What I Have Learned So Far…

by Marcy on February 7, 2008 · 0 comments

While I have clipped coupons for quite a while, it is only in the past 2-3 months that I have put as much time and effort into combining coupons with sales, and to going to multiple stores to get good deals.

My mentality has shifted from only buying what I need for the week, to shopping sales and using coupons to stock up.

Along the way, I have learned a couple of things…

1) Rather than clipping only the coupons I think I might use, I keep all of the coupons from my Sunday paper now (just in case I can get something super cheap or free with a coupon).

2) It is possible to eat and use name brand products, even when on a tight budget. Originally, I thought I would have to incorporate more store brand products into my shopping in order to save money. While I do still buy some store brand products, I have found that with coupons & shopping at CVS, I am still able to buy mostly name brand, for less than what I would be spending on store brands with no coupons.

3) Saving money does take time. I do spend quite a bit of time each week planning our menu and shopping trips, but I am fortunate to have the time right now (YAY for 2+ hour nap time!). And right now it is worth it to me. Obviously, as time goes on I should become more efficient at planning. I also hope to read more on Crystal’s blog about organizing my coupons and managing my time a little better.

4) It is ok to buy an extra Sunday paper (or 2) if the coupons are REALLY good. On 1/6/08 there were 6 coupon inserts in the paper. I looked through them, determined that I would use many of them, and went out and bought 2 more papers. I felt a little silly at first, but I have to say with Kroger running Super Double Coupons twice, and with all of the sales I found, buying 2 extra papers more than paid for themselves! For you Giant Eagle shoppers, check your stores…I was told that Sunday papers are 99 cents there, but am not sure if that is true in all stores.

5) You really can find good deals at CVS and Walgreens by using coupons and planning your trips. I always start here when planning these trips. This is helping our budget immensely when it comes to toiletries and household items.

6) Online coupons help out so much! Granted I have no clue what I am spending on paper and ink to print them, but so far I feel that my savings are higher than the cost to print them.

7) I can only focus on a few stores when looking for deals…or I will go crazy! I am fortunate enough to live in a place where I have just about any store you could ever want to go to within 15-20 minutes of my house. I am probably 20 minutes from 4 different Target & Walmart stores (each!) if that tells you anything. While this can be great, it can also be overwhelming. I have decided that I am only going to focus on Giant Eagle, Kroger, & CVS for my grocery & household items. Occasionally, I’ll go to Walgreens, Walmart or Target too, but only if I need to go there for something else, or if there is a deal I can’t pass up. As for the other stores, I just can’t do it. My brain can only handle so much!

8) Saying no to deals after you have reached your monthly budget is hard. I need to work on this one.

9) Some people probably think I am acting a bit freaky these days, but to each their own, right? I’m thinking that there are worse things in life to be addicted to! :)

10) I still have much to learn, but am having fun doing it. I am trying to treat saving money as a mini “job”, because it feels good to be using my brain to crunch numbers and solve problems, even if they aren’t that complex.

And that, my friends, is all of the knowledge I have to share for today. Scary, I know. I have a busy weekend ahead, and probably won’t be online again until Sunday. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!

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