Clipping My Way to Making Ends Meet!
Couponing is a great way for families to help make ends meet. In fact, I’m not sure our family would get by without the savings coupons provide.
As a stay at home mom, a big part of my role is to make sure our family expenses do not exceed our income, so I’ve learned to shop frugally…especially when it comes to one of our largest expenses, groceries.
There are several levels of couponing, let’s focus to average everyday couponing or beginner couponing. For some people, the mere mention of coupons turns them off. My advice, forget about what you’ve heard about extreme couponing. This is when obsessed people become coupon experts and go shopping to purchase extreme quantities for a few bucks.
I don’t have the time or inclination to pursue that activity. So, lets keep things simple, with a few tips your family can use to save money every day.
First lets start with couponing lingo, the terms can be confusing if you are new.
B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free – sometimes also called BOGO
B2G1 = Buy Two Get One Free
$1.00/2 = $1.00 off two items (same formula works for additional items or dollar amounts $1.00/3, $2.00/2)
The first way I love to save and use coupons is in-store coupons. Many stores will have company coupons throught the store for you to take. So look for deals right in the store. Locally, Woodman’s does a great job of providing in-store savings.
Next is in-store ads, look for specials the retailer is offering, these maybe in aisle or at the customer service counter. It only takes a couple of minutes and you can save a couple of bucks if you find a few things you were going to get anyway.
Other great source of coupons are online websites such as Coupons.com, RedPlum.com and SmartSource.com. At these websites, you can search for the coupons you want and only print the ones you know you will use.
You can find tons of savings by checking your Sunday paper. If you get a paper already great. Otherwise, you can ask someone you know who does, or check at your place of work. I’ll even check at restaurants I know who offer papers to customers. Typically, these get thrown anyway, why not put them to good use.
Another tip of couponing 101…only purchase what you need or are certain to use. Just because you save $2.00…it’s not a great deal if you never use it or eat it. Then you just spent money you didn't need to. For example, if you save $2.00 on something that costs $5.00 normally. Did you save $2.00 or did you just spend $3.00?
Also, never buy items like diapers, toilet paper, and cereal without a coupon. These products always have coupons available. The rare exception is if you see a terrific sale on them and additional coupons are restricted.
The last quick tip I have is using store apps. Check the app store to see if your favorite retailers have apps available, most of them will send you exclusive deals you can only find on their app. Two great stores for this are Target and Kohl’s. Both are very user-friendly and provide excellent offers.
This is just the start of using couponing to find savings for your family. Stay tuned for additional tips in the future! If you enjoy or have any experience in couponing, we would love to hear some of your tips or tricks below in the comments section.