We live on one income and with 5 people and 2 in diapers it doesn't always go as far as we would like it to. Our grocery bill was taking over. We were spending a 1/4 of our income at Wal-Mart and Food City and I refuse to do it any longer.
Between household items, food, diapers, cleaning supplies, and wipes we easily spend $500+/month in Wal-Mart. I don't buy meat from there so that doesn't include the Food City bill.
I started watching Extreme Couponing on Netflix *we don't have cable or satellite TV just Netflix* one day and got inspired. Obviously I didn't walk into the store on my first trip with a $1000 worth of products for free BUT within 3 shopping trips I have saved at least $150. I feel like this is a good start.
Everyone keeps saying "When you figure it out, you need to teach me." So this is the beginning of my lessons :) I just wanted to write a few basics that I have learned very quickly!
Here are a few things to know up front before you even begin couponing
- Go Big or Go Home!! What I mean by this is you either have to be committed to doing it or not do it at all. If aren't going to be extreme you aren't going to see major savings if that's okay with you great BUT if you want to see major savings you are going to have to be extreme.
- Prepare to have a stockpile of all the things your family wants/needs. You have to get it while the getting is good. So, this may mean that you buy 40 bottles of BBQ sauce because it's your favorite brand and it's only $.25 a bottle.
- ORGANIZATION!!! <---I can't stress this one enough. A pile of coupons on the counter, in your purse, or in the car does you NO good. However you choose to organize them is up to you and what works best for you.
- Be prepared to spend some serious time looking online and in the newspapers for coupons and to see what's on sale this week.
- The way that you get huge savings on items is by only buying #1. What's on sale already and #2 pairing what's on sale with what you have a coupon for.
- Throw your brand loyalty out the window! Now in our house I'm the one that struggles with this the most. However, I'm learning to at least try it I don't buy 5 of something even if it's a great deal *unless it's free* if I don't know if we are going to like it or use it. And there are certain things that I refuse to change brand names on.
- Don't go for the biggest container of anything! Always go for the smallest that your coupon will allow!
- Prepare to buy multiple Sunday newspapers or be willing to scavenge to find extra inserts from them.
This is my coupon binder. I have baseball card organizer sheets in it and each slot holds a different coupon. I also have it divided into sections like-canned food, freezer section, refrigerated foods, baby, medicine, cleaning, etc.
Live With Abandon