I know a lot of people are giving up on coupons, but I’m here to say it’s worth it! Find out my tips and tricks to saving more money for your family.
I have been couponing for decades. Seriously, I was a 10 year old with coupons in envelopes. Saving money is a way that I help provide for my family. Most of our purchases are on clearance, sale or even free by using coupons. Once you start saving money, it’s quite addicting! I can spot a clearance sticker from a mile away!
So many people have the same comment when they see my big old coupon binder: “How do you have TIME to do that?” Yes, it’s time consuming. There are weeks when I just have coupon inserts stacked in a basket, waiting to be clipped. But in reality, you only need to spend an hour clipping to stay on top of everything. Put your favorite show on the TV and clip away–it’s not THAT bad. Without coupons, our budget would be SUPER tight. The answer is basically I MAKE time to do it!
The second response I get is: “There aren’t coupons for products I use, anyways!” This used to be true. Some weeks, coupon inserts have better coupons than others. But there are SO MANY different types of coupons now. If you’re shopping organic, Mambo Sprouts offers monthly printable coupons, plus they send seasonal booklets. I also love frequent coupons from Earthbound Farms and other organic brands I follow on social media. They ARE available and there are many coupons for healthy items!
There are coupons available for makeup, beauty products, items for the home and almost anything you need. If you live in a smaller town, buy a paper for a larger city around you. Here in Grand Rapids, we have pretty decent coupons. In the Lansing area, I suggest getting either Detroit or Grand Rapids’ paper instead. I hate that the coupons vary by region!
My point is: don’t give up on them. Or if you’ve never started, give them a try. Even if you save only $30 a month, that’s more than you started with. The unfortunate thing about those Extreme Couponing shows is that it made people believe EVERY shopping trip should be a crazy haul like they have. It’s really unrealistic and you really don’t need 800 candy bars, do you? I like to stock up my pantry enough for a month or so. If there’s an amazing deal where a product we use is free or dirt cheap, I’ll buy a bit extra–as long as we can use it before it expires.
Where To Find Coupons
- Sunday Inserts. This is the most common way to get coupons. Like I said earlier, they vary by region, but it’s worth picking up at least 1 Sunday paper. Heads up: Walmart has them for cheaper than the listed price!
- Printable Coupons. Obviously, printer ink can be expensive, but printable coupons are usually higher in value, thus worth checking out! I like to print in draft mode when I can! Here are the main sites to first check out. Check out the FB pages of your favorite brands and they might offer coupons, too!
Tips For Using Coupons
- Pair coupons with a sale. I rarely buy something that’s not on sale, but if I have a great coupon I’ll also wait for a sale to use it. Once you really start watching prices, you’ll notice how often items go on sale. Simply being aware what you’re spending on food is the first step of budget shopping.
- Stacking coupons. Most stores allow you to “stack” manufacturer coupons with a store coupon. This creates extra savings, even free items!
- For instance: on the Target website, when you print their coupons, you’ll see the words “Target” or “Manufacturer” on the top by the expiration date. You can now sort by coupon type on their website, too! Say there’s a $1.00 off Pantene Target coupon AND a $1.50 off Pantene coupon from a Sunday insert, you can use both for $2.50 off!
- I recommend buying one paper per person in your household. We’re a family of 5, so we get 5 Sunday papers, unless there aren’t any inserts or just one. There aren’t any inserts for holiday weekends, heads up!
- Ask friends and family to save inserts for you! If you have a baby, ask friends without kiddos to save their diaper coupons!
- Keep them organized. It will save you a headache when you’re shopping. You don’t need a binder, but at least an accordion file folder with some categories.
If you have ANY questions about coupons, please email me at: DashOfEvans@gmail.com I love to help people save money. I would love to follow up with more details about budget shopping, especially with a family so drop any questions you have in the comments below!