I have recently started couponing and researching the weekly Ad sales. When I say recently I mean as in just a few months ago and I have already learned the system so well that I save over $100 each week for my family of four.
If you know me personally, then you know I am what some call a picky eater because I rarely eat out, despise fast food and convenient food, only eat whole grains and lean meat, I don’t drink my calories and everything I consume must have high amount of protein and fiber. So if that is picky, then Yep that’s me! I wasn’t always this way but I have been this “picky” for about 8 years now. I once thought, like many do, that if you eat healthy you can’t successfully coupon. Well I gladly have proven that to be FALSE!
When I decided to quit my job to stay at home full time with my children, I had to come up with a way to help with our finances. So the first thing I thought of is to save on groceries. It has helped immensely and I get better at it each week. Note: I do not do this to stock pile things we do not need or use. It is strictly to save my household on items we actually need and use in the short term. I have no clue how to be a coupon extremist who stockpiles things that could last years if they needed it. I honestly have no use for 200 jars of mayonnaise! LOL
So, I wanted to do a Frequently Asked Questions I get asked by friends and strangers alike. I hope this encourages you to start saving your grocery bill!
1.) “How do you do that?” : Well this has a loaded answer. There is actually a good amount of time involved in the entire process as a whole, but remember this is one thing I am doing to take the place of my paycheck, so it makes sense. First, I research weekly Ads for 5 stores (Publix, Winn Dixie, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens). I only look for things that someone in my family eats. Second, I make a list of all the B1G1 offers so I can take them to Walmart for price matches. Third, I look for all the drug store deals that offer register rewards and see what coupons I have to stack them with Next, I look through my coupon binder to see what coupons I have to go with the sales at all places. Lastly, I go to all the stores on my list and watch the savings roll out. Learn Coupon Lingo! I wrote a helpful list of common terms.
2.) “Is it really worth the time?” : YES!!! If someone gave you $500-600 a month for taking 1-2 hours out of your day once a week, would you do it? I would! More hours get wasted in a week doing pointless things anyhow. And now, I can’t stand the thought of buying diapers that are not on sale without a coupon or cashback. It hurts my head to think of all the money I wasted on my son’s diapers the past 2 years!
3.) “Do you only eat what is on sale.” Yes and No. I have certain things I get each week no matter what like Jennie-O ground turkey, all-natural chicken breast, fresh fruit and veggies, etc. But all other items I wait till they are on sale or I have a coupon. Eventually everything will go on sale or get a coupon. And yes, everything goes on sale, even the healthy stuff. Sales have cycles- read about them here. I keep up with them now. Quaker oats will be Buy one Get One at Publix once every 5 weeks. I stock up when they do because I use oats for alot of things. My K-cups have coupons offered galore. So yes what we eat on a daily basis was at one point on sale. But no I don’t eat Pasta Roni or Poptarts just because it was on sale that week. REPEAT: I only buy things we actually eat.
4.) “How did you know where to start?” I just sat down and started researching. I continue to learn new things every week. It is like anything, you have to dedicate time to learning it and adjusting what you have learned to fit your needs. There are so many great resources from other women who once were in your spot. It won’t be easy at first. It is similar to working out, deciding to commit yourself to it is the hardest part. Then just jump in and go!
5.)“Where do you get all your coupons from?” Anywhere I can. Sunday paper, online coupon sites, online store coupons, peelies on products, in product purchased, through the mail, magazines, etc. Once you start looking for them you will find them everywhere.
6.) “Do I really have to go to a number of stores?” Of course not, but you are missing out on some good deals. Pick the places that you live near. Luckily I can do a big circle to hit up all 5 of my places if need be. Most of the time I just use the ads from Winn Dixie and Publix to price match and never actually have to go into them to get the promotion! I LOVE the deals that can be found at CVS- read my post about it here.
7.) “You must be really organized?” Yes, you need to have some type of organized method. Can it be your own version of chaotic organization? OF COURSE! My ad skimming and coupon binder might not make sense to the seasoned couponer but it works for me. I use a Coupon Clutch to organize my stuff- read about my organizer here. So just find a way that works for you!
I carry my coupons in the car with me now all the time. You never know when you need to run into a store for something. And most likely I will have a coupon for it because I have a good supply of coupons built up now.
Do any of you Coupon? What questions do you get most often? Any tips you have learned in the process?