Come to mama.

Before we get started on the best deals I’ve found so far this week, I just want to empower you a little bit.

I want you to know that you are the boss of your coupons. They are here to serve you. You decide their fate.

I’ve been learning a lot over the last year, and I want to share some of the main things with you.

1. Organization is incredibly important. Otherwise you end up with coupons out the wazoo and they are stuffed in every available crevice of your backpack, purse and car. I’m learning to organize them as I go. For example, on Sunday, I lay out all the manufacturer’s coupons I’m interested in, and I put them in categories like meat, dairy, toiletries, paper goods, frozen, etc. Then I go through the online store ads and paper inserts. I cut out or print the correlating store coupon, and I lay it on top of the manufacturer’s. Now I know which products will be the most worth it this week.

Then I choose the ones I will definitely use, and then the maybes and the rest go into a folder. If I print off new ones through the week, I just add them in right away. I take them to the store in a little pouch and take them out of one section of the pouch into another as I find each item. I know there are some pouches that hang on your cart, and other people use flip books. Maybe when I grow up, I’ll get a real one. All I know is, don’t use paper clips to hold them together. That just adds years to the process.

Oh, and I keep the pouch in my bag at all times. That way if I need one while I’m out, especially fast food coupons, there they are.

2. Be sure to go through your coupons once every two weeks and get rid of the expired ones. Saves a lot of space and occasionally, embarrassment.

3. For me, simple is everything. Anyone who knows me knows that this whole organization thing is a forced habit. I’ve had to learn to discipline myself. One of the things I do is try to do most or all of my shopping at one place. I used to go to 4 different stores to get all of the best deals, but it literally took all day. What works for me right now is Target. The prices are always consistent, and when I’m looking through coupons I already have a general idea of the price, so I can tell if it’s a great deal. And when things go on sale, it’s like a bonus round. Other places change their prices constantly, so it’s like a game each week to figure out what’s on sale and what isn’t. The only real thing I go to those stores for are soft drinks and olives. Have I mentioned that I love olives and would go to the ends of the earth for them? Good thing they have them at Safeway.

3. The organization extends itself to the kitchen. I clean out my fridge and pantry once a week. I need everything to be waiting for me where I put it. I like it to look like a little food army waiting for their orders. I get slightly spastic if the avocado is in the deli drawer. It does not belong in the deli drawer. It belongs in the veggie drawer. Even though it’s a fruit. Leave me alone.

I do this because I need to see what I have to work with, and what needs to be used up and what can wait.

And because I’m pretty sure my life depends on it.

4. Last thought on this for today. One of the things I found was busting our food budget in the past was asking Brad to stop and grab a few things for me on the way home. Poor Brad. He hates the grocery store with a blue passion. I just made that phrase up. Do you like it?

Anyway, he used to work in a grocery store in high school. He was the keeper of the milk. He’s still very bitter. This means he gets in there and he gets out of there. Grab whatever. Oh, look, Funyuns. I should get some because I’m here and I kinda like those. Oh look, Hot Tamales. I neeed those. Where are the Fig Newtons?
I rest my case.

So, get your list together and do everything in your power to have it all in your possession before you leave that place. You will not be sorry.

Sermon over.

Now, here’s what I found for this week:

Fast Food:

KFC – They have inserts in the Sunday paper in the Parade and US Weekly for a free doublicious sandwich with purchase of a drink. I found 3 of them, one in the Daily Camera and 2 in the Denver Post.

A&W – Free $3 meal with purchase of a drink. Like them on facebook for this coupon. I also joined their mailing list and got $1 off any combo.

Subway – Customer appreciation month through October. $2 6 inch meatball or cold cut sub.

(By the way, I don’t eat these. I give them to the bottomless pits I call my children.)

Just plain free:
Free Hass Avocado

.50 Old El Paso,, so free taco seasoning packet

Baked Lays – $1 Target web coupon, on sale for $2.79, so $1.79
$2 Quaker Oats, on sale for 2.50
Ground Beef – $1.99 a pound, go here to get another .50 cents off. Click on the free code at the bottom, and type in the store where you will be using them. Print as many as you like, but you can only play once. They expire in Dec.
Airwick Plug in scented oil unit with purchase of scented oil refill (Target web coupon), $1 any one scented oil refill pack (Sunday insert) . I’ll let you know the final price. Hopefully, they’re on sale.
Free $5 Target gift card with purchase of Viva paper towels (Sunday insert)
$1 off Reach toothbrush –
$1 off Colgate toothbrush – (I get these free because they have toothbrushes for .97)
$5 Schick Extreme razors, 8 count
$3 Schick Extreme razors, 4 count
Digiorno Pizza- on sale for $4.50, buy 2 get one single serve pizza free, $1, $8 total
General Mills cereal – on sale $3.49. buy 2 get a multi pack of kid’s Yoplait yogurt free, $1/2
Merona women’s socks – on sale for $5 3 pk crew or 2 pk boot, $2 target web coupon, so $3
Hillshire Farm Deli Select – .50 Target web coupon, .55 Sunday insert
$1 any 2 single packs of Trident Layers gum (stocking stuffer)
Buy one, get one Free Axe shower gel

And one more. "Join Aveda’s Birthday Program today and get a free, full-size product on your birthday!“> And once you sign up, you get a little gift to redeem at your local Aveda salon.

Those are the best for this week. I’ll let you know which deals are craziest after I do the actual shopping.

You can keep up with some of the deals I find daily on my Gypsy Jules facebook page. And you can post the things you find as well.

By the way, I’d love to hear from you. What are some of the ways you’ve been making changes to save money?