Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What I have learned after (almost) a year of couponing.

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I thought with one year of couponing looming ahead of me I figured I would take a moment to reflect and see what it is that I have learned this last year and share it with you.

1 ~ The savings are not immediately evident.  
Really they are not.  When I first started using coupons I was still spending a ton of money.  Was I doing something wrong?  Of course not!  It takes time to build up your coupons and to learn how to match up the sales, and figure out what your own personal price points are.  I may not have been spending less back then...but I was getting MORE for my money.  After a few months I was able to get a small stock pile going on of some items I normally use, and now my household spending is down to $60.00 a week, and on rare occasion that has included shoes and clothing.

2 ~ Don't wait till the last day of a sale.
Waiting till the last day of a sale is the worst thing that you can do.  I waited till the last day of a sale this last week and it was not even for coupon items, but fruits and veggies on sale at my local store.  Needless to say, I did not even make it to the store to snag my food on sale because my plans were changed for me, and I did not have the option of running down there the next day.  It is even worse if it is something that is a great deal or free with coupons, because stores have a limited quantity in stock, and most likely they will be out after the first couple of days.

3 ~ You do not need to print up every coupon you come across.
I was a printing fool my first few months of using coupons.  If it was a printable, it was clipped and in my binder.  It was after about three months of this that it finally hit me that I was not saving any money because of my crazy ink usage.  I have scaled it back to only printing up coupons for things that I know I DO use, and my ink is lasting a lot longer.

4 ~ You do NOT need to score on every deal.
Thankfully I learned this one pretty quick.  I am not going to go out and buy a bunch of diapers for cheap just to score on some RR or ECB.  I am a baby free zone and with two teens girls, I aim to keep it that way!  Only take advantage of the deals that make sense for your own household and budget.  Even if you missed out on a deal for something that you do use...don't worry, sooner or later it will come back.  Sales repeat themselves and before you know it, you will see your deal again.

5 ~ Keep track of your stock pile.
This one may seem obvious....but I personally have let some items get out of hand.  For me it has been fabric softener and dryer sheets.  I will not have to buy either of these items for the next two years or more because I would think that I was out, and just kept buying more.  It was not until I went through and organized all my laundry and cleaning supplies that it hit me over the head on how much I have.  Additionally if you have too much of any item and it goes bad, you end up throwing it away and have not saved any money at that point.

Well, those are a few things that I have learned since I started using coupons.  What have you leaned?  Leave a comment so we can learn together!