No, I am not talking about another television show (although I have caught that once or twice and it is pretty funny) but I am referring to a “hobby” that has saved me an average of twenty-percent on my last few months of groceries!
At first I thought couponing sounded so annoying…time consuming, wouldn’t save enough to be worth the effort, etc. but my local news station was always promoting a site called couponbug.com and after about the millionth time hearing it I decided to take a look. As I scrolled through about six pages of coupons I noticed a few that were for staple items in our household. I simply clicked on the “clipped” symbol at the bottom of each coupon and printed a full-page of savings. They were mostly for things like cereal, which Ryan can eat a box in about three days, almond milk, contact solution, cheese, kinda random stuff that add up significantly week to week. But the real satisfaction came when, along with the savings from my store card, I had reduced the bill by over twenty dollars! My usual 100$ a week was only $78! That is equivalent to a new shirt, two trips to Panera Bread, a fifth of next weeks grocery budget! So after unloading my new goodies and bragging to my husband about my thriftiness I hunted for more! I discovered you can get coupons on Facebook, product sites, magazines, specific webpages for couponing. They were seriously everywhere and I never even noticed! After a little practice and about a half hour per week, I was saving money every trip. It can get a little complicated, but even more worthwhile, when you consider aspects like double and triple couponing, incorporating coupons with store circulars, but I am going to share with you a few of my favorite coupon techniques…
This is the first site I go to when I start my search, but there are a million if you type “free coupons” in a web browser. Everyone I know has a favorite, this was just my first major site and for some reason it always brings me back.
2. Make a list of your favorite products and hit up their websites
A lot brands have an easy sign up program that give free coupons. Alexia Foods is an example where I simply submitted my e-mail, created a password, and answered a few simple questions and a $1.50 coupon popped up for ANY Alexia product. That was basically half off my Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries. (Other good ones are Almond Breeze, Silk, Stoneyfield/Oikos, Fiber One, among many many many more!)
3. Local Library
I love my local library for so many reasons, mostly because it saves me a ton of money on reading material, but I discovered deep in the corner near the kids spot was a coupon table! All the coupons from old newspapers were organized for the public by product type! Obviously I am not sure if everyone’s library does this, but it is definitely worth a look.
Is anyone else obsessed with Whole Foods? Unfortunately the closest one to me is over an hour away but I still manage to get down there at least once a month. Something I learned just last week was that both their website and Whole Deal magazine contain coupons exclusively for Whole Foods. They come out every month and if it is an item you use pretty frequently, keep printing them out. You can use them more than once in that month and it saves a bundle! As I was chatting with my wonderful check-out lady she told me other ways I could save at Whole Foods…you can purchase cases of items and get 10% off! This was so exciting to me since I don’t live close by and there are certain things I purchase exclusively from that store. What an awesome tidbit! Then she told me every Friday has a crazy sale. This Friday was “buck-a-burger” in honor of the Fourth of July. That meant ANY burger…salmon, bistro burgers stuffed with cheese, regular burgers, you name it. She informed me every friday is a different product and you can usually call to find out the night before. Now, like the library I am not sure if all Whole Foods are the same, but it is worth it to ask.
5. Bring you own bags
I’m sure most of you know if you bring recyclable bags, most stores will give you some sort of discount. It varies from store to store, but it is worth doing for the money, and the environment you save.
There are many, many more tips out there, and plenty of people way better than me at explaining them, but hopefully with these few things, you too can save a couple of dollars every bill and reward yourself with something nice for being so responsible!
What is your best money-saving advice?
Happy Tuesday everyone, hope you had a good day back at work.