Learning to Coupon
The Start of My Couponing Adventure
I am in the process of learning how to cut corners and save money for my family. I love my husband, my son and my animals but they just get so dang expensive to feed sometimes! Plus, they keep wanting THINGS that I have to go out and buy. How is one girl suppose to keep up with all of it?
I decided that one way to cut costs was to coupon. I am one of the many women in the world who watched TLC's Extreme Couponing and went "Wow! I think I can do that!" Then something triggered me as I remembers that a good friend of mine, who has three girls, use to go crazy couponing and saved so much money that I couldn't believe it! That is until I visited her and saw it all in action. I had to figure out how she did it and what I could do to even just get started!
Buying theFirst Paper - Just for the Coupons!
Two or three weeks ago, I went on a newspaper hunt on a Sunday evening. It was late in the day, and I had to stop at three different stores in order to find a place that had any newspapers left. I grabbed a couple of papers and paid for them - not realizing that the papers had already been stuffed with extra coupon inserts that had been laying around unused and unwanted. I paid, and discovered the "extras" when I got home. It was like I had hit the jackpot! I saved our family around 30 dollars on that first shopping trip.
I started cutting coupons like crazy - I have a huge envelop that is filled with coupons and overflowing. I take it in my purse whenever I go out and about. My husband kinda laughs at me - but he saw the coupon show too, and was excited when I started to save his hard earned money. He works so hard to bring home what little he can to the family, that it is up to me to make sure we spend the money as wisely and frugally as possible. It just wouldn't be fair to him otherwise.
I found that our local Fosters, The Boston Globe, and the Concord Monitor all worked pretty well for gathering local coupons. You will have to check out your local newspapers to find out which ones have the most coupons in your area.
Continuing My Adventure
I have to figure out the best way to organize my coupons and I am still working on getting the best bang for my buck. The most money that I have saved so far is around 50 dollars on one trip. That included a trip to Walgreens, a trip to the Wonderbread store, and a trip to Walmart. I was stoked, because I would have spent close to 150 normally but I spent around 100. I find that couponing is not a difficult skill to learn, it is just a bit time consuming and you have to find a way to best use it for your family.
Tips While Cutting Coupons
The tips I use are as follows;
- Only save coupons for items your family will really use. At first I saved ALL the coupons and it started getting way overwhelming.
- Make a detailed list and match the items that you have to the items in store fliers. Only buy the items on sale with coupons for the best bang for your buck.
- Sometimes it is cheaper to discard the coupon and buy the store brand product. Watch for this, and check the store brand amount along with the regular brand amount. Sometimes you will get 32 oz in one brand and only 28 oz in another.
- Do not bring children on your shopping expeditions, unless you already have them well trained to understand that you will say "no" to extras.
- Keep track on how much you save - the next time your husband complains "But you spent so much" State "I could have spent X amount instead! I saved the family money!"
- Treat couponing like a game - see how much more you can save each time you shop.