The easiest way for me to control my monthly budget is to control my grocery spending. While we can't control all of our expenses, we can easily slash our grocery bill by strategically shopping.
Using coupons effectively is the key to savings. Don't just use your coupons randomly or because you have the coupon. Pair the coupon with a store sale to maximize your savings.
Here's a few tips to get started:
⁃ Sign up for the loyalty cards at your favorite stores. Not only will you receive discounts each time you shop, some stores mail out coupons to their customers.
⁃ Link your store cards to your Upromise.com account. Be sure to activate the eCoupons each month to save even more. Every little bit of savings helps!
⁃ Plan your weekly meals around what you have in your pantry and the week's sale ads.
⁃ Find blogs/websites that do the hard work of matching up the coupons to the sales for you. You can find blogs in your state at The Frugal Map (thefrugalmap.com). This is a great tool since store sales prices can vary by state/region.
⁃ Make a list and stick to it. Stockpile those items which are at rock bottom price.
⁃ Know your store's coupon policies and price matching policies. It is also nice to have the official policy in your hand in case an issue arises.
You can find more in depth information about all of these topics in my 15 Days of Couponing Series. (http://bargainbriana.com/
Briana Carter shares daily bargains and frugal living tips at BargainBriana.com and TheFrugalMap.com. She lives in Indiana with her husband and 4 children.