Budget Talk

    Is your resolution to start saving money by couponing? This post is totally not to trash "Extreme Couponers," but to inform those who may be getting into couponing and falling into the traps of couponing. I don't know if I can still categorize myself as 'newlywed,'  but I will anyway. As a newlywed, I quickly learned that my college diet of cereal, peanut butter and jelly, Lean Pockets, Goldfish, and carrots and apples for every meal wouldn't cut it. I had to start shopping for actual meal food to support this "growing boy." Our first grocery bill made me want to cry. I had never spent so much in a grocery store! Enter idea: start cutting coupons!
    These are some things I learned about cutting coupons:
  • It's time consuming.
  • They don't work if you leave them clipped to the fridge door. Or in your purse.
  • Couponing can actually make you spend more money by enticing you to purchase things that you wouldn't normally buy. And then you may or may not ever use that item..
  • Purchasing something because the coupon says, "buy one get TWO FREE!" is NOT a good idea if you have never purchased the product before - it's wasteful after you try the first yogurt and it was awful so the other two just sit there and grow mold. This is also not a good idea if you have to use an extra bathroom as a storage room. "Honey, where are the paper towels?" "Oh, in the shower!" - True story. I think that was from a Wife Swap or Hoarders show.
  • Percentages aren't always as big as they seem! Beware Target Cartwheel users: 5% off doesn't even cover tax anymore!
     Tips for Couponing:
  • Try using apps on your phone to spend less time cutting!
  • Don't let it become to stressful or overwhelming. Saving money should be fun!
  • Only coupon for things you need!
  • Along with the first one, don't buy something just because it's on sale.
  • If you're going to do a "buy one get TWO FREE" deal - check expiration dates! Is this something you can "get rid of" or eat before it expires? In addition, set reminders for Groupon expiration dates and read the rules closely!
  • If you can, wait until you're ready to check out before looking for coupons. Target and my local grocery store both have free WiFi in stores and they have couponing apps [seriously the way to go]. I avoid spending excess money by looking at what's in my cart then searching in the keyword search bar for that item [or on Target's app you can just scan the item with your smart phone. Genius.].
  • If you ignore the previous tip, you'll end up spending more money and time doing this: Looking through Target's coupon app before heading in, Ooh! "20% shirts" and "5% shoes," head straight to those departments and force yourself to find something just because it's "such a great deal!" Who knows how much time you'll spend trying to find something to fit the "deal."
    I'm not a pro or extreme couponer by any means, and I am definitely not an expert. But these tips are from personal experience of how I [in a sense] lost money from couponing. If you want to learn more and save more, I recommend using:
..along with any coupon app your local grocery store might offer! Happy Saving!

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12/20/2014 11:27am

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06/21/2015 10:43pm

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