My favorite Deals/Coupons

With a family of four kids and 2 adults it would seem that coupons or ‘extreme couponing’ would be the way to go. In our case that has not worked. Coupons, yes, extreme couponing, no. You see, with us it is a little different than what is portrayed in the tv shows. We are a real family. Standard middle class. Both my husband and I work full time a minimum of 45 minutes from our home. We have the evenings and most weekends to do all the things families do: laundry, house work, yard work, and family time. Oh and sleep! I go through spurts of being really faithful with our meal planning and food purchases. Then I go through times where there is no money left and there is no desire to create a list and plan meals. By no means am I an ‘etched in stone’ manner of thinking and doing. I am always open to suggestions! Let me preface all of my findings work great for me as we live in a rural area of the Midwest, not exceptionally close to the ‘city’ more of a small town. Here are a few of the deals that I use:

  1. Kroger – stack your deals. Through most of the summer there are 2x fuel points. This is helpful for our family in particular. As I mentioned above, my husband and I both work relatively far from home. We need groceries and gas daily.
    1. When you sign up for the Kroger perks card (not credit card, just their rewards card) you will get coupons in the mail based on your purchases. We use these along with the circular ad. I like to go through the 10 for 10 sale and the items sale that involves 5 items and you get a better price deal. Match those with coupons you have in hand. Now this is the tough part. When you are already tight on money but are still planning on lunches for all of us for either work, school, or daycare. We like to use the deals and coupons together so we can have our luxuries like Doritos, miracle whip, name brand cereal, etc.
    2. On to some of the other items I pre-plan for. Birthday parties. With four children, all of them have friends. All are invited to multiple parties a year. This is the time to use a little extra money and purchase some gift cards. The gift cards at our Kroger are very nice and a huge selection. They run 4x fuel points at times and that is when I purchase a few $10-$20 cards for iTunes, Target, Kohls, Justice, etc. This same idea is used for the parents at Christmas time ?
    3. Gasoline: I don’t follow that as well but I have noticed prices for gasoline are lower on Tuesday and sometimes Wednesday.
  2. Speedway – I know, I know… I just said use Kroger for gas. There is not always time or ease of using Kroger. I drive for work a lot and majority of time my work pays for the gas on the work vehicle. I use a speedway rewards card to log all the purchases. They have a great app that assists in price. It has an alert that matches the price when the normal price goes up. Using these perks is especially nice when you have a personal vehicle that needs a fill up! There are also times where when you purchase something in the store gets you extra points. I personally like to purchase a fresh Ice Mountain 1L bottle of water buy 2 for $2. It is a splurge I do at least 1x/month. I do not use any of my reward points until Spring Break or a different Road trip. I cash them in for gas cards. This way I don’t have to subject my debit/credit card on possible skimmers and it is an extra cushion in our vacation/road trip fund.
  3. Now this is not couponing but it is being resourceful. If you are in a bind and backed up on bills as well as trying to figure out what to pay next and how to get through this. The first budget cut made is usually food. I love Aldi’s, Save-a-Lot, and other discount groceries but it has been my experience that a lot of those places have some good prices while others are more expensive. I have worked with many people in a lot worse off places than myself. Here are a few things you can try in your area:
    1. Call local food pantries – this is where you need not be picky and please do not be ungrateful to people who try and help! They have lots of items that others have donated. Yes most will be high in sodium and carbs. Not the best diet but work with what you get.
    2. If you have a church you attend regularly ask to speak with the pastor and explain that you are in a rough spot and would like some assistance in any area they may be able to. A lot of churches have a fund where they can help with a one time payment on either a high utility bill (electric or gas), rent/house payment for month, other options for food and assistance that are not public knowledge. There are also a lot of resources within the church congregation as well. Most pastors and leadership teams know what most of their parishioners do for a living. Some may be able to help with a part-time job and if you can tap in to these resources you may be in a better off position in regards to employment than before.
    3. I have helped many past patients (I was a home care nurse for a while) with finding resources for medications and durable medical equipment (DME). A lot of times a families finances are put in jeopardy by unforeseen medical expenses. This is not a time to get in to a political battle or to say what I think is the best way to handle our healthcare crisis in the US. This is a time to assist people where they are at in this game of life we are all in. If you are in need of medical equipment such as wheelchair, shower chair, hospital bed, etc. There are lots available in garage sales and at estate auctions. Some of those items never sell and are donated to local agencies. Ask around and you may be able to find there are a few extras closer than you think.
    4. I will discuss medical issues and such in my next blog regarding medical needs.

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