Time for an update gang!
Well my Adventures in Couponing is 2 months in. I can't really say whether it's totally paid off yet, although I do obviously see the savings at the register. For instance my bill yesterday at Walmart went from 318 to 272 with coupons! Mind you, this was a BIG shop but included hardly no meat...it was the "coupons are expiring shop". :) I now have a plentiful supply of bath and body/cleaning/personal products. Our teeth shall always be clean in our house!!
But that is one of the points from CouponMom, you should NEVER run out of stuff like toothpaste, tissues, toilet paper, etc, if you shop with coupons and when it's on sale. Those are also items to combine savings at drugstores on and save them for easy donations. For example, a .97 Secret deodorant with a .50 coupon means for .47c you can donate that deodorant to your nearest women's shelter for a woman who has quite possibly escaped with only the clothes on her back. Will you save her life? No, not literally, but you could provide her with a little comfort and nicety in a difficult time for her.
Also, please don't forget the military. Military families on bases can use coupons past their expiration date. So NEVER throw out those coupons! You can find info on the Military program here. PLEASE follow the rules and do not waste time sending coupons that are over 6 mos expired. Remember you also don't have to wait til their expired. As you go through your coupons, if you will not EVER use the product, put it in your folder for military ones!
I will say, I have not hardly bought any meat since the first of November! I went then and purchased boneless, skinless chicken breasts, ground meat, bacon and lunchmeat from Sam's Club. I also snagged 3 turkeys when they were on sale for Thanksgiving, and 2 Roasts when they were on sale in November. Since then I have only had to buy 2 ground meats (and really only because they were on deep sale, I didn't "need" them.) and 1 bag of chicken leq quarters (which at 6 bucks a bag, makes 5-6 meals in my house, so that's a good price!).
So only time will tell if all this stockpiling is really going to save me money. I suspect that I will not actually SPEND less but I will get FAR more. I have an extra stock pile of non perishables in the garage, and have been able to splurge on some sodas and a few things for the boys that I don't normally because I saved money in the food dept. I'll be reevaluating my spending in January as that will be the 3 mo mark of starting my adventure, and we'll tally it up and see if I REALLY got more for my money :)
The main lesson I've learned is, if you'll REALLY use it, and the coupon makes it cheaper than the store brand...go for it!!