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To coupon effectively you can’t go out and buy every deal you see. The point is to save money yes, but in the end even deals that cost 25¢ still mean that you are spending money. I want to encourage to learn to coupon inside of a set budget. This means that if you have the 25¢ in the budget then buy the deal, but if the budget is spent then pass a few deals up.
As you start creating a budget, look at how much you are currently spending and then set some goals to bring it down. For our family we were spending around $500 a month before couponing, so my first goal was to drop that to $350 a month or 30%. It was pretty doable just by taking a few steps.
First, some foods have to go. Anything that isn’t a necessary food is really a waste of money when money is very tight. So no juices, cookies, chips and other unhealthy snacks. We already didn’t buy soda, but we were very juice heavy. I know this is sounding like a diet, but when it comes down to needing the money, the most unhealthy things are the easiest to remove first.
Second, decrease personal and household product costs. These items also don’t feed you, but at the same time it’s important to be clean. When we started couponing I had one in diapers and 2 kids in pull ups. The need to save money pushed me to finish potty training our twins. That saved a ton, but the last one in diapers pushed me to learn something else… how to shop the drugstores! If you are just starting to coupon and are only shopping the grocery store deals, I encourage you to add in just one drugstore. It’s not that scary, it will do amazing things for your budget! Following the drugstore deals you’ll see free toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, shampoo and so much more! We also see the best prices on paper goods and most cleaning supplies in drugstores. To get started, I would encourage you to start in CVS they are the easiest store to learn. Watch some CVS how-to videos to get started if you haven’t already.
Third, focus on stocking up. Our goal in couponing is buy things on sale and stock up on them, but when you first get started you have no stockpile. So to save the most money at the start, you need to plan a menu based off of the items on sale this week. Grab those items for this week’s meals, but also grab any items on sale that you will use in the next 6 weeks. Remember when you see a sale that you will not see that item on sale again for a good 6 weeks, so if you use 1 box a week you’ll need a few of them to get you through until the next sale.
Let’s get started!
If you are just getting started on saving, I want you to start this week by trying to shave off the first 30% of your grocery expenses. For the next two weeks, try to incorporate these few tips and see how much you can save.