So I've been wanting to learn how to really use coupons. It just baffles me how people can get a ton of groceries for practically nothing. I've taken this rainy afternoon, with the help of a Christmas movie to occupy the kids, to research this. I have found some interesting info on shopping with coupons. My favorite site is Southern Savers. She gives really good tips. My advice is to check out the site, but also watch the youtube videos she has on there. They are really good and packed with some good tips. She is very practical and doesn't advocate hoarding, just ways to save some cash.
First on the list for me this week will be to get a binder and some baseball card page protectors. Then I will begin to shop, really shop, with coupons. I honestly just want to see if I can do it. I also believe if I'm going to do something I need to give it all I've got. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might..." Ecclesiastes 9:10 So, if I'm going to try the coupon "thing", I am going to go coupon crazy!!!!
Why do I feel the need to do this? I don't have to use coupons to buy my groceries. Several weeks ago after checking out and spending $200 for a week's worth of groceries, I just became convicted that I was not being a good steward of the money God had given me. Also, who wouldn't rather save money, still eat good, and have that extra money to spend on other stuff??
After a little research, I realized my problem. Every week I make out a list of things I NEED. I just buy them no matter what the price. Now, I am not stupid. If I need laundry detergent and Gain is on sale, I buy that. I don't just stick to certain brands for most items. I do try to shop for what I need as best that I can. Occasionally I will see something that's not on my list but at a good price and decide to get a few extras of that item. Just recently, FL had a B1G1 free offer on noodles. I bought them. But, what if I would have had a coupon for the noodles in addition to the sale price??!! I learned today that I need to buy when it's on sale and stores have a 6 week sale cycle. If laundry detergent is on sale, I need to buy enough to last 6 weeks. The same goes for food products. Just buy what you need for 6 weeks. If taco shells are on sale, don't buy 5 boxes if you won't use them in 6 weeks. This is not to say if your family needs toothpaste or toilet paper and it's not on sale, that you do without. Don't be that crazy about it. ;-)
I also learned that I need to find the store with the best deals and best coupon policy. I'm thinking it may be Bilo for me. I have been a Food Lion and Wal-Mart shopper, but I am willing to change. This is one thing I'm going to keep researching.
Another thing I learned is printable coupons are accepted. I'm not sure why, but I was always afraid that they would be denied. I guess I just thought it was too good to be true. Some sources for coupons are http://www.coupons.com/, http://www.redplum.com/, and http://www.smartsource.com/.
What's really a good deal? B1G1 Free is always good and anything at least 40 % off regular price is a good deal. If it's 30 % off, wait, and watch for the price to go lower in that 6 week cycle.
I am excited to begin my coupon binder and start SAVING!
I will keep you all posted and I will continue to just share it!!