Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Couponing

As you probably noticed, I added a new ticker to the top of my blog. I have recently started to be more diligent with my use of coupons because of the fact that we will soon need to buy a larger vehicle.  We do not currently have a car payment and would like to keep things that way, but quite honestly, we don't have the cash saved up to pay for a vehicle in full (at least not enough cash for a newer vehicle). My goal is to save $2,000 by the end of January 2012. That equates to a savings of about $250 each month.

I have always used coupons if I had one, but never really made an effort to maximize my savings potential. Until now. And it's awesome!!! I wish I had started sooner because the savings available are crazy. I love the feeling I get when I save 50% or MORE on foods and items we use every week. Our grocery bill is typically $80-$100 per week or $320-$400 per month. That seems high but considering we're a family of 7, that averages out to about $45-$50 per person per month. Saving 50% means that my goal is pretty realistic, and it excites me that I can contribute financially to my family.

I have only been couponing for a couple of weeks and the savings on my ticker are not inclusive. I couldn't find all of my receipts to include (like the one where I bought 10 boxes of cereal for $9.86!! I saved almost $3/box or 76% on that trip!!!) I think seeing my savings each week will help keep me motivated to continue to coupon and save for our new(er) vehicle. Once we buy our SUV (or whatever), I can start saving for other things, like a Disney cruise or another fun family vacation we've been wanting to do. =)

* Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.  ~Proverbs 10:4

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Martha Compton said...

You make me want to do better with couponing..I am just not as organized as you are! Do you really find that it's better to coupon that to buy store brand?

South Carolina Mom said...

Great question!! I used to think that, too, until I started researching and understanding the way the sales work. The key to successful couponing is buying what you need, when you don't need it. You have to match up your coupons to the sales. For instance, the cereal I purchased: I bought a total of 16 boxes (mixed varieties). We use cereal on a regular basis, so I need it. But, now that it's not on sale (at least not at its cheapest), I can be picky about when I purchase it next because I am stocked up. I don't need to "settle" for what's on sale currently because if I don't, we won't have any to eat. Does that make sense? I just did that with diapers (which you know I always need!) I bought 5 packages of diapers for $5.49 per package, plus I earned store credit for my next purchase (at Rite Aid). Couponing definitely takes time and effort, but even if you just buy something and use a coupon, you are saving money here and there. Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned! :)

I would be glad to show you what I've learned (keep in mind, I am not an expert and still consider myself a "newbie" to this). A couple of hours in the evening when your kids go to sleep, or in the afternoon when they nap is really all you need to maximize your savings.

Martha Compton said...

Another issue I have is that we do not have space for stocking up lots of items for future use. It sounds like so much work that it's a little intimidating!

South Carolina Mom said...

You can just buy what you need. We go through 2-3 boxes of cereal per week, so really I only bought enough to last us for about 2 months. That's the only thing I purchased "in bulk" other than the diapers, but those can go in the girls' closet and with 2 in diapers (Teagan still wears them at nap/bed time), we'll go through those rather quickly, too. TJ is adament that I only buy what we'll use, nothing extra like what you see on TV (if you've watched "Extreme Couponing). It is work but it's pretty easy when you get the hang of it. The effort you put into couponing, you'll see in terms of savings out of it. For us, it's worth the 2-3 hours per week I put into it. Like I said, I am happy to show you what I do. The savings speak for themselves. =)