The reasons I have started couponing are:
- To save more money- The economy is not getting better anytime soon, gas prices are skyrocketing, food prices are steadily increasing, and we can all use some extra money. My husband and I work very hard for our money, so we might as well stretch every dollar we can and make our money work for us!
- To pay off debt- We want to be completely debt free (except out mortgage) asap! We have a strict budget, and coupons allow us to stick to our budget, and actually come in UNDER budget!
- To donate to charity- There are SO many items I get for free by combining sales with coupons. We are pretty particular about what we eat (organic, freshly made, etc.) but there are sometimes great deals on processed foods. Just because we choose to eat a certain way, doesn't mean everyone does, and many food pantry's need particular items that are on sale. If I can buy 10 boxes of rice for FREE and only pay tax, then I can donate these items for my church's food pantry to help local people in need. All it took was a little time, and coupons that I could not use anyways. Also, the more we save, the more money we have left over to donate to our favorite non-profits (New Frontiers, Timothy Network, etc.) and our church.
- To be good steward's of our money- God has blessed us so much. We are thankful for our home, jobs, health, etc. In return, God expects us to be good steward's with his blessing. Before couponing, if I had $100 to go to the store with, it would have all been spent quickly on random items! Now I can spend $30 of it on groceries using sales+coupons, and then have $70 left over. That $70 can help my church, can help pay for our mission trip, or can be used to help someone in need! The possibilities are endless- especially when you start to save the $70 EVERY WEEK! Because we were wise with God's blessing, we can use it to bless others.
Next I recommend you visit www.southernsavers.com. This is the website I use to find online coupons and make my grocery list. (Note: You can use couponmom.com to make your list as well, but southernsavers ads LOTS of online printable deals, and is more user friendly). Because of this website I have saved SO much time planning my grocery list and coupons. I analyze the sales and create my weekly menu items to cook at home based on the sales. I also study this to stock up on deals, e.g. if chicken breast are on sale this week, I stock up and freeze some and cook some.
Once you get the hang of it, you will love it! Every shopping experience becomes a scavenger hunt. :) At first it is frustrating and overwhelming. There are store policies to learn, and you are trying to wrap your head around everything. When I first started out, I spent 20 hours the first week learning it all- a part-time job ontop of my full-time job! But now I spend 5-10 minutes a week planning, 5-10 minutes cutting or printing coupons, and then 30-90 minutes a week shopping at Publix, CVS, Kroger. So I might invest 2 hours a week and I always save a minimum of $100! I used to spend WAY more money and WAY more time in the store since I would forget an item and have to go back multiple times throughout the week, and then I would see an item and buy something I did not even need...and it was a neverending cycle of wasting money and time. After 2-3 weeks of practicing, you will get the hang of it! Just stick with it.