Saving Big with Coupons: Part 2We are moving into Part 2 of my three part series “Saving big with Coupons”. If you missed Part 1, make sure you take a minute to read it.
You are probably to the point where you can’t take it anymore. You are tired of letting your grocery budget get out of hand. If you haven’t gone to a coupon class, you need to. I teach these classes for FREE and they will really jump start your learning and ultimately your savings. If you have gone to a class, I suggest you go to another one, a month or two later. Yes, you will hear alot of the same information and maybe even the same jokes :), but you will learn much more the second time around since you are now in “coupon mode”.
Once you’ve gone to a class and decided to give this “coupon fab” a try, you may get a little overwhelmed and think “now what?”. This post will help guide you through the first 6 weeks of “beginning to coupon”. Here are a few basics steps to saving money:
- Get your Coupons
Seems simple, right? The very first thing you want to do is get coupons. First, subscribe to the paper, and be prepared to print some coupons as well. The main places to print coupons, besides manufacturers’ websites are Coupons.com and redplum.com. The key to saving big is to stockpile your coupons. You are not going to use your coupons the same week you get them, so you must keep them. Now that you are clipping and saving as many coupons as you can get your hand on yo have to figure out a way to organize them all.
Organizing your coupons is key to your sanity on this coupon adventure. Without an organizational system, you are sure to lose your mind! You must pick what is best for you. I prefer the coupon box system. I changed to this because it is very simple, and cut down on the time I was spending organizing. I have even posted where I show you how I organize my coupons. I started out with the binder system, but I was unable to keep up with it all. There are several different ways to organize your coupons, so you have to do what works for you. Do some searching and reading and find the method that will fit your time and lifestyle.
In addition to your coupons, you need to organize your time. Set aside a certain time each week that you clip and organize your coupons. It will take longer in the beginning, but after a few weeks your clipping time will decrease. As for shopping… I suggest you shop the same day and time each week, if possible. This will then become routine and part of your weekly schedule. Weekly shopping is essential when shopping “the deals”, and to really keep your sanity, leave the kids at home! I love my kids, but shopping with coupons is almost impossible with them. I know this suggestion is not possible for every reader, but if it is, I suggest you give it a try. Your shopping will be quicker and much less stressful when you don’t have any children screaming at you. 🙂 I shop almost every Wednesday (or Thursday if there is a conflict) around 8:00PM or 9:00PM. I go later at night, mainly because I like to go when it is less busy.
You may get some good deals on your food, but you cannot save big if you don’t stockpile. Stockpiling means you buy alot of that item that is on sale. If you can get a box of cereal for $.50 to $1 a box, you want to buy as many as you can. That way, when cereal isn’t on sale anymore you will still have cereal in your pantry to last you until the next sale. This is why you want to keep your coupons, so that when there is an awesome deal, you can STOCK UP. Your husband might look at you when you come home with 5 more cans of vegetables, when you already have 10 in your pantry. He will definitely stop making fun of you in 6 weeks when your budget has been cut in half! You want stockpile the deals when they come, but don’t stress out about it. Don’t go to the store every day and don’t stress out if life happens, and you didn’t get to go one week. The sale will happen again. Your stockpile will still grow regardless. Just be patient and give it time.
Budget… Budget… Budget…
If you haven’t done this yet, you need to set a budget. Go back 3 to 4 months to see what you used to spend on groceries each month. When I say groceries, I mean everything from food and toothpaste to toilet paper and napkins. This will give you a good idea of your budget. After you are in the “coupon mode” start setting yourself small goals. If you used to spend $200 a week at the store, make your goal to spend only $175. Eventually you will be able to make extreme goals like only $75 a week. They key is to keep shopping fun! Setting goals and even paying cash keeps the task we all used to regret exciting and challenging.Next, I will share with you Part 3: “The Goal”. This is when we will talk about how to you continue to coupon, drastically cutting your grocery bill, without going crazy.
More posts in this series: