Saving Big with Coupons: Part 3
We are finally on part three of my very first series, “The Goal”. I hope this is helping you realize that couponing and saving big is truly a process. This process is something you have to go through in order to really save big.
This is a very simple post, which is where I explain where you want to be in your couponing. I promise you the overwhelming, time consuming couponing will be over soon. It will take you anywhere from six to eight weeks to get to “the Goal”, but it is definitely worth the time and hard work.
Here are a few steps to live “The Goal”:
- Replenish your stockpile
- The Budget Game – Take it to a new level!
- Give, Give, Give!
- Creative Organization
My primary topic today is to discuss that you should now be primarily shopping to replenish your stockpile, not to shop because of need.
In about 6 to 8 weeks, life will flow with coupons. It will take you half has much time to cut your coupons, probably a quarter of the time to prepare for a shopping trip, and half the time to actually grocery shop. You will just coupon “naturally”.
Your whole way of thinking will change. You will be able to tell what is a good deal without second guessing yourself. You will have a pantry full of food. As a result you will only buy the very “cheap” items to keep that stockpile building. You will not buy because you need something (excluding eggs, milk, and bread probably). This is when you will primarily see a HUGE price drop in your grocery budget. Your savings on your weekly receipts will go from 50% up to 80-90%!
I know everyone hates the big B word… BUDGET, but come one everyone… You need a budget! If you haven’t started making a budget, like I told you to in Step 2, now is definitely the time to start. My budget is $250 each month, including coupon trips, my produce trips, and Sams club trips. Basically it includes all my purchases for food and toiletries. You don’t need to make your budget the same as mine (we have a family of 7, and I am pretty frugal! 🙂 ), but now that you have been couponing for a while it is time to make it a game. What number can you try to stay under this month?
Make the dreaded budget a game… Take it to a new level of playing. You already tried cutting out $25 a week, but what about $100 a week? Back in March 2010 we were spending on average $900-$1,000 a month on food. It didn’t take long to cut that in half. Now we are down to a quarter of what we use to spend with very little effort. I am now spending under $250 for an entire month which is what I use to spend in one week! Isn’t that crazy to think about?
You will have drastically dropped your grocery bill and will have a house full of food. Now what? You have to keep buying. Don’t stop! You have to keep replenishing that stockpile, because you have to eat. You need to buy that cereal when it is cheap, so you don’t fall back into old habits of buying because of need. Remember, you are now a TRUE grocery shopper. You only buy that certain item if it is cheap enough for you. The main problem you will run into is: “I already have 20 boxes of pasta, but I can get 4 more free this week. What do I do?” That question is simple to answer -GIVE! Buy the free pasta. You are going to the store anyway -you are getting it for free, so buy it and give it away. Not only can you do wonderful things for your family now, but you can help others with food. Give it to a family member, or donate it! There are alot of charities who need that food!
The main problem most people run into with couponing is space. What do you do with all this food? Get Creative! My favorite organizing tip is to buy clear plastic bins. I know that seems so simple, but it does help. Instead of stacking your canned goods on a shelf, put them in a bin on the floor. That way you have more room for you boxed items. Think outside of the box. In the next few weeks, I will be posting pictures of the way I organize my food. In the meantime, get creative. Remember, if you don’t have stockpile, then you wouldn’t be able to save all this money, so keeping up with our stockpile is VERY important.
Remember, don’t quit!! Just because you have a full pantry doesn’t mean your done. It just means you are doing a great job! A full pantry is a happy pantry!
I am not an expert by any means, when it come to couponing, but I hope I have been able to help you “SAVE BIG” through my personal experiences and my very first written series.
More posts in this series: