I like to save money. Especially now that we're on one income, it's become more important that I TRY to save some money. It used to be a fun challenge to see how much I could save when shopping, and now it's a fun challenge with a high-five from Hubby for doing a good job!
One of my favorite ways to save is by couponing. I've heard some people say they don't have time, or don't "need' to coupon. Get over yourselves. Saving money in one place means you get to spend it in another, and the "another" should always be something fun.
I've been asked by several people how I do my shopping, especially at the grocery store (my favorite!) and I wanted to share some of my money-saving tips with you too!
I'll try to break this down easily. Pick and choose what you can use. It takes a while to develop a system, but once you have one, it makes shopping easy and a lot cheaper.
Find them where you can!!
Here is my list of where to find coupons online:
Most sites will let you print 2-3 of the same coupon. This isn't cheating, it's allowed for a reason!
If there's a product you use a lot of, print the coupon a couple of times and USE it. They wouldn't put them out there if they didn't want you to buy their stuff.
If there's a product you love, visit their website directly. Some of my favorite products offer coupons straight from their website.
If the website doesn't offer printable coupons....use their "Contact Us" section and ask if they mail some!!!
*This is where some people don't have time...It is a time consuming process to actually e-mail them, but worth it if you buy a lot of product*
Just by e-mailing the companies we like, I got a LOT of coupons in the mail. Some of the companies even sent "Thank You" letters along with the coupons. Talk about Happy Mail!
This was quite a pile of money saving for just a few e-mails!
Of course all companies don't have coupons, or will send you an automated response saying "check your Sunday Paper".
Being organized before you go grocery shopping can save you a lot of time and $MONEY$
We've all watched "Extreme Couponing" and while I'm impressed that they can actually make money sometimes, nobody actually needs 100 bottles of barbeque sauce, or 400 toothpastes.
I like my coupons organized, but in a reasonable way (read: not in a 4" binder) I have a little coupon holder from the dollar spot at Target. It's perfect for my little family of 4.
Here's how it's organized:
Each section is a month.
When I cut out a coupon, it gets filed into the month that it expires.
Before I go shopping, I grab that month's coupons and write down what I have a coupon for. This goes straight onto my grocery list.
For example: if I have a coupon for $ off of 6 yogurts, I write "6 yogurts" on my grocery list. If I have two of those coupons, I write "12 yogurts", and so on. This way I'm not fumbling through my coupons in the store. It's all right there on my list before I leave home.
Once my list is made, the coupons I'm going to use to in the front of my little coupon holder. That way when I get to the checkout, I just hand her the stack. No fumbling, no checking, no finding. I know I have what I need because it was ON MY LIST.
The only time I mess with coupons in the store is if they're out of my item, then I'll take the coupon out of the stack.
Nice. Neat. Still fits in my purse.
These can get a little extreme, but if you keep an organized and usable one, they're great!
With your coupons...always look at the weekly ad for the store you're going to. Check out their sales, and especially the buy one/get one free section.
Are there items you need or use a lot? Now's the time to get them!!
Got a coupon for one of those items? Even better!
This is where you can get items for dirt cheap, and sometimes FREE!
If an item is Buy one/Get one free, and you have TWO coupons (remember printing multiples above?) you can use both coupons to further reduce your cost.
(This is depending on your store's coupon policy, but mine allows one coupon per item)
Stock up on savings with items you KNOW you're going to use. Our stockpile is full of cereal, toilet paper, detergent, cat litter, paper towels, etc.
I pay very little for toiletries, because they are always on some kind of sale! Combine that with coupons and you pay just cents a piece for a lot of items.
There are always, always Buy one/Get one deals on deodorant, shampoo, body wash, and soap. So we have another stock pile in the house of those!! Hubby gets really excited to know that he will NOT run out of these items any time soon.
Finally, a really good way to save money, is don't buy it unless you need it! Just because I have 6 coupons for deodorant, doesn't mean I HAVE to use them. If we have plenty in the cabinet, there's no need to spend the money on more just yet. The same goes with food. It's always good to have a nice pantry or freezer of food, especially if you can save by buying more at a time, but if it's going to go bad, expire, or not get used, then there's no point!
I hope this has been a little helpful. Make your own system. Do what works for you and enjoy saving some money!