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It’s Day 2 in the 4-Day Savings Series! I hoped you learn some great tips with extreme couponing yesterday because today you will learn Couponing 101 to coupon in less than 1 hour a week! Stay tuned tomorrow to learn how to meal plan as a busy mama!
Day 2: Couponing 101: Beginner Couponing Secrets in Less Time
The word couponing can be daunting. It can feel like something that’s unattainable and takes forever to do. I am here to squash all those thoughts and tell you the couponing secrets to save money in little time. Here’s your Couponing 101.
To make things even easier, I have included a weekly and monthly couponing planner to keep you on track to save with your busy schedule so you can coupon in less than one hour a week. Just enter your name and email below to get this for free! Yes, I said free! Amazing right?
Couponing 101 vs. Extreme Couponing
There is a big difference in extreme couponing compared to couponing. Extreme couponing takes you to multiple stores a week to buy stuff for free and even make money on them. It can take a lot of work running around and stocking up for months at a time.
I experimented with Extreme Couponing for 60 Days. If you haven’t already read that article, check it out to learn more about it.
You can still coupon to save money without extreme couponing. I no longer extreme coupon, but only spent $53 on groceries this week for a family of 3. This includes toiletries and diapers. It is possible to get there, I promise!
Go in With a Plan
If you don’t already make a list, start now. Every time I go to the store, I know exactly what I am going to get. It lowers the risk of impulse buys. Yes, I do still buy the occasional box of Oreos when I walk by them (I mean who doesn’t).
Right now we actually have so much chocolate saved up in the house using my favorite tip from Ways You’re Overspending on Easter that I don’t even need to buy any sweets right now or any time in the near future.
After my weekly meal plan is done, I go through every ingredient needed that we don’t have and add it to my grocery list. A lot of our ingredients overlap for each or we have stocked up with tips on my original meal planning post.
Read through my Meal Plan to Save Money article to learn some great tips on how to meal plan by overlapping ingredients. I will also be teaching you How to Start Meal Planning for Day 3 of our series. It will break down step-by-step how to meal plan quickly and include an amazing guide to help you out.
If you want to be the first to use the guide, sign up below to get access to my free resources. It includes 12 pages on meal planning and couponing 101 to help you save money with a busy schedule.
Only Shop a Few Stores
This is key to keeping sane while couponing. Start with one store. Learn the ins and outs of that store and its coupon policy and then expand. I currently shop at Wegmans and ALDIs for my weekly groceries. ALDIs is for produce and Wegmans is the majority of my expenses.
I shop at Target every 2-3 weeks when I see a great deal I can’t pass up or just want to shop there, because it’s Target. That brings me to my next tip.
Shop Sales Ads for… Sales!
If your store has a sales ad and you don’t look at it weekly, there’s a problem. Your store is TELLING you what is on sale and lowered in price! I look at Target’s ad weekly to see if it’s worth going there. Wegmans doesn’t have a sales ad, but I plan my weekly produce off of ALDI’s sale items.
If you don’t have an ALDIs near you, see if a store near you is listed in this article to save. If still no, search stores like ALDIs and you are bound to find something like it. Take advantage of any local farmer’s markets too!
If you’re not sure of where to start with your store, I have a great 12 page guide that walks you through daily and monthly tasks to help you save money by couponing. Just put your name and email below and your couponing 101 guide will be delivered right to your inbox!
Organize, Organize, Organize
I cannot say it enough. You need to organize your coupons and organize your plan. I choose to organize my clipped coupons by the area in the store in 3 simple categories: Shelf items, refrigerated/frozen, and household items.
You don’t need anything fancy to store them in. This coupon holder is perfect because it’s small, yet has everything you need to keep organized. I keep the coupons I am using in the front and the ones that are expiring that week in the back (in case I find a great deal at the store!).
I also keep my coupon flyers and go through them monthly for anything that’s expired. If the newspaper in your area is expensive, try giving them a call to see if they can give you a deal. Our local newspaper runs a $.99/week for the first year very frequently, but you have to know where to look to find it (Groupon *cough* *cough*).
Buying a newspaper can cost upward of $4 at the store. To put that into perspective, I pay $4.30 a month for mine to be delivered to my door right now.
Have a Goal
It’s important to have a goal for couponing. Something to work toward. My goal was to make it easier, quicker, and of course, save money. I wanted to get to an average of $90 a week with all household items included (even diapers).
I’ve hit that goal and often spend way less than that a week now. To put it in perspective, I was spending $90 a week while extreme couponing, but now only spend an average of $80 a week using this method!
What is your goal with couponing? How will you get there? If you have a goal, but no idea how to get there, it’s okay. I’ve made it easy for you. Fill out your name and email below and I will send you a weekly and monthly couponing planner to make your life easier.
It’ll show you how you can have a successful couponing plan in less than one hour a week! There’s no researching needed. Just follow the simple couponing 101 steps and you’ll be on your way to saving!