In an effort to save some additional money towards our adoption, I decided to try out "Coupon Sense" to save some $$ on my grocery bills. I have heard about this program before, but figured I would see if it actually works for us. In case you've never heard of it, the entire premise of the program is that you utilize an alphanumeric filing system to organize the coupons you receive in your weekly newspaper (primarily the Sunday paper), and then Coupon Sense lets you know when the best time is to use each coupon in order to get the cheapest price on an item (ie - when the item is already on sale!).
We didn't have a newspaper subscription prior to this, but we signed up for a Wed/Sat/Sun subscription, and paid $2 extra so that we can get 3 Sunday newspapers for 3 times the amount of coupons. Coupon Sense itself also charges a monthly membership fee. So... I am taking both of these fees out of our monthly grocery budget, and will see how much money I save on top of this, in order to decide if it's worth it. I've realized that you have to give it some time in order to let your coupon stash grow a bit, so that you actually have the coupons you need when items are on sale.
The wonderful thing about Coupon Sense is that it incorporates all of the weekly store ads, promotions, and coupons into one database. You can then see what combinations you can put together (Sales + Coupons) in order to get a great price - many items you can get for FREE! You can even print an "Ad Match" sheet if you shop at WalMart, so that you can get the best possible advertised sales from other stores.
The downside for us is living where we do, because we aren't really close to a lot of different stores. Fortunately, since Micah now works more "in town," I can send him with a list and coupons to the stores near his work :) The other day I sent him to Albertsons and he walked out with a total bill of $2.96, and a savings total of $38.25! 93% savings! He is more frugal than I am when it comes to shopping, so he was quite excited about this.
I plan to keep it up for at least three months and then really take a look at how much we're saving over time. I'll post again and let you know in case anyone is interested in trying it out for yourself!!