I think these days a lot of people hear “coupon” and they think extreme couponing. They think getting $400 worth of food and household items for less than $10. Well that is all well and good, for most of us, that isn’t reality. Most of us see a savings with using coupons but nothing that extreme. An average week of couponing saves me $10-15. A good week saves me $20-50. That may not be much but at $10 a week that’s $40 a month or $520 a year. At $20 a week that’s $80 a month or $1,040 a year. Even freeing up $40 a month allows me to add more to savings or to our debt payoff.
To do couponing in a more manageable way doesn’t take a lot of time or effort. Here is what I do.
Check online- I check Coupons.com at the beginning of the month and about once a week. This doesn’t take much time and helps me find coupons that I can use. An easy way to do this is to use the coupon page right here on Logger’s Wife. Super simple.
Check coupon clipping websites- Klip2Save is my favorite. I typically only do this once a week or every other week. I find it cheaper to use a coupon clipping website than it is to buy a Sunday newspaper. It also is a big time saver. Someone else has cut them out for me.
Only print/cut what I need- I only print or cut out coupons that I know I will use. I will sometimes print one for a new product that I want to try but often it is for things I know I am going to use. We don’t buy junk food so even though I could save a bunch of money on it, there’s no point in printing junk food coupons.
Check my coupons once a week- I may print a good coupon I run across any time of the week but I only clip and sort once a week. This is typically Thursday for me when I am finalizing my grocery list for the next morning. It only takes me about 15 minutes or so to clip, organize, and choose what I need for my trip. What I need for coupons is based on what I need for groceries/household items and what is expiring before my next shopping trip.
Combine coupons with sales- That is how I save the most with coupons. We have one store near-ish to me that doubles coupons (up to $0.99). The weeks I save a lot are the weeks I travel the 30 miles to that store. They have great sales. If I can save enough to make the trip worthwhile or have other things to do in the “big city,” I go. I often get cereal for $0.80 or less per box by using their sales and coupons that they double.
That’s it! It’s as simple as that. I may not save an extreme amount of money but I save enough to make it worthwhile. If I spent hours each week couponing and purchased a bunch of processed foods, I’m sure my numbers would be much more impressive. But really, I’m not trying to impress anyone (although, it is fun when I do). I’m trying to stick within the coupon policies of each store to make the most out of the grocery budget that I have to save as much as I can. I don’t need to be extreme to do that.
How do you approach couponing?
Come party with me! Here are all the link parties I do each week.