Do you clip coupons?
I started in June of 2009. I began tracking my savings in February 2010 and have saved about $2100 since then.
I certainly am NOT a guru on this topic by any means, but I am happy with my results. Our monthly grocery budget has been cut in half. I typically save between 45-50% each week (grocery store + CVS trip), but I still wonder how some are having shopping trips where there are savings of 60% and higher.
Here’s what I do:
I save the inserts from the Sunday newspaper. My parents and my next door neighbor save theirs for me as well, so I get duplicate copies. I organize my lists and clip the coupons from the inserts on Thursdays at nap time (about 2 hours). I keep the clipped coupons and my list in an envelope, which I carry to Publix. Taking a huge binder full of thousands of coupons is not appealing to me, mainly because there are times when my children are tagging along. After all, you all know I have my hands full without a binder. 😉 Shopping with a certain amount of coupons also makes me stick to my list.
My favorite sites that have sales and coupon matchups are:
The ladies who run these sites do a phenomenal job making it very easy to coupon.
I get all of my toiletries at CVS unless they are free at Publix or Kroger. CVS, RiteAid, and Walgreen’s actually have programs in place where you can earn rebates or store “money” to use at your next visit. It’s most definitely worth the time to learn how to shop at these places. Last week, I paid less than a dollar for 2 packs of Huggies diapers at CVS. Southern Savers easily explains how to work the drug stores.
Aside from fresh produce (we have really upped our fruits and veggies intake around here), my shopping trips are typically weekly.
I personally do not stock up on insane amounts of a particular item. I get what my family needs until the next time the item is on sale. However, I usually have enough to donate to food drives, local charities and families in need with the amount I buy.
Become familiar with each store’s coupon policy. They differ from store to store and area to area. A lot of times the policies are put in place by the local store managers.
I prefer to shop at Publix because:
a) they take your groceries out for you and tipping is not necessary. This is especially helpful to this mom of three children.
b) if you ever have a problem or question they are EXTREMELY helpful and accommodating.
c) they often have additional coupon books available.
There are tons of blogs/sites dedicated to couponing. If you have any other favorites, list them in the comments. Again, be sure to read up on store coupon policies so you play fair.