Part One: How To Save Serious Money Becoming a Crazy Couponing Lady

I started what I call serious couponing 4 months ago and have since saved $1324.52.  Enough said, right.

Two years ago I began couponing, with visions of saving hundreds of dollars each month.  This did not happen.  I gave it my best effort, but failed big time.  I was saving enough each week to cover the cost of my Sunday newspaper subscription (getting the paper just for the coupons) but that was it.  But what was I doing wrong?

Don’t use these!  Does not work!
My couponing involved getting 1 Sunday newspaper and cutting out the coupons I needed.  I put these coupons in one of those acordian file coupon thingys.  You know exactly what I’m talking about.  Walk into any grocery store and half of the shoppers will have one.  I found that I never knew what coupons were in there, it was impossible to pull out the expired ones, and pulling out the one I needed would lead to 10 coupons falling onto the floor in the middle of the aisle.

Sound familiar?  Now when I see those acordian file shoppers I have an overwhelming urge to pull my cart up next to theirs and blurt out everything that I now know about couponing.  I know a bit ok a lot crazy of me.

Instead I will tell you how I cut my grocery bill by 50%.  It’s so easy and totally possible for anyone. I promise.

Before starting this new coupon system our family of 4 was spending roughly $900 a month on groceries. Yikes, that’s embarrassing I can’t believe I’m admitting to that.  I am now spending about $120 a week.

My family was needing to cut some expenses.  Our grocery budget was almost as much as our mortgage! Yikes. I figured there must be someway to cut this.  My current system was not working so I signed up for a 2 hour coupon class.  I highly recommend taking one of these classes, you can find someone in your area who offers these sort of classes.  If you are in the Raleigh area I highly recommend taking Su Soutter’s couponing class and check out her amazing blog over at The Intentional Home.

This is my new couponing ritual, and it’s working!

You must get more than one copy of the Sunday paper (the paper with all the coupon inserts).  I get 3 and I find this is the perfect number.  

Now if you’re going to call yourself a couponer, you also need to get a deal on your coupons. I call my local newspaper every 6 months and ask them what the best deal they can do is.  Remember newspapers are desperate to keep customers now that most people get their news electronically.  Once they give me their best price I offer to pay cash up front for the 6 months.  This always drops the rate further (normally 20% off).  Currently I get 50% off the subscription fee (just for asking).  And for the 2 additional papers I pay $1 each per month.

You only use your coupons when there is also a sale!  This is key to getting things for free or close to free. 

In the photo above the deodorant was on sale 2 for $5.00.  This means that one deodorant is $2.50 (you do not need to buy 2 to get the sale price).  I had a $1.00 off coupon which the store doubled to $2.00 off.  So the deodorant only cost $0.50.  

Be prepared and buy items before you actually need them!  The key is to never run out of something, and be forced to go to the store and pay full price for it.  

I don’t go crazy and hoard toilet paper under my kids beds or anything, but I have enough in the cupboard so that I never run out and have to pay full price.  To keep the hoarding under control I assign spaces in my cupboards for products.  In the picture above you can see the assigned space I have for laundry soap.  It’s filled right now so I don’t buy anymore.  

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this 3 Part couponing series How To Clip Coupons

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2 thoughts on “Part One: How To Save Serious Money Becoming a Crazy Couponing Lady

  1. Great tips! I'm going to have to try these out. I never even thought to ask the paper for a deal! AWESOME! I'm following you on GFC and like you on facebook so I can keep up with all your frugal living ideas!

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