The goal is not to just save a lot; the goal is to spend less.
I learned this the hard way. When I first started using coupons and shopping sales, I was saving hundreds of dollars. Unfortunately, I was also spending a lot more than our monthly grocery budget.
What was my problem?
I could not pass up a deal. If I had a coupon and a product was even a little on sale, I bought it. Rookie mistake. I was concerned about the wrong numbers. I loved seeing high savings amounts and percentages (I still do), but was not focused on the amount I was spending.
So I changed a few things. I set a firm grocery budget. Over time I learned that I do better with a weekly grocery budget than a monthly one.
I plan my meals and my shopping one week at a time. When my weekly budget is gone, I quit shopping. It is as easy as that.
This keeps me from overspending and getting to the end of the month and having no money left.
At first I had great anxiety when I would miss a great deal on something because my weekly grocery allowance was spent. The longer I coupon the more I realize that deal, or an even better one, will come around again soon. So I encourage you, if it will blow your budget don’t be afraid to pass up on a “deal”.
I also made the mistake of trying to shop the sales at several different stores. I wasted a lot of time and probably money.
As a new couponer it was way too overwhemling. My advice?
Pick one store.
Plan your meals, make your list, organize your coupons and go to that store.
Once you get comfortable at that store add another one and so on. This way you will gain confidence, knowledge and become more efficient.
On busy weeks I still only shop at one store, other weeks I’ll hit up to four.
Those are just some of the lessons I have learned couponing. I hope they help in your efforts to save a little money and make your budget work.
If you have any questions leave them; they may lead to a new post.
If you have any suggestions for new couponers leave them too; it is always great to hear what other people have learned.