March 9, 2011 § 2 Comments
A few months ago, I turned on the TV to find a program on TLC/Discovery called Extreme Couponing. This program focused on using coupons in conjunction with store sales to get the best possible price for an item. The objective is to buy products that you would normally use/buy, BUT to not buy them at the time when you actually need them. If you buy them when you need or have to have them, then you won’t get the best price for that item thus spending more money. The trick is to buy what you will need weeks or months before you actually may use it and to “stock up” when it is at its cheapest price.
This couponing program aired at a time when my family needed a trick to saving money. This countries financial crisis has hit our home and taken a toll. We needed to find a way to cut costs. So after viewing this program, I came up with a new financial motto…”No Sale, No Buy”. Looking over last years household figures, I found that we spent (on average) about $550 – $600 per month on food and household supplies. My goal is to bring those figures down by half.
There are several ways to achieve this goal and everyone needs to find what works best for them. The following is my current roadmap:
- Clip coupons from every source possible. I find them in the newspaper, weekly circulars, on-line, at grocery stores, in local coupon booklets, and on store websites.
- Keep a coupon booklet where you hold all of your coupons. categorize them so that they are easy to find. Make sure you carry this booklet with you when shopping.
- Combine coupons when possible. Target has coupons on-line at www.target.com. They allow you to use one store coupon and a manufacturer coupon per item. Safeway also has on-line coupons through their “Just for You” program. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to sign up at www.safeway.com and have a club card to get their deals. Safeway will let you combine the on-line savings with a manufacturer coupon.
- Look for weekly sales in order to combine sales with coupons.
- Before shopping anywhere whether it be at an actual retail store or on-line, always check coupon sites or the store website to see if they have any current coupons available.
- Check with stores to find out about their current coupon policy. Sometimes it changes and their staff isn’t aware of changes. It is always good to keep copies with you of the store coupon policies. This way if there is a problem, you can show them the policy.
- Shop the Dollar Tree or 99 Cent Store whenever possible. I find good brand name items there that would normally be double or triple at a regular grocery store.
- Keep a shopping list and stay focused. When shopping, DO NOT shop off your list. This is how you end up spending too much money and blowing your budget. Only buy what is on your list for that store.
So far, I am on target for my goal. My hope is that these tips help you save money and become a better shopper. Shopping this way isn’t easy. It does take extra time and resources, but it is really worth it when you see the savings.
Related sites/links I find helpful and use weekly, if not daily: