Monday, January 10, 2011

Coupons and money saving ideas

Over 23 years ago I was introduced to "couponing" . The art of clipping coupons, organizing the coupons, checking out the local sale fliers, and saving lots of money.  I typically save 35-50 percent off my grocery bill per week.  Take into account we are a family of 7 and that adds up.  I am often stopped while in the grocery store when they see my coupon box.  I am also asked about how I can feed a family of 7 with a weekly bill of 140.00 ( on average).  We eat big home cooked meals every night so doing it on a budget is essential .

So, I thought I would share some of what I have learned after doing this every week for 23 years.  It does take some time but I can promise you once you get organized this is worth every minute.

A few tips :
- I shop once a week.
- I cut coupons and file them under the correct file in the coupon box before grocery shopping.
-I make a list of two weeks of meals ( posted on the side of my fridge ) and make a grocery list .  While I shop every week, I like having two weeks of meals ready to prepare according to what our day is going to be like.
- I check out the sale fliers and pull coupons for the ones I know I want to buy. I put them in an envelope in my coupon box.
- I plan meals according to what meats are on sale that week.  For instance , when boneless chicken goes on sale for 99 cents a pound, I make bbq chicken, baked chicken, and fry chicken. I always buy two extra packets for the freezer when they are on sale.
-  I save coupons on products I might like to try because sometimes they go on clearance and with the coupon the item is free.
- I always collect the coupons that are displayed in the store for later use.  Key is to file them away as the store will be putting them on sale very soon.
- I shop at Sam's Club once a month to buy those items I need in bulk such as noodles, milk, meats, and frozen items that might be on sale.
- I don't use a lot of prepackaged items so this keeps costs down.  Fresh products make the best meals. I found that if I was going to feed 7 people healthy meals , I was going to have to buy fresh products and prepare the meals. I have not found a prepackaged meal that feeds all of us.
-Buy when the item is on sale not when you NEED it.  If an item goes on sale, buy three or four of those items. That way when you run out of the item , you go to your pantry , not the store where the items  are surely not on sale.

THE COUPON BOX





I use a system that breaks down the categories into specific items that helps me find the coupons quickly. For instance, I have dairy, cheese, yogurt, ect. When there is a sale item, I can check for a coupon very quickly.  I keep an envelope in the back for the coupons that I am using that day.  When I get to check out I just hand the cashier my envelope.




I also pull coupons that are going to expire that week. I put them in the front of the coupon box . I check the items on the coupon to see if they are on sale . If I am not going to use them, I will put them on the grocery shelves next to the item for someone else to use that week.


This is not a fancy system but its functional. I have had this box for 10 years.  My previous box was stolen while at the grocery store !!  

Last week, I spent $62.00 and I saved $67.00!!! That is a lot of money!  I hope it inspires you to start your own coupon box.  I hope you will share your success stories with me! 

Happy Saving!
Robyn

1 comment:

Knits and What Knots said...

You are amazing Robyn!! Really, I wish I was as organized as you are. Thanks so much for this great information. I'm vowing to save money on our grocery shopping this year. We spend way too much. Thanks to you I will get my own coupon box started. Blessings.