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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

4 Simple Strategies to Stress-Free Coupon Shopping

Today's guest post is from Stephanie, the wife of a wonderful husband and mom to her favorite 3 kids in the world! She loves that she has the blessing of staying home to raise and homeschool her children. On the other hand, she loves that she has the opportunity to blog as an "outlet" for herself. She had heard a lot about couponing throughout the years, but always thought it took too much time. Not until this past year did she figure out that it’s not as hard as she had thought! Since a wife and stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of 3 little ones could do it, she knew she had to share it with others! If you visit The Coupon Game, she hopes you find it to be a site that is all about "keepin’ it real!"

4 Simple Strategies to Stress-Free Coupon Shopping!

Every week, I post on my blog my finds for the "Best Of" CVS and Walgreens Deals, so in keeping with the lingo, I would really love to take this guest post opportunity to share my favorite "Best Of" couponing strategies! Whether you’ve never coupon shopped in your life, grab a few before you head out to the store, or are already a full-on coupon gamer, I hope these simple strategies will help you to be more efficient with your time and money.

  1. Start clipping coupons. Sounds simple, right?! It is!!! Whether you find them online or in your Sunday’s weekly coupon inserts, this is the place to start. You can always check my blog and the great thing about the coupon blog world is that there are so many resources to finding great coupons. The great part is it’s all free!

  2. Get organized. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten to the store only to find that I left numerous coupons at home. To keep it simple, grab an envelope and label it with the store’s name. Place the coupons inside that you’ll be using an head off to the store. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress in the end. Of course, don’t forget to grab the envelope!

  3. Make a plan. A menu plan is a great place to start. There are numerous sites that can help you find recipes to use for items on sale. Recipezaar.com is one of my favorites! Look for the items that are on sale that week, or maybe you’ve stockpiled items from weeks back that you’re ready to use up, and build your menu plan off of these items.

  4. Make a list. Never head out to the store without a list! I can’t stress this enough. I write mine out to the ‘T’ including my coupon match-ups. I know how much I’m going to spend before I even get to the store. That way, I keep in the budget and I know when there’s a little wiggle room for a last-minute splurge. You may not be this organized, but with a list in hand, you are much better prepared to stay in a budget. It gets easier as you learn to make the habit.

Before couponing, our family didn’t technically have a budget when it came to food shopping. If we needed something, we didn’t even look at the price. We just bought it. Looking back, we were spending upwards of $650/month on groceries alone. Now that I coupon shop, we are spending in the range of $350-$400/month and that includes toiletries. That’s a savings of $300/month! Our turning point was when we decided we weren’t being the best stewards of God’s money and so we decided to make some changes. Now, we are living debt-free, and enjoying saving before we purchase. Each week I challenge myself and make a game out of seeing how much I can save. You can find out more about coupon shopping at my blog… The Coupon Game.


Kasey Hunt said...

Awesome! You're doing your family such a service. I love couponing as well. I just taught a frugal shopping class last night with a friend. I think we got several women on board!!!

Friend Chick said...

I'm a "newbie" when it comes to coupon clipping. I definitely cut them out of the Sunday paper, but I don't carve out the time to shop around. I'm a one-stop shopper. But, I'm also willing to try new things. Thanks!

Kristy K said...

I'm not sure if my previous comment went through, but I want to say what a great idea it is to keep separate envelopes for the coupons for each store!!!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Great tips! I already shop at the cheapest grocery store and buy items from bulk, etc., but I need to add in the coupons. I need to set aside some coupon time!

missionalmommy said...

What a great post! Although it can seem daunting to start I have recently begun clipping coupons and it does really help! Thanks for the advice and encouragement.

HeathahLee said...

I need to get more diligent with my clipping. I let them pile up until it's just too daunting and all that money saved just goes in the trash! Oh, the horror!

Debbie said...

I am new to couponing. I have used them every now and then. Here lately with the economy the way it is I have found myself clipping more than usual. Thanks for the strategies. Great post!

Have a blessed weekend!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't get the link to work. It looks like you are saving a lot of money each month. Kudos to you for being debt free. We are working towards that goal.