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Learning How To Coupon...?


I'm surprised that I didn't add "Learn how to coupon" on my 101 in 1,001 goal list, because I've always been fascinated by the idea of clipping out a little piece of paper out of the newspaper in exchange for getting groceries for free.  I'm all about searching out a free shipping code when shopping online, but the act of physical couponing is SO foreign to me.

I attempted to "coupon" the first summer we lived in Wichita, since I was a new mom with zero friends, working from home and having fair amount of free time on my hands.  I spent $35 for a subscription to the local newspaper, and went crazy bookmarking all of those blogs with the catchy "Couponing 101" photos on Pinterest.  I honestly found the whole process to be pretty overwhelming, with the huge binders full of inserts to have on hand and all of the pop-ups associated with the online coupon printing websites.  The more I looked for deals, the more I realized that none of the products we seemed to buy had coupons available to use (and I wasn't about to start eating entirely out of prepackaged meal boxes just to save 35 cents at the grocery).  Needless to say, I did not make back my $35 invested in the newspaper subscription that summer.

Fast forward to our situation today, where we have 1 more mouth in the family to feed and 1 less corporate salary to feed it with.  We're still readjusting to to the cost of living increase we've had by coming back to Phoenix from Wichita.  Though our family is even less interested in eating process foods now then we were 2 years ago, we're more open to finding ways to pinch a penny or two around the house.

I've found some interesting blogs related to eating healthy on a budget lately, and recently subscribed to Money Saving Mom's newsletter.  I've been impressed with the newsletter content so far, and have actually implemented a few of her ideas, so when she announced that she had just acquired the rights to Grocery University, I was intrigued.


It's an online audio course that promises to teach you how to coupon.  Fair enough, right?  What struck me is that a) it's inexpensive, and b) it's supposed to help beginners coupon well from the beginning, and teach seasoned coupon pros how to save even more money.  Oh, and did I mention that it's inexpensive? hahaha

I've signed up to give it a shot, and hope I'll have some good tips to share with you (along with some extra cash in my grocery budget to show for it).

Do you coupon?  Or are you terrified of the process like me?  Either way, I'd love to hear from you!
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3 comments:

Susan said...

I had the same experience with couponing. I need coupons for produce, meat, and a few dairy items. I try and avoid all items from the middle aisles except for oils and nuts.

Kat Londen said...

Cute blog, so glad I visited! I couponed for a while, but I ended up buying more processed and packaged foods and stuff I maybe wouldn't usually buy for the sake of the bargain. I wasn't striking the right balance between cost savings and the healthfulness of the products I was buying. Also, I don't think I was even breaking even most months as far as cost of the newspaper vs. savings from coupons. Now I use digital coupons via the websites and/or apps that grocery stores offer. They usually will have coupons for a certain percentage off my purchase from the produce section, or even special low prices on the items I buy most based on my loyalty card history, like organic milk, eggs, etc. So using store coupons combined with checking the weekly ads for the lowest prices on produce and other items I buy has led to me stretching my budget most efficiently. For reference, for the two adults in our household, my budget is $75/week. While couponing, I think I was spending about $60/week, but I was also spending a lot of time doing it and, like I said before, buying products that I wouldn't otherwise have purchased. Fair tradeoff methinks.

Girl In Beta said...

I've never done it, but then I watch Extreme Couponing on television and say I'm going to.

It never happens.

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