How to Coupon with the Millennial Housewife
I am so happy to have the Millennial Housewife stopping by today to guest post on how to get started saving money with coupons. She graciously agreed to write a post out on how to get started. I’ve found that while I do want to save money with coupons (okay, isn’t that a given? of course I want to have more money.) the whole process and trying to get started is overwhelming and confusing. Hopefully this intro to coupons helps you as much as I think it’s going to help me.
I remember when I was first married and my grandma would send me coupons. I was always a little perplexed why she would mail me a coupon. Then, when I had my first child, she would mail more of them. She once told me that throwing coupons away was like throwing money away. I scoffed. I didn’t think it was worth the effort put in to it. I never saved much money and my “system” for organizing them consisted of carrying them around in a #10 envelope. I always forgot what I had and I could never remember to buy a Sunday paper. I ended up abandoning the whole idea.
Fast forward to a few years ago. I became a stay at home mom and we needed to do some serious reducing in our grocery budget. I knew that we had a lot of potential to save, but how? I started researching on-line and found a whole new world of couponing. This is now a serious business. There are many, many, many blogs dedicated to clipping coupons, finding the best deals, internet coupons, and more. It can be overwhelming!
There is also more to saving on your grocery bill than just clipping coupons. If you want to be the person that spends $20 on $200 worth of groceries, you have to do it strategically. I, for one, am not yet that person. However, I do see significant savings each month on my grocery bill with careful planning and yes, clipping. I have gone from spending $300 every two weeks on groceries to spending less than $175 every two weeks. Here are some tips to help you get started:
DECIDE ON AN ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEM: It is hard to keep track of coupons, especially if you are not organized. There are several different methods of organization out there, I personally use a Coupon Binder. See my post on how to set up and effectively use your coupon binder here.
MENU PLAN OFF OF YOUR STORE’S SALE AD: I find that basing all or even part of my menu around what is on sale for the week brings significant savings.
ONCE YOUR LIST IS READY, MATCH UP YOUR COUPONS: There are several databases out there that list all coupons from the internet and coupon inserts from the paper. Coupon Mom is one of my favorites. I simply go to the database each week and see if the product I am buying has a coupon. If it does I either clip it or print it.
STOCKPILE!!! The key to this is to stock up on items that you use a lot of when the item is on sale. Even better if you have a coupon to go with it.
I also highly suggest finding a blogger that does coupon match ups for your local store. If you are unsure about how to go about finding one, Money Saving Mom has a great list of stores across the country, with bloggers who submit the match ups.
My last piece of advice is this: Don’t get frustrated right off the bat. It can take at least a month to figure out your stores sales cycles and to really start seeing the savings. But, once you get the hang of it, you will wonder what took you so long to start!
I want to thank The Millennial Housewife, again, for stopping by and writing such a helpful post. If you want more information on saving some coin, please check out her blog. It’s chock full of great information.