About Me

by ThePrudentPatron on December 28, 2009
This Post May Contain Affiliate Links - Disclosure Policy

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4-generations

I am a stay-at-home mom and a former elementary school teacher. I have been married to my best friend for 15 years, and we have two adorable, funny children who keep me very busy.

Shopping comes naturally. I love to shop, to try new things, and to have the latest gadgets, fashions, books, etc. However, couponing and being frugal did not come as naturally. As I have shared with you previously, I come from a long line of frugal, coupon-clipping women. It started with my Grandma. She raised six children on one income, so being frugal was a necessity.

Couponing is something that has always been a mainstay in our family. When we all got together for Christmas, birthdays, or any occasion, Grandma would pull out her envelope of coupons. She always clipped all of her coupons so that she could share them with anyone who might need the ones she didn’t use. Mom and my aunts would pass around the envelope and snag the coupons they needed. If a relative happened to miss a party, Grandma would send whatever was left in the envelope to that person so they could look through the coupons too!

You would think being raised around so many shining examples of frugality would mean that I was clipping coupons from birth, but, of course, being a young wife I thought I knew better! In the tradition of Grandma, Mom brought me envelopes of coupons to look through every time she visited. I would obligingly take a coupon or two for a product I always bought, but in general I thought coupons were more trouble than they were worth. Over the years, we had more mouths to feed so I took a few more coupons out of that stack. I probably saved $10 – $30 in a given week. I thought I was doing pretty well.

Everything changed for me several years ago when gas prices went through the roof. Not only did I have to spend more than $100 every time I filled up my tank, but suddenly everything else was going up too. My grocery bill that was usually around $100 a week was going up each and every week: $125, $140, $175! I had to do something fast or we were going to be in trouble. That is when I finally came around to couponing. I ordered my Sunday paper, I started reading those grocery circulars, and I began pouring over website after website to find the best deals I could. Slowly but surely, my grocery bill came down.

Once I got my grocery bill down, I decided to tackle the drugstores. I knew there were ways to get free household goods from Walgreens and CVS, but I did not understand how it worked, and they always intimidated me. One day I finally took the leap and did my first CVS deal, and the next week I dove into Walgreens Register Rewards. From those two weeks alone, I had bags full of free products, and the more I shopped, the better I did. I was hooked! In just a few months, I went from spending about $1,000 a month on groceries and drugstore items to about $200 a month! What’s more, I was buying more than I ever had before. I probably have a year’s supply of toothpaste, tooth brushes, bath tissue, paper towels, razors, shampoo, and more!

I hope and pray that the economy turns around. So many of us are really struggling, and whether or not we want to be clipping coupons, we are trying to stretch that dollar as far as we can. I hope I can help you spend less and save more money each week. Regardless of improvements in the economy it is still important not to be wasteful with your money, and to try and make the most out of what you have. For me this is not temporary. It took me a while to finally catch on, but I am proud to stand in the long line of coupon-clipping women in my family, and I hope that I am providing a strong financial role model for my own children.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

CouponQueeny February 24, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Love your posts
What part of Florida are you in?

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Nina February 26, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Beautiful Family

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The Prudent Patron February 27, 2010 at 6:36 PM

CouponQueeny, I live in Palm Beach county.
Nina, thank you so much.

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Delaune Family March 19, 2010 at 7:47 PM

So glad to find this blog! We just moved to Florida. The cost of living is higher here and I need to get serious about couponing.
Do you buy numerous Sunday papers?
Thanks for posting all of the deals!!!

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The Prudent Patron March 20, 2010 at 3:42 AM

Deluane Family – Welcome to Florida and to The Prudent Patron! Be sure to read couponing 101, I cover how many papers you should buy, where to get coupons and many other helpful topics to get you started. You can find couponing 101 on the second tab, at the top of the page.

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Sakura April 7, 2010 at 6:33 AM

I just found this site and love it!! I dabbled in couponing last year, but decided to really buckle down in 2010! So far so good! I am down to five people in my home, from seven, and I'm so grateful I use coupons! The savings are awesome. I love that you use the same spreadsheet I do to keep track of your spending/savings. I live in the west and shopped at my first Publix while in Orlando on business. Keep up the awesome site, I look forward to reading it daily!

