon world.

Your thrifty friend,

Elizabeth Clayton


  1. Deal Detective Kim says


    The best advice I can give you is DON”T let it overwhelm you. I let several Walgreen’s register rewards expire (horrors!). I realized I hadn’t been shopping very much, and I stopped to think about why. Part of it was because I had hit some major sales and spent most of my budget in the first half of November. Part of it was because I let my binder organization “get away” and it was harder to find what I needed. Part of it was just that with the holidays, I’ve had other things to do. I was in Publix, and I literally took my cart over to the flowers (it’s the one spot where you’re not in somebody’s way all the time!) and took 5 minutes to breathe and hunt down the coupons I needed to go with what I came there to get.

    Bottom line–you will not be able to get every deal, and that’s OK. Just keep telling yourself that every dollar you save is one more dollar and it will add up. If you need to SEE results, track your spending. 3 columns is all you need–how much you paid out of pocket, how much you saved, and how much you got back in rewards. You will be amazed at how much it adds up.

    You’re a sweetie pie, you’re absolutely adorable, and your parents are so blessed to have such a wonderful daughter!

  2. Mary Beth Williams says

    Don’t worry…after a couple of months you’ll know what’s a REALLY good price and what isn’t. And chances are, if you spend a little bit more on an item one time (especially if you need it), the next time it’s up for sale, it will be WAY cheaper. Using this website and others to compare prices BEFORE you shop is always the best idea. Then, after a while, you’ll also start making your own deals that some of the websites don’t even catch!

  3. Jamie says

    Don’t get discouraged! It takes a few trips – no matter whether you’re going to the drugstores or to the grocery stores – to get your confidence up and really get a good, working understanding of how couponing works. After a few months, though, it’ll be instinctive! Don’t pressure yourself to go to every store, either. Sometimes an item might be a few cents cheaper at the other store, but you’d burn more gas getting there than buying it where you are. You can do this… and you’ll be so proud of yourself for hanging in there!

  4. Tonya says

    When I started couponing I felt like I was not doing that great because #1 I could NOT get to all of THE DEALS. #2 I was not saving as much as some of the others that get $200 worth of groceries for $2 and #3 I was still having to buy things that were not on sale. It took about three months for my stockpile to build up. BUT, I was just so excited that I had saved money on my grocery bill and I was doing this by shopping at Publix. I do not like WalMart but that is where I used to shop because I thought they had the cheapest prices. Anyway, keep it up. You will do great!
    I too check all of the adds and make my list, pulll my coupons, etc prior to shopping. If I did not do this it would take me forever. I also keep my coupons in a binder but I alphabetize mine. It is just easier for me. I tried it other ways but this worked the best for me. Good luck!!

  5. Starr says


  6. Tiffany says

    You did good, Elizabeth!! The point is to save more money than you would if you didn’t follow the sales and use coupons. There will be times when you will think you have the best deal, only to find it cheaper later on. That is where a “price book” will come in handy – helps you remember what the best prices are on the items that you buy most.

    And don’t forget – you won’t be able to grab all the deals all the time. The efforts that you make put money back in your pocket (or your parent’s pocket in your case) that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. I hope my kids are watching my efforts to put money back in our bank account – and take these lessons with them when they move away from home. I am looking forward to hearing about your next shopping trip!!

  7. sam burgess says

    Keep it up! Experience does make saving money easier!! What I do before I leave to go couponing is visit this website!! I find all the stores’ matchups I intend on visiting. Then I copy and paste the matchups into Microsoft Word. THEN, I compare the matchups with the coupons I have and items I do/don’t want. I delete any I don’t have the Q’s for or don’t want and print the rest off! At that point, I have my Q’s pulled per store with their matching list…. I put each store into those zipper pencil pouches (I paid .25 for those!)……. This makes shopping a breeze…. PLUS, I know beforehand if CVS or Wags has the better deal! :) Hope this helps you at least a little, and GOOD LUCK!!

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