10 Tips to Couponing – 52 Week Money Savings Challenge
It’s Friday which means it’s time to make another deposit in our 52 Week Money Savings Challenge! It’s week 6, which if you’re deposits follow the weeks, your savings should be at $21. Have you been able to add any extra so your weekly amount?
Last week I talked about ways to reduce your utilities. Little did I realize how desperately we would need to start implementing several of those ways. Our utilities have always been manageable, but I thought it would be great to save even more. However, the winter this year has been colder that the previous years. Our children are older which means more showers, more laundry and more hot water. Our gas bill, which is for our heat, stove/oven, dryer and water heater has shot up the last couple months and this month, it was even more. Ouch. It was the swift kick I needed to really focus in on cutting back, setting the timer for the kids’ showers, etc. How about you? Have you worked on reducing your utilities yet?
This week we’re going to chat about couponing. Over the last several years, I’ve seen so many negative comments about couponing or not couponing that I want to start off by saying I personally believe no one should ever feel guilty using coupons correctly or not using coupons at all. For some families, couponing is not a good option. The time required to clip, sort and plan, along with the trips and multiple store shopping can make it very difficult for those with busy schedules, living away from stores, etc. Trying to save a little money and instead, adding a lot of stress to your life… it’s just not worth it. So don’t feel guilty if you decide couponing is not for you.
For me, personally, while I still use coupons occasionally, I no longer stockpile. There were several reasons why I stopped couponing altogether for a time and now, I just keep a few on hand for the more expensive items we buy. Since I’m just an occasional couponer now, I canceled our newspaper. I have found that my best option for coupons is reaching out to the companies I love and sometimes I go to Coupons.com to check for a product I know is will be on my shopping list.
10 Tips for Couponing:
- Policies – Read and print the store coupon policy (keep it with you as well).
- Organization – Figure out what organizing system will work for you. I loved the binder method but I know others loved keeping them in boxes while others love filing the whole insert and only clipping as needed. If you’re like me and only using a few now, you could keep them in an envelope.
- Compare – Compare inserts from various papers. I discovered that our local paper only had about 1/4 – 1/3 of the coupons that some papers from larger cities had. While the larger city papers were a bit more, they were worth the extra expense because of better value coupons as well as larger quantities.
- Coupon fine print – Always read the fine print on your coupons. Many policies and rules have changed over the years so quantities, sizes, etc will vary from coupon to coupon.
- Matchups – Favado is a great app for smart phone users, otherwise, Google matchups for your area.
- Make a list (and stick to it) – Just because you run across a great deal doesn’t mean you have to buy it. I had to learn this the hard way and there were several times I went for the deal and spent money I normally wouldn’t have.
- Out of stock? Ask if the store gives rain checks. You can always go back with the rain check and still get the same price.
- Paperless coupons – Download apps like Ibotta, Checkout51, Shopmium (use code MYYUHMWM for a FREE Lindt Chocolate Bar), Cartwheel and BerryCart for additional savings. And don’t forget stores that have store cards (Safeway, Raley’s and others) where you can add coupons to your store cards.
- Know your price – Start a price book and know what is a good price. It will help you keep from buying unneeded items and at a higher price.
- Watch the register – Know your general total and watch the register as things get scanned. It’s a lot easier to correct a mistake in the moment that it happens instead of making another trip to the store because you were over/under charged.
Do you already coupon? Share your tips with others in the comments below.
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I’m so glad to have you on this journey with me. I’m looking forward to each week and I hope these posts and the emails are not only helpful to you, but encouraging as well.
- If you are new and just now joining, subscribe to the weekly email and download your own copy of the 52 Week Money Savings Challenge printable. All current subscribers are entered into an Amazon drawing held at the end of the month.
- If you want to catch up on the reading of each week, go to our 52 Week Money Savings Challenge page and check out each week listed, as you’re able. Don’t worry about catching up on savings amounts unless you’re able to, just start with the current week and add extra if/as you’re able.
- Want to open an online bank account to help keep things separated? I personally use Capital One 360 and have for years. It takes a few days for transfers to complete if you’re using a local bank