I always thought couponing sounded like an interesting way to save money, but I've also pictured it taking tons of time. Recently I read the Krazy Coupon Lady's book and spent some time on her blog. I've created and started filling my coupon binder. I've ordered 2 Sunday paper subscriptions (which is all I could afford to pay for upfront). I figure if the coupons are particularly good on a given week, I can pick up a couple of extra copies. I really need to start spending less on groceries and am excited about couponing. I don't plan to purchase tons of junk food, but there are things offered that I do buy, like whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, canned tomatoes, frozen veggies and such. I can't afford to buy a lot of organic items, so I wouldn't be sacrificing there, at least not at this point. I hope to create a small stockpile (maybe 6 months to a year's worth of products). The drug store deals and the "idea" of free or very cheap household products is appealing.
Who has given couponing a legitimate try and what has been your experience? What would you say is the percentage (or $ amount) that you've saved? Do you have any tips to share with a newbie? If you went to different stores, what was your routine and how long would you estimate you spent shopping each week?
Well I can definitely talk about couponing since I run an extreme couponing website for babies (Baby Deals and Freebies). Posting the best diaper deals each week and helpful advise. I have been couponing for the past 5 years and I have managed to diaper both my kids for free. Most of it was done with couponing, some with other resources. But I can honestly say I spend about 5-6 hours a week looking at the best deals for the week I can score. I have been doing it for so long I just maintain my stockpile.
My advise would be to take baby steps. Any savings is a good start. No you will not ALWAYS get things for free but if you can save at least 50% or more you did very well. Just today I went to the grocery store and was able to get a bottle of All detergent for $1.49 a bottle. I got 20 bottles and paid a little over $32 and that will last me and my two little ones over a year.
If you plan on getting coupons (inserts) start with 1 insert per person in your household. If you have 6 people in the house you should get 6 inserts.
I pay about fifty cents to a dollar for toothpaste. I get tooth brush's free or for about fifty cents. I get deodorant for nearly free, shampoo, body wash, lotions, and even have a stockpile of disposable pads. I have more razors than my daughter and I can use in a year right now and I got paid to take them out of the store.
Basically once you get started you will start to know what looks like a good deal. For instance I would never buy razors I would simply wait for my coupon and whether I already have enough or not I am going to get them! Once you have this nice stock pile only buying at rock bottom prices is so much easier. I use some food coupons too, but I don't shop at a couponing type store (double coupons and such) so it is not that amazing of a deal. We also eat a lot of fresh fruits veggies and meats. We get WIC which I see as a wonderful coupon!
Anyway I wish you luck and as you get going I think you will get better and better and you will see your stockpile grow for cents!!
I only get two papers;) I have enough non foods to be considered a stock pile and it has been since this winter.
I am subbing here to learn. I have never found coupons for the kinds of foods we really eat - fresh produce, meat and dairy. Simple pastas, rice, oatmeal, and whole grain breads. I only find coupons for processed foods, frozen dinners, stuff like that. And hygiene and household products that we don't use. Any ideas for where to find coupons for less processed kinds of things?
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
I am a longtime couponer who eats a vegetarian diet. I find the target coupons you can find online with the $5 giftcards to be really helpful in this respect. I often use coupons for yogurt, nondairy milk, popsicles, pasta, veggie burgers, eggs, health and beauty products, paper products, pet products. I do not buy the paper because I rarely find coupons there that I will use. I download most of my coupons off the internet or get them inside grocery stores. Mambo sprouts is a great source for natural and organic coupons. I save about $7-$10 each shopping trip with coupons.
I follow the blog hip2save.com which helps me with my coupon matchups and she shares links to coupons. I have a black and white laser printer which saves me money on ink for the printer.
I only use deals for 1 drugstore which now has there own reward system which allows me to get free products.
I used to be an extreme couponer, I had a huge stockpile a few years ago. When I was an extreme couponer it was a lot of work. I would save about 75% on average on everything. I would get a lot of healthy foods for cheap too. I remember I got store brand organic frozen veggies for .49 a bag, I loaded up! I use a lot of mainstream items like diapers and wipes since DD went from PT cloth diapering and now she doesn't like the cloth diapers at all and now I more buy as I go and I use coupons here and there. Now I do a lot of my grocery shopping at aldi's and go other places for sales good enough to get me there. I like aldi's because I can get in and out in 20minutes. Even when I couponed heavily I went to aldi's weekly for the produce sales. Recently they are offering more organic/natural products (cage free boneless/skinless chicken breasts for 2.99/lb yes please)!
I don't do too much on the grocery side, but do well enough shopping Aldi, produce discounter, and then regular grocery sales. I find with food we do the best when we simply plan every meal and buy only those things, and eat everything we get. It sounds kind of obvious when you write it out, but there's no waste that way.
Carson, living life with my 3 boys: DH, DS Dec '09 and newbie DS Sept'12
always two in my
|Frugality , Finances|