Confessions of a Coupon Clipper

Last month I shared my struggle to get our grocery bills down to reduce our overall monthly spending now that I’m a SAHM.  Since then, I’ve been clumsily trying to learn the trade of couponing and I have to say that it has really helped!

Here are the three myths I’ve learned to overcome:

1. You have to buy newspapers.

There are some excellent online sources for coupons including Red Plum and Coupons.com.  Only the coupons you mark will print.  If you’d like to use newspaper coupons too, see if friends or neighbors get the Sunday paper without using the coupon inserts.

2. Coupons are only on processed foods.

It’s true that there are several mainstream coupons in there, but there are also great deals on products like Kashi, Peace Cereal, or Burt’s Bees.  I’ve also found wonderful coupon deals on butter, milk, cheese and eggs that have allowed me to stock up and save.

3. Couponing takes lots of time

It does take some time, but online sites such as Krazy Coupon Lady, Fistful of Coupons, Frugal Chic Living, and Frugal Living NW put together all the scenarios for you so you don’t have to figure much out yourself.   Since Albertsons, Safeway, and Rite Aid are within biking distance for me, it only takes one trip to each once a week to get the deals.

So what are the benefits?  This month our grocery bill will be less than half of what it was last month.  Before you’re shocked, I should add that some of that savings is from our one week vacation.  (Also, Rebecca’s bill is still less than mine even with the coupons and she does have a CSA—but she has one less child and I’m pretty sure my husband is a far hungrier fellow).  Still, I can tell that the free or nearly free food we have gotten with coupons is making a dent in our grocery bill.  If I can sustain these savings, I will once again join a CSA.  For now, I’m hitting fruit stands and trying to stock up on local produce for the winter.  Have you experimented at all with coupons?  If you want to try, I recommend just reading a few frugal blogs for awhile before you jump in.  It really can get quite fun!

Comments

  1. Wow! Saving 1/2 on groceries is a huge accomplishment. If you treat coupon clipping like a hobby, it is definitely worthwhile. I did it for several months (as a single person) and remember getting free toothbrushes and contact solution. That was nice.

    I think a large factor for you is that both Roscoe and Jett eat more than Audrey and Andy. (Not sure the addition of Jovi and her finger foods would make too much difference.) Audrey eats like two bites of food a day. We can practically feed her scraps from our plates. (Just kidding. Sort of.)

  2. RE: Coupons on processed foods: Check out the websites of your local grocery stores. A local chain here has a weekly coupon for $5 off produce.

  3. Don’t forget the company websites as well, I’ve found coupons for items like soymilk or organic yogurt at their company sites.

  4. I cannot figure out the whole coupon thing. I have friends who seem to work miracles with it, but it seems like you can’t be picky about brands, etc., and I care about ingredients, etc. It seems like it just takes too much time and I just like to go to the same store each week (don’t like to shop around). I mostly go to TJ’s, which isn’t really a coupon haven. I’ll check out those sites and see if anything is easy enough for me.

  5. I used to be a great coupon clipper and I need to get back on that. It does require an extra level of self-restraint to avoid buying things just because you can get a good deal.

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