Part of doing a budget is knowing what the estimated percentages of expenses are for our family. For example, how much should a family of 3 spend monthly on groceries? Well, as it turns out, we spend probably more than what we should. Go figure.
So, I've started couponing. It's been a learning experience and surprisingly fun! My original attitude towards couponing was this:
- I don't eat the processed foods that the coupons are for.
- I don't know how to get the savings that I hear about on all sorts of blogs-it seemed very confusing to me. I didn't know all the lingo like "catalina" "register rewards" "BOGO" etc.
- I thought that I shouldn't have to drive all over town-I thought I deserved convenience over frugality.
What I think about couponing now.
- Holy cow, it's fun! It's the thrill of the hunt feeling!
- I educated myself-and it's all a learning process. I bought a book and frequent the krazy coupon lady blog.
- I've been humbled and know that I don't deserve anything. I've have definitely had a change in my attitude and in my heart.
- And....I do use the things that there are coupons for. Coupons are not just for "processed" foods. You can buy all kinds of things with coupons!
- It does take time. But I think it's worth it.
Yesterday was my first couponing shopping experience. It took some preparation. I went to Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Safeway, and Winco, Asian World, and Costco. It was a long day-but soooo worth it. I ended up spending around $200.00 but my savings were close to $90!!! (with coupons, club cards, and in store sales)
Some of my good buys included:
2 Gillette Fusion Razors for 3.99 ea. -They were on sale for $7.99 and I had 2/$4 off coupon.
2 Crest toothpastes (reg. size) for $0.25 ea.
Clorox wipes for $1.99 (I don't know if this was a great deal, but it was significantly cheaper than regular price-and these are great to have on hand with a potty training boy in the house!)
Packaged crab meat for $0.99 regularly $4.49! I bought 6. I had to do 3 separate transactions.
Kraft macaroni & cheese for $0.50
Purex laundry detergent for $2.99
10# bag of potatoes for $0.99
and I earned a free coffee (any size) from starbucks at safeway.
I have more coupons to use today! I will let you know my deals later on!
If this sounds like something that you want to do and you don't know how to start-here is how I got started.
1. Get a subscription to the Pinch. This is a free circular-that comes on Wednesdays and Sundays. It has all the coupons and ads in it. It is part of the Spokesman review. Call their circulation desk to get sign up.
2. Get a subscription to the Sunday paper. I get papers on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. This gives me a total of 3 times the coupons! Since there are coupons in the Wednesday and Sunday papers.
3. Search the blog world for tips. My favorite blog is Krazy Coupon lady. From there you can blog hop.
4. Get club cards to every store that offers them. They will save you money as well as get exclusive offers. They may take up a lot of space in your wallet or on your keychain. But that's ok. It's worth it.
5. Spend some time studying the ads-compare prices. Find out what is a good price for the things you normally buy.
6. The key to saving money is to find what is on sale and find a coupon for that product-find 2 if you can! For example: This week Walgreens has a $10 off Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips in their weekly ad. The Sunday paper also has a $10 off manufacturer coupon-so (hopefully!) I can combine both coupons and get this product for $20 off-probably very cheap if not free.
- I do not save money by using .10 or .05 cents off coupons. The key is to use your coupons for what is on sale. Use multiple coupons and you can build a stockpile of items.