Each week on Friday I will share a frugal tip or story with you. This will probably range from clothing to housewares to groceries to health and beauty items.
I started couponing a little over a year ago- way before that crazy show! You see, it's just my husband, me, and two dogs in our household. We shouldn't be spending too much money on groceries, right?! Well, we were! And I'm talking crazy amounts, like $600-$800/month on groceries for two people. I was an avid Wal-Mart shopper. Each Sunday the husband and I would go grocery shopping together. We would walk in with a small list of things we absolutely needed- usually just toiletries and personal care items. When we would get to the food section we would walk up and down each aisle and just put whatever was appealing in the cart. I never had any idea how I would use those items at home though. When we'd get to the register it was usually around $120-150. We were doing good if we were at $100. We would eat out all weekend and during the week, because I had no idea how to put all that food we bought together. But we never tracked our spending. So I had no idea how much money we were blowing on food alone!
I had a wake up call when a friend told me she starting using coupons during one of our monthly girls nights. She gave me some websites to check out. These websites do all of the coupon match ups (matching a manufacture coupon with a sale and possibly a store coupon) for you. Some of my favorites are Hip2Save, Totally Target, and Wild For Wags.
I quickly became addicted to it. I set a grocery budget of $375/month and a health and beauty budget of $25/month, and I started tracking all of our spending with Smallspend.
Now each week I spend a little bit more time on Sundays doing research, buying what is on sale, and using coupons for those items. I get only one Sunday paper, and I print a lot of the coupons online. I never wait until I'm out of an item to buy it. If there is something I use often I buy it when it's at a rock-bottom price by matching a sale with a coupon.
This has freed up a good chunk of our monthly income for other things- like building an emergency fund and taking a trip to Vegas in November! Now that I know how easy it is to get things see cheap I can't imagine not using coupons. I'm so thankful I learned about this before starting a family!
Next week I will give some of my tips for couponing, a few myth busters, and share a recent Target trip.
Happy Friday!XO- Heather