Saving Money With Coupons

I’ve always tried to save money at the grocery store. For a lot of years I saved by buying store brands and generics and buying things on sale whenever possible. I remember being so happy when Kroger would have their 10 for $10 sale and I could get 1/2 gallons of milk and Kroger brand cereal for $1. A few years ago I decided to give coupons a try and was pleased with saving a little extra each week. Then a little over two years ago I saw a show on TV discussing couponing and how much you could save big each week. I was intrigued and decided I wanted to learn more. It was then that I discovered just how much you could save when you combined coupons with sales and stocked up on items when they are at their rock bottom prices.

 

If you’ve been considering using coupons as a way to cut costs but weren’t sure where to begin then this post is for you! The first thing to realize is that this will be a new way of thinking about grocery shopping. You will no longer be going to the store just to get what you need for the week. It will take a little extra planning and a little extra work but when you save 50% or more on your grocery bill you’ll find it’s worth the little bit of time you’ve invested.  

 

The way to save big at the grocery store is to combine coupons with sales to get the most bang for your buck. To maximize this you will begin “stockpiling” or “buying ahead”. This means that when you have a coupon for an item that is on sale, you can get that item at a rock bottom price. So instead of just buying enough of that item for the next week, you will buy enough of that item to last you much longer. The type of item it is will determine how many items you purchased. For example, if it’s yogurt you’ll look at the expiration dates and buy only as much as you know you and you family can consume before it expires. With canned goods, health & beauty products, household products, etc. I recommend buying a 3 month supply. You don’t have to stock up more than that because sales run in cycles and by the time you start running low on a product another sale will come along.

 

To start saving the big bucks though you’ve got to have coupons so you can start matching them with the sales. There are many places to find coupons these days. Your Sunday newspaper is one of the best sources. When you’re first starting out couponing, I recommend buying multiple copies to begin with as you’re building your stockpile. That way when you find a good deal you can purchase several items at a time. As you’re stockpile grows and you just need to replace items you can cut back. When I first started couponing I’d buy 3-4 papers each week so I’d have lots of coupons to use. And don’t worry, you’ll more than make up for the cost with what you save. You can also get family members & friends who don’t use coupons to give you their copies if you don’t want to buy mulitples. Now I only buy 1 or 2 copies a week depending on what coupons will be available. You can see which coupons will be available each week at Southern Savers. The newspaper isn’t the only source for coupons though. There are a lot of sources online for printing coupons.

 

Some I use are:

 

You can find more sources for printable coupons on my Frugal Resources page.
I also recommend you visit the websites of the brands you enjoy for coupons. Many manufacturers offer coupons on their websites these days.  You can also find them on Facebook fan pages. And some of my favorite high value coupons come from Vocalpoint. If you’re not signed up with them, I recommend doing so. You can also purchase already clipped coupons for the ultimate convenience. Some of the sources I’ve used are Maufacturer’s Coupons, The Coupon Clippers, The Coupon Master and Ebay.

 

So you’ve got your coupons, now what do you do? At this point you need to allocate part of your weekly budget to stockpiling/buying ahead.  Take an inventory of what you have in your freezer, refrigerator and pantry. Make a list of the items that you absolutely have to have for the week and put enough of your budget aside to cover that. Take what’s left and check out the deals and put that towards beginning your stockpile of things you need and use on  a regular basis. If your lucky, some of your needs will be available at a rock bottom price too. Now you can look at the sales flyers and match them up yourself or you can save yourself some time and check out some of the wonderful frugal bloggers out there who do the match ups for you.

 

Some I recommend are:

 

Choose the deals you want for that week and begin your stockpile. You’ll be amazed at just how much you’ll be able to get. Keep doing this and you’ll discover you’ll need less and less each week. You’ll also discover you won’t need to spend as much money and can beging cutting back on your budget. When I first started couponing I averaged spending a little over $100 a week on groceries. I was almost immediately able to cut my budget back to $75 a week. I now spend around $50 a week and eat better and use better quality products than I did before. So what are you waiting for? Go save yourself some money with coupons now!

 

Did you know you can save at drug stores too? I’ll be sharing how to do that soon.

 

This post is linked to: Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.

Janet is a mom to two daughters and is married to her best friend. Her belief that we are blessed so that we may bless others fuels her writing at frugalandfocused.com where she shares her thoughts on faith, family, and frugal living. She strives to make the most of what she's given in life and hopes to inspire others to do the same.