We have all read the amazing success stories of Extreme Couponers.¬† You know – the ones who pay $0.50 for $10 worth of groceries.¬† I get insanely jealous when I read these stories – how I would kill to have that grocery bill.¬†¬†¬†
I’ll admit, stories like that are what inspired me to start using coupons again.¬† But, I realized, I am not a Super Couponer.¬† Oh, I can find a great deal – and am always hunting for one.¬†¬† I don’t buy 6 copies of the Sunday paper and I don’t go to Wal-Green’s to buy 20 tubes of toothpaste.¬† I tried, and I am not that girl.¬† But, that is ok, because I still am saving my family money!¬†¬†
I think that more people would use coupons, but when you read these stories, it tends to get overwhelming.¬† To the point where people give up.¬† What you don’t realize is that most of these women have been doing this for awhile, and have a system in place.¬† They can take $20 and stock up on broth one day and diapers the next.¬† If you just started using coupons again and need 2 weeks worth of groceries – this tatic is not going to get you very far.¬†¬†
I have dramatically reduced my grocery budget in the last year.¬† At one time, we were paying $150 a week for groceries for a family of 5.¬† I have reduced that to $150 every two weeks for groceries.¬†¬† But, you would be surprised at just how simply I achieved this.¬†
My first step was to PLAN.¬† I know, I know….hear the words menu plan¬†and your brain shuts down.¬† But, seriously folks, it is a very key step in saving you some money at the store.¬† When I walk into any store without a list – I walk out with a serious case of buyer’s remorse and a large receipt.¬†¬†
Use your store’s sale ad to make your plan.¬† For instance, let’s say that beef broth is on sale this week.¬† Two meals on my menu right off the bat will be Beef Stew and Beef &¬†Noodles.¬† Make the most of ingredients that¬†you are getting on sale.¬†
Once your list is made, check it against your coupons.¬† Even if you follow a deal blog for your store, check the coupon database as well.¬† I use Hot Coupon World and Coupon Mom.¬† Go through your grocery list and look for coupons for the items on your list.¬† The databases will tell you if there is one in an insert or a printable, hangtag, mailer, etc.¬† This process is a little time consuming but is worth the effort.¬†¬†
These are small changes to make in your grocery buying routine that will show you instant savings.¬† Simplicity is the key when beginning your coupon adventure. Start small and work your way into a system that works for you and your family.