Friday, July 30, 2010

Lessons in Couponing-Part II

Yesterday I shared 3 observations I've made on my coupon journey. They are:

1. Finding a system that works for you is essential.
2. Planning a Menu saves you a ton!
3. There are some items that have coupons available almost every week.

Now to continue . . .

4. Keep any coupon you MAY use.
I usually buy all of Sammy's diapers at Target. They are far cheaper than any of the name brand diapers and work just fine. Therefore, when I saw a coupon for $1.50 off Pampers diapers, I didn't think to save them. Then . . . I noticed that at places like CVS you can actually get name brand diapers for even cheaper than Target brand when you use coupons and in-store promotions. So I now keep coupons for products that I usually buy off brand versions of.

5. Keep a running price list of your most common items.
I think I've mentioned before that I do this on my iPod touch. The first few times I went to grocery stores in my neighborhood, I kept track of how much different items cost. This really helps when I'm at Hy-Vee, trying to decide if a deal is as good as it sounds. Like I've said, I don't buy something at Hy-Vee with a coupon if I know that I can still get it cheaper at Aldi.

6. When you see a good deal-stock up!
As long as a deal won't make me go over budget, I go for it. Occasionally, I've stocked up on good deals even though it's made me go a little over budget. To compensate, I set a lower budget the following week.

7. Don't be afraid to mess up.
My first trip to CVS, I messed up. My first time trying to match up coupons with in-store promotions, I messed up. I grabbed the wrong size of boxes, or didn't have the write kind, etc. But it gets easier and it takes less and less time after each trip to the grocery store. Don't be deterred by a few mistakes.

I am so glad that 2 cousins got me hooked on couponing. I've been able to make our grocery budget only $50 a week (and oftentimes less!). I've been able to get necessities like diapers, soap, cleaning supplies etc, at ridiculously low prices. It IS worth it. Sure, it took a few mistakes, and at first, it took up more of my time, but now that I've stuck with it a few months, I feel like I'm on a roll and it can only get better from here.

Because I know so many friends and family that read this are starting to catch the coupon craze, I thought I'd offer to try and answer any questions you may have. So, if you still confused about something I've posted about, or have a specific question, leave a comment and I'll try and do a post answering your question.
I'm no expert but I think I've got a good handle on it now!

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