Tonight after Young Womens a few of us were talking about using coupons so I thought I'd blog a little about my coupon adventures...
I feel like with a family of six we spend so much money on groceries/toiletries/diapers, etc. and I have been trying to figure out how to use coupons effectively to really save money. I have been doing it the last three or four weeks and am starting to see real savings. At first I was frustrated and kept thinking the following excuses...
*it takes too much time to clip coupons
*coupons are only for products I don't use
*I don't have time to go to five different stores and sort through coupons while I shop
*I'll end up buying things I don't really need
*It's cheaper just to shop sales and buy generic
*I shop at Walmart which is probably just as cheap
*the list goes on...
Anyways, my sister Brenda showed me a website called www.couponmom.com that does all the work for you in matching up the sales at the stores with the coupons. At first I was skeptical, especially since at first I didn't have all the coupons saved up from the newspapers, but each week I am buying more and more using coupons and saving a ton of money. For example...Below I put a picture of a "coupon run" I went on today to Kroger. The total retail value of all of this (plus two more yogurt packs and another toothpaste I forgot to put on the table) is almost $80. However, with coupons I got it all for $25.33. I felt like I was stealing as I walked out of the store with such good bargains (all the yogurts and toothpaste was free, butter for 11 cents, etc.)
The things I have learned so far and tips I have for anyone aspiring to be a coupon queen like I'm trying to be:) are these...
*I've had to learn to shop differently by buying lots of something when it's a really good price instead of when I need something...stockpiling
*it takes about an hour or so to plan my shopping trips. I go on coupon.com and look up the various stores and plan what I am going to buy and get the coupons I need from the coupon booklets. However I figure that if I saved $50 in a shopping trip, than I just made $50/hour...so worth it!
*I follow a couple coupon blogs as well that alert me to great deals at each store.
*I'm used to going grocery shopping once a week at one store (usually Wal Mart)...now with coupons, I go to Kroger, Walmart, Meijers, Target and even the drug stores...but I just go in and get the things I have coupons for on my list for that store...so I spread my shopping throughout the week since it's too much of a pain to go to all the stores in one day. But I like shopping so I don't mind:)
*Each week I get a little better as I am figuring things out and learning tips as I go.
Anyways just thought I'd share...I have really felt lately that it is important to be frugal, be a good steward over the money God has given us, and stockpile for our three month supply as well... And I have found that my excuses were wrong...cuz I don't spend hours clipping coupons...I only buy products we will really use...I don't buy things I don't need...and it's way better deals than shopping generics and Walmart. There have been times in the last month when I've been frustrated because they didn't have the products I was looking for and other things, but over time I am slowly learning. I think it just takes time to master the art of saving money using coupons...hopefully I am on my way!
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