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Malia April 13, 2010 at 12:20 AM

I used to think that I did a great job by shopping a small grocer that stocked restaurants (so I paid almost wholesale) for my produce and meat, then filling in the gaps with Aldi (since they have arrived in FL). But since I have gotten into couponing, I am no where near the GURU status that you are, but I am starting to see the benefits.

I had my grocery bill down to about $50 a week, but that was to buy what I need for supper and my lunches for work. My husband is an over the road truck driver, who has recently learned the financial and nutritional value of cooking out of his truck.

But about once a month I was having to spend $100-$200 for the basic groceries for the week, plus the essentials for everyday (cleaning products, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap, shampoo and bath soap)

I have only been at this about a month, but so far have saved about $300 and have approximately a 3-4 month back-stock of these costly items, not to mention the name brand things I would never have bought before getting into couponing.

Thank you for your insight, hints, links, and just plain "couponology"!

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Anonymous June 9, 2010 at 3:13 PM

i just started reading the prudent patron and i have learned so much.every time i read the prudent patron i learn so many new things it has started to become hard to count.the prudent patron has been a learning expirence for me.thank you!

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Mary September 17, 2010 at 7:49 AM

Hey,

First, Thanks for all the hard work you put into this site each week. I come here first for your $1.00 deals and then you always seem to beat everybody else on the great deals.
I love the relaunch and was just taking another browse at stuff I had not looked at before.
So here I am at “about you”. I saw that you lived in PBCounty. Wow originally from FT. Lauderdale but lived in PB for over 20 years.
Are you originally from there? Did you go to school there? Just interesting to meet people from the places you have lived. I’m sure that you know where PBAtlantic University is… My dad was in the first grad. class. (1972)They had all of about 2 buildings and were mostly using the First Baptist Church. Love the Flagler Museum too! Oh well, just thought I would reply and say Thanks for your site.

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Steph September 17, 2010 at 1:56 PM

I came across your blog through Savings with Amy…I’m in Boca and have just recently gotten into couponing but now I’m addicted. Thanks for the tips. I’m sure I’ll be a frequest visitor so keep up the great work!

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Lu September 26, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Creo te habia visto de compras en Target
Me gusta tu sitio de internet!

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ThePrudentPatron September 26, 2010 at 10:25 PM

¡Gracias!

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Theresa October 7, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Hello,
I am so excited to find your blog..I have not across one so close to home. I live in Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County. Definitley signing up for email subscription.

Thanks for your site :)

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ThePrudentPatron October 7, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Welcome Theresa! We’re glad you’re here!

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Bridget June 3, 2011 at 11:43 AM

I have never couponed before but am determined to start and succeed after watching extreme couponing on TLC. I have been looking into it only to feel defeated since the state of Florida does not double much less triple coupons. This morning I was talking to a friend regarding this and expressed that I wish there was someone successful at couponing in Florida that I could speak to when she referred me to your site. Needless to say that is why I am here and I am now back to thinking positively. Funny thing is I live in Fort Lauderdale with my husband and our 4 children and my husband and I both grew up with your HUSBAND. lol.. Please tell Joe that Jeff and Bridget say HI…..

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ThePrudentPatron June 4, 2011 at 12:16 AM

Wow what a small world!

We have been saving big money with couponing for years and have never had most of the things they show on Extreme Couponing. Even those couponers aren’t usually paying only a penny for $1,000 in groceries. Those are realistic shops, but you can expect to regularly save 50- 80% off your grocery and household needs. Take it slow, start with one store at a time and get to know how the policies work at that store. Also be sure to checkout the couponing 101 section and the store guides for your stores.

By the way, Joe says, happy couponing!

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Bridget June 5, 2011 at 11:13 AM

I am trying to email you but it is not going through for some reason.. I had a question and didnt really want to post it on here but I guess I have to since I cant get my email to go through to you.

Okay, so I have printed coupons for the past three days and have gone through today’s coupon circulars at least five times each. I am lost lol..

Here is my specific question.. My son uses the old spice body wash and deodorant. I see in the Walgreens paper that it is buy 1 get 1 50% off and then there is a coupon in the sales ad for B1G1 free.. Is there a way to use this to the best of my advantage?

