Thursday, February 2, 2012

This year I resolve to save more money. Really.

It isn’t until the first time I saw a significant savings in my grocery bill that I realized the true value of coupons. When you save a dollar here and a 50 cents there, it just doesn’t seem worth it.

Then I met my hero. Whose name I don’t know, by the way. She was shopping in the same aisle as I was and had the phenomenal notebook with coupons lined up in baseball trading card holders. I stopped her and had to ask her about her system. She gave me some tips and shared how much she had saved on her last trip to Tom Thumb. I went home and tried it.

The thing is, after a couple of weeks, I was actually able to save anywhere from $25 on up on my grocery bill. And that gets pretty addicting when you think about the fact that $25 can buy you five Starbucks coffees or a manicure. My personal best was saving $85 on a $172 bill. I was quite proud. And the people behind me were probably annoyed.

But Moms, I’m sure many of you are with me. Whether it’s because your budget can’t squeeze more out of that turnip or because you realize that it’s not necessary to turn away free money, couponing is a great way to keep more money where I want it—in my hairdresser’s hands. ;-)

There are as many ways to coupon as there are people. I’ve seen the envelope method, the “bring all the flyers I have” method, the coupon organizer method, and the” clutch what I found at home” method. My personal favorite is the binder.

I purchased the largest binder I was willing to carry in public, along with a couple of packs of trading card holders. I created labels based on how I shop (by favorite store’s aisle) and then would spend football watching time cutting out coupons. If you’re not brand loyal, then this method will save you lots of money. Don’t cut out coupons you won’t use. They just take up space and tempt you when you don’t need it.

The cool thing is that if you remember to take your notebook with you, you can take advantage of unadvertised sales that combine with a coupon. There are plenty of blogs that will help you take advantage of the system, if you want to put in the time. But even with just the basic strategy of cutting coupons and bringing them with me, I’ve been able to save a lot of money.

How do you take advantage of coupons?

Reace Alvarenga-Smith is a Mother of two who is newly addicted to couponing.

1 comment:

  1. I posted yesterday...but it I'll just say that I rely on and to help me get in and out of the grocery and drug stores as quickly as possible...with maximum savings. Like you said - saving money out of necessity or for "wants" are both good reasons...and with two boys...I need and want to save....