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There are a range of excuses that people give as to why they don’t coupon, or try to save on groceries in general. One of the more common ones I hear is that “it’s just me” or “now that’s it’s just the two of us”. Really this is the weakest excuse of all of them though, you don’t stop eating just because your kids move away, and hopefully even though you live alone you still use toilet paper… you see where I’m going here.
When folks think of couponers they tend to think of the garage that you can no longer park in because bottles of salad dressing have taken over. While a couponer may have purchased them… that isn’t couponing it’s hoarding (and the topic of an entirely different blog post). I want you to realize that saving money doesn’t mean that you need 42 bottles of anything.
There are key ways that you can save even with a household of one or two.
Step 1: Follow the Sale Cycle
Remember that everything goes on sale in the grocery store every 6 weeks. This is like clockwork, I promise. That means if I want to shop based on sales I need to get enough for my household to last six weeks when it’s on sale. For someone who lives alone, you still probably eat more than one box of cereal in a 6 week time. So get what you need, even if it’s only two.
Step 2: Gather A Few Coupons
There is no need to go crazy here for any household, but if there is just 1 or 2 that you are shopping for then grab one Sunday paper and be prepared to print any other coupons you need. I would say you could even skip the Sunday paper, but there are some offers that we never see as printables… The less effort you put in on gathering and organizing coupons the less overwhelming this will feel.
Step 3: Shop and Take Breaks
There are some deals in the drugstores especially that might make you feel like you bought a year supply of laundry detergent. I encourage you to not push those deals aside but grab items you will use and then be okay with taking long breaks from those deals. Even now with 5 kids I tend to shop the drugstores in spurts. Grabbing deals for a few weeks then taking a month off. It’s a lot less stressful, but I’m also making sure we get the best prices on items.
Step 4: Donate
If there are things you see that are super cheap or free I encourage you to still grab them whether you need them or not. Put a box in your pantry, and if the items aren’t things you’ll need then put them straight in the box when you get home. When the box is full… donate it! You have the potential to save a ton for you, but also to share so much more!
With a family of 7 we spend between $50-$70 per week on everything we buy (food, household, baby and personal care). I can’t set a budget for you, but I could easily see this being in the $25-$30 range for one person.
What do you think? Can you do it?