Thanks for helping..
Bridget

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Mary Ellen Davison June 10, 2011 at 3:07 PM

What a beautiful tribute to your Grandma, and to your Mother, too. It’s a great family tradition that you are modeling for your kids, too. And you are right, living below your income is a great way to feel safe and ready for those inevitable “rainy days” that we all have to overcome. I have been taught that by my Mom, too, and with your site and others I have learned to stack and buy the sales when I have a matching coupon, too. Our family of 4, with 2 kids, has expanded to grown & married kids with 4 grandchildren and still growing. I still use the power of couponing to help them with diapers, and with a set of twins in the grandchildren, this doubled very quickly. And I try to teach them how to stretch your income & adjust your lifestyle to accommodate the necessities and let the other things be splurges for holidays and get them with a deal, too.

Thank you and I know your Grandmother is smiling down on all of you and how well you are living because of the life lessons you learned and apply to your life.

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Benedictus March 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Hi…just came across your website and love all your ideas. I would like to start using your ideas but have a question. I buy 98% organic/natural foods, produce, personal items and cleaning products (almost exclusively through Whole Foods).

Would I be able to implement your coupon strategies given the types of foods I buy and where I shop?

I don’t want to buy products I wouldn’t use or don’t need just because I have a coupon for it. But…I DO want to save money too! : )

Thanks and keep up your good work – you are helping many people.

Benedictus

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ThePrudentPatron March 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Yes, you can definitely save too. I highly recommend buying produce through an organic co-op or a farmers market. For the rest of your needs, Whole Food takes manufacturer coupons, you can search for coupons you need in the coupon database. They also have store coupons. I have more about saving at Whole Foods and their store coupons in this Whole Foods Couponing Guide.

Just follow the same guidelines in the Extreme Couponing guide, it is especially important for you to stock up on items you use when they are on sale and you have a coupon.

Hope that Helps,

Brittany

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Jay March 30, 2012 at 8:15 PM

I am so impressed with your couponing website and I LOVE the freebies section (can’t help it, that is my favorite). I however, wonder two things…
a. How do you keep up with all the emails/coupons/flyers etc etc so that you can routinely produce such a great site (especially with small children). How do you have time to go to all the stores and find all the good deals? I know with my one, it is stressful just going with my list + coupons (and being “prepared” — or go when little one is at part time school).
b. I have been working hard at couponing for the last year and half. Although my grocery bill has come down, I am still not spending less than $200 (a month) on grocery bills (and for a family of only 3- two adults and one small child) I believe that to be rather embarassing. The only think I can use as an excuse is that we have a nut allergy in the family and have to really watch some products. I chart all my spendings on Excel (savings – coupons used and percentages saved) but still going over $200, with purchases only if I have a coupon or if severe need it… I mainly shop at Harris Teeter, I do a lot of produce shopping at Aldi and on occasion the CVS/Walgreens deals — due to not wanting to buy stuff we don’t need..ie I’m the only one who uses razors and I already have several month supply.. if you get my drift, as an example)..

Do you have any other suggestions on getting my bill down further?

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Desmond Hobson August 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM

As you can guess from my website, I have a hobby of learning about people named Barefoot, based on a fictional character I’ve created with that name. By using a Facebook link, I’m able to find out that your maiden name is Brittany Barefoot.

Do you know by any chance if you can trace your ancestry back to the Barefoots of North Carolina? That’s who I’m the most interested in.

Anyway, great job of helping to save people money, and keep up the good work!

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ThePrudentPatron August 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM

No sorry, no relation that I know of to Barefoots of North Carolina. My father’s family was from Alabama.

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Desmond Hobson August 27, 2012 at 5:10 PM

That was my second choice. Quite a few Barefoot family members in Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi as well.

By the way, how bad was it for you and your family when Isaac rolled through? I prayed for all of you last night.

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Christina Garcia October 16, 2012 at 5:04 AM

Hi,

I run an ad agency and would like to advertise on your blog on behalf of one of my client.

I’m mostly interested in textlink advertising – please let me know if there’s interest.

Thanks
Christina

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glenn September 18, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Similar to Christina, I too would like to run a small Ad. Please advice when you’re able to. I will ask you tonight at your presentation. God Bless. :)

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ThePrudentPatron September 18, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Glenn, if you’d like, you can email me at theprudentpatron(at)live.com with more details.

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