When Enough is Enough – Tips for Effective and Efficient Couponing
I love shopping with coupons and getting items for free and cheap as much as the next person, but through my years of experience I have learned when enough is enough. I don’ t mean that I have stopped shopping with coupons, but rather I have learned how to shop the sales and to build my stockpile so that I only need to go occasionally now, instead of every week.
When I first started using coupons, I felt like I had to get every deal, shop every sale and make sure I used as many of my coupons as possible. I spent a lot of time clipped them and sorting them into a binder, and more time sorting the ads and figuring out my shopping lists. I don’t regret all that time and work, because we got a lot of nice stuff for really cheap, but I have come to learn that it doesn’t need to be that way for me to be a couponer.
I think people get caught up in the craze of using coupons and forget that the sole purpose it to save money and time. I have heard all of the stories from people – those who feel so overwhelmed from spending so much time using coupons, to those who won’t touch them with a 10 foot pole. Here is my advice – everything in moderation. Using coupons is essential if you want to cut your monthly spending on groceries and household items, BUT you don’t have to feel overwhelmed or spend hours planning and shopping to get the best deals! Here are my tips to be a efficient but effective couponer:
- Figure out what you have right now (use this free Tracking sheet) and what you use – so you know how much and what you need to buy
- Start watching the sales in your area. This will get you familiar with the prices of items that you buy regularly and what a good price it. (you can use this free price point list)
- Start collecting coupons (printed, newspaper, digital, direct) And organize them in a Messenger BAG with file folders marking the date. (learn more about that here)
- When you find an item for a great price, buy several of them – this is called stockpiling. That way you can “shop” from your pantry instead of paying full price for them when you need it again.
- If you have found a good deal (or several of them) and have a good stockpile built up, don’t worry about shopping for that item again for a while, until your supply starts getting lower. Only buy it as fast as you can use it. You don’t need 30 bottles of body wash,, if you only use one every two months…learn when enough is enough and focus on other items you need.
- You won’t find a coupons or sale for everything you need, but that is why using coupons helps…use the money you saved with coupons to buy the other things you need.
- Make a list – a grocery list, a stockpile list, a menu list – making lists will help you keep better track of where you are and what you need. Menu’s also help you stay more organized in the kitchen and healthier food stocked up.