Yes, you all know that practice makes perfect and let me tell you in the month that I have been doing this, I’m still no where near the perfect stage.
But these are things I have learned so far.
First thing: Making sure the price or item is right. I still get a little flustered when I’m at the checkout stand and I give the wrong coupon, or didn’t read the terms of the coupon. I end up buying the item anyways, when I would have only bought it because of the great deal I thought I was getting from the coupon. I haven’t learned the stop and void method. I know it exists but I’m still flustered.
Second: I’m not sure what is a good deal and what to really stock up on. I purchased a few things that were a good deal, even though I’m not sure I’ll use it.
Third: I’m still coupon shy. I feel a little embarrassed to carry around my coupon binder. I don’t even know why. I’m ecstatic of the savings. So far I’ve spent $425.12 on groceries, necessities and household cleaning products. I’ve saved $124.14 just by using coupons. That’s a savings of just about 23%! I think that’s fantastic considering I’m a newbie at couponing.
Fourth: Balance yourself. Don’t go to every store to get the best deal. My thought is if I’m not buying more than 10 items, it’s not worth the drive or time unless I’m saving a lot of money or getting that item for free. I made the mistake to tackle 3 stores on a Sunday afternoon. Never again! Grocery ad’s start on Wednesday. I have up until Friday to get my grocery shopping done. Sunday or Monday is my CVS/ Walgreen’s day. It’s definitely less stressful breaking it up.
The only downfall right now is that I’m not really seeing my grocery bill decrease. It seems like I’ve increased it because I’m shopping all over the valley to find these deals, that I’m not so sure I need. However I understand that it will decrease because I’ll have a lot of stuff on hand. I believe it because right now I have about 25 boxes of cereal on hand. Why 25 boxes? Well I just couldn’t stop finding deals on them. With the coupons and store savings I got these for less than a $.95 a box.
I took one of our storage closets and cleared it out to make it my stockpile room. This came in handy the other day when my husband just finished a box of cereal. My almost 2 year old was upset that daddy ate all of his cereal. My husband said, “Lets check to see if mommy has any more.” We’ll I did. He said he felt like he was at the grocery store but not.
What he doesn’t know is that we are only at the beginning. I’m so hook right now that I’m getting more and more excited when the shelves are filling up. I’ll take a picture soon and upload it as soon as I feel it’s worthy enough.
There are tons of great sites that will let you know all of the fabulous deals, but not many go into the frustration of what they went through when they started couponing so I hope this helps you.
Sunday papers are the best way to accumulate coupons. If you have a Dollar Tree close by you, they sell the Sunday papers for $1.00. This is a huge savings for me, since our Sunday paper usually runs $2.50.
However check with your local newspaper to see if they have any subscriptions that would allow you to purchase extra Sunday Papers. If you live in Las Vegas your in luck. The Las Vegas Review Journal has a subscription for couponers. They will deliver up to 5 Sunday papers for $1.00 per paper on top of the normal subscription. This saves me from going to the Dollar Tree on Sundays.
How many papers you should buy is totally up to you. However the more coupons you get the easier it is to stockpile and obtain better deals. We have 6 people in our family so I get a paper for every person in our household. You can also get many coupons online through various sites and stores. Couponing is easier if you are not a picky person. For example sticking to one brand of toothpaste. It makes it harder to find deals, when you limit yourself on the type of items you are willing to purchase.
Here are a few websites that will get you started in the right direction for searching for coupons online. Most of these sites will let you print 2 coupons per item.
You’ll be amazed at how quickly your coupons will start to add up and how soon you’ll be going crazy to keep it all in order.