Couponing is great! As I have mentioned before, I have been bitten by the coupon bug and I have had a great time learning the ropes from experienced coupon bloggers in my area. So far it it has saved my family and I lots of money — plus it’s really fun (and a little addicting). Even though I enjoy doing it, I simply do not have the time, energy or drive — to spend hours on end working as hard as some of these extreme couponers do. So as you might imagine, I am a HUGE fan of couponing shortcuts and that is what I plan on sharing with you in this post today.
If your goal is to get cart loads of items for free or almost free, or reduce you bill for grocery and household items by 80% or more, or you want insider information from an highly experienced couponing expert — this post is not for you. There are many awesome couponing gurus from all across the country who are sharing their tips and tricks and all kinds of great coupon information on blogs. I am what some might call a lazy couponer — or perhaps a better, nicer term might be a laid back couponer. I have only been couponing effectively for about four months but during that time I have learned a lot and I am excited to share what I know.
So without further adieu here are some simple tips that you can use to save on your grocery bill:
1. Pay Attention
I had no idea how much things really cost. I know that may sound silly but I really wasn’t paying attention to the actual price of the items we were purchasing. I had a general idea of course but when I really started to look at the prices – and realize what was and wasn’t a good deal – it really opened my eyes. Prices on items can vary drastically. I thought all retailers were within a few cents of each other on most items, but boy was I wrong! I would have to say that this is one of the most important tips for saving money because even if coupons became extinct, you would still save just by being observant and shopping sales.
2. Do Your Research
I do not have time to spend hours on end matching up the coupons I have, with items that retailers put on sale. This was probably one of the biggest reasons I didn’t coupon before — I just didn’t have the time to commit to such a project. Luckily, there are people out there who do this for a living and I love them for it! I have three favorite coupon blogs that I visit. They do store and coupon match-ups, they alert me to other sales that I might find on the internet, they provide money saving tips and they do so in a fun and informative way. Oh yeah, and the best part is it’s F-R-E-E. Just be sure that if you decided to take advantage of any coupons or deals they tell you about, that you use the links provided on their site. This is how they can bring such valuable information to you at no-charge. I highly encourage you to seek out these sites in your area. Facebook is a great place to find these people and if you have any frugal friends, ask them who their favorite coupon bloggers are.
3. Get Organized
Before you embark on any shopping trip it is to your advantage to check out what sales are going on at the store you are headed to. I usually just check out one of my favorite coupon blogging sites, make a list of the things I need and the deals that are going on and then I compile my coupons. Sometimes I take my whole coupon binder but most of the time I just throw coupons in of things that I know will be a good deal. It would be nearly impossible for these sites to list EVERY sale item, so it’s good to keep an eye out for other store savings. You can always go back later when you have your coupons with you.
4. Stock Up!
When you see a great deal — stock up! This is really a money saver. Paying attention to sales cycles is a great idea because then you will know what items go on sale at certain times of the year. If you purchase these items when they are at their lowest and stock up until their next sale cycle starts you’ll save a lot! Most of the coupon blogs will make note of “stock up” prices which is helpful for folks like me.
5. Make it a Lifestyle
Saving money can be like a diet. You might do really great for a month or so — you might lose a few pounds (or save a few bucks) then you might revert back to the old ways. If you want to save money you really can do it simply and it really can make a difference. It is a relatively painless process. Sure there is a little hassle associated with it but no pain, no gain right? You don’t need to starve yourself you look like a supermodel, just as you don’t need to spend your every waking hour obsessing over coupons. Once you get into the swing of things you’ll be able to save some money and have a great time doing it!!!
My next post will be about how to save money other than using coupons…stay tuned 🙂
How much effort do you put into couponing?