Now that we live in a single-income, one-child family, budgeting takes on a whole new meaning. And I have come to understand the power of the Coupon.
In our previous life, I never cut coupons. I am ashamed to admit it, but our spending on groceries was just ridiculous. We never shopped the sales and paid way more than we ever should for groceries.
Now that I am a SAHM, I have the time to put effort into grocery shopping. And that means couponing. You know, those packets of coupons that come with the Saturday paper? Every weekend I faithfully cut out coupons and put them in my special Coupon Binder.
Since I was going to have to deal with all those little pieces of paper, I needed a good place to keep them all organized. So, I developed my Coupom Binder, which makes actually using the coupons as simple as possible. Because with Kate in tow, I need to be able to find coupons fast, or forget it.
So, behold the coupon binder. To construct the binder, I used: a three-ring binder with pockets, sheets of plastic baseball card holders, and Avery Style Edge Dividers. I needed three sets of eight dividers to make the following categories:
-Cereal and grains
-Hair and body
These are the categories that worked for me. I found I needed to make them pretty discrete, otherwise I would have to dig too much to find what I was looking for. Within each category, I try to keep the coupons ordered by expiration date, so I know which ones I should use first. And each week I go through the book to toss out the expired coupons and insert the new coupons. Then, each Wedneday when the grocery flyers come out, I sit down and see what is on sale and match the sale items with coupons. I might need to shop at two or three stores, but I have a substantial amount of money by shopping the sales at each of the stores. And do not even get me started on Harris Teeter double coupon days. Holy moley I cut my bill almost in half by shopping the sale items and pairing them with coupons.
There is definitely a learning curve to using coupons effectively, but it is so worth it. I have learned more money-saving grocery tricks I will share here in upcoming posts. Using coupons and shopping the sales slashed our grocery spending in half – from upwards of $900 a month to between $400-$500 a month. Food is expensive, and we like to eat pretty healthy, which seems to cost more. So looking out for sales and using coupons allows us to still eat healthful meals at much lower costs.
How do you save money at the grocery? Any couponing tips?