My coupon story?
A good friend of mine gave me a handful of Target baby wipe coupons. At this point I had only bad monkey 1.0 and baby wipes were one of our new family staples. I could not believe I could get wipes for so cheap. I really had no idea the new world that awaited me. Then another girlfriend of mine explained how coupons, sales, and coupon blogs worked. The first coupon blog I followed was Frugal Chic Living (At the time the gal posted all store deals but she has since decided to concentrate mostly on Fred Meyer deals.)
There are so many strategies and ways to coupon. I have been couponing for about a year and a half. The first month I started I spent $59 on over $800 in groceries! I was hooked. I love shopping, but I don’t like spending money and I get the biggest thrill from finding killer deals. That is why the world of coupons is so wonderful!
Coupon guidelines I follow:
- Buy items at the lowest price possible (or FREE even)
- Stock up on items I use, my family uses, or on items that are good to donate
- Shop from my pantry (or my stockpile)
I have never been too proud to buy generic items and I of course thought I was saving the most money that way. UNTIL I learned to coupon. Now I can buy name brand, high quality products at rock bottom prices.
How can you do that?
Well, from my experience, items like household goods, cereals, sauces, and salad dressings and less perishable items go on sale every 4-6 months, while more perishable items like cheese, eggs, and yogurt go on sale every 4-6 weeks or so. This can vary from store to store or by region, but it’s generally cyclical. It would be a good idea for you to start checking out your local ads to see what kinds of cycles you notice. It is also a good idea to note prices you are comfortable paying for certain products. For example, I don’t like to pay over $.75 for a box of cereal. Before I started couponing I thought 2/$5 was a great deal!
So basically, if I can get an amazing deal on items that my family uses or items that are good for donating, then I usually try and get as many as I have coupons for. Sometimes people think it’s ridiculous that I have 15 tubes of toothpaste in my stockpile. But ask yourself this; aren’t you always going to be using toothpaste? Doesn’t everyone you know use toothpaste? Then why not stock up on it if you can get it for free!!! A good goal is to stock up with enough of an item to last you to the next sale.
The more I can stock up my pantry at amazingly cheap prices, the less I have to budget for our meals, and the less likely I will have to stop and pay full price for an item on my way home from work for that particular night’s dinner.
Please stay tuned and I will explain more on how to get started couponing!!