Back when my husband and I were first married, I couldn't understand what all the hubbub about coupons was. I would see ones for 50 cents off a $4 box of Cheerios and couldn't really fathom how it would save me more than a couple dollars each week.
Was I ever wrong.
I think there's a lot of misconceptions about coupons. People tend to think that they either:
#1 - Save them only a couple dollars per week.
#2 - Take too much time.
Now time to confront those misconceptions.
#1 - I honestly save anywhere from $30 - $40 per week on a regular basis from using coupons. That adds up to at least $120 a month...or about $1500 a year! Um, hello! I started using coupons a couple years ago because I randomly stumbled across the now super famous blog, $5 Dinners. Erin Chase, the founder and author, daily blogs a recipe that costs $5 or less for her entire family of 5 AND they're completely healthy, balanced and nutritious meals. No EasyMac dinners in her house. Wow! I was impressed. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the way she was able to do this was through the use of coupons.
Here's the secrets to becoming a super awesome couponer:
Most grocery stores (not Target or Walmart) double coupons up to $1. Which means that if you have a coupon for 0.50 off, it becomes $1 off and a 0.75 coupon "doubles" to $1 off. The grocery store I went to back when I started couponing would double any coupon entirely, without stopping at $1. So if I had a 0.75 coupon, it became $1.50 off.
Here's the most important "secret" -
When you use a coupon at a store that doubles (and all stores in the Kroger family do every day) AND buy that item when it's on sale. You can totally get items for free! I can't tell you the last time I paid for toothpaste or toothbrushes or more than $1 for cereal (that includes the good mom-friendly kind).
And I've heard that you can use Buy 1, Get 1 Free coupons at Publix during their Buy 1, Get 1 Free sales to get TWO items completely free.
Here's what I got this week super cheap thanks to my coupons + the weekly sales:
Quaker Hearty Oatmeal: $0.49
Rotel Tomatoes: FREE
Hunts Fire Roasted Tomatoes: $0.09/per can
Ritz - $0.98
Uncle Ben's Rice: FREE
Ronzoni Garden Delight: FREE
Philadelphia Cream Cheese (cheesecake anyone?): $0.49/each
I forgot to include the four packages of dishwasher detergent for $1.00 each. Oops.
Oh, and a 12 piece chicken wings box from the deli - FREE!
And my total for almost an entire week's worth of groceries (I had to go back today because a few things were out of stock and I also forgot a few more - which is why you don't grocery shop at 10:00 pm on a Sunday)
$46.35 (+$26 from today)
Through my coupons and the weekly sales I saved $64.04!!! (+ $17 today)
My husband is always really impressed with my skillz. This time when I handed him the receipt, he looked at it he said, "Holy crap!"
Misconception #2 - Coupons Take too Much Time!
My mom was one of the people who always told me, "Honey, that's great but I just don't have time." That is, until she saw how much money could save. I spend about 60 minutes (usually while watching Real Housewives of Atlanta) cutting coupons, planning my grocery trip, and writing my weekly meal plan. And to me, that's totally worth $40 each week.
Here's another secret: There's tons of blogs out there who will go through "your" grocery store's weekly ad and post all the best deals along with which coupons to use. I really appreciate these people because they help ensure that I never miss out on a fantastic deal while saving me tons of time. I use Springs Bargains and love it.
To ensure you're getting the right deals, find a savings/deal/coupon blog in your area by visiting BeCentsable and clicking on your state. Then you'll see a list of which blogs keep track of which grocery stores.
So, are you already a coupon lover? Are you going to at least give it a try sometime soon? Please?
If you've scored some sweet coupon-related deals or just want to share your tips, use the Mr. Linky below and link up! I'd love to check them out.