Ask Time 2 $ave: Do You Only Buy Items if You have a Coupon?


couponing 101 q&a

Do you only buy items if you have a coupon?

I remember one of my first big couponing trips. I came home so excited about my savings and I couldn’t wait to spread it all out on the table and show my husband. He only had one question, “Where’s the Diet Coke?”

This was NOT what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to be excited as he “ooh’d” and “ahhh’d” over what an amazing job I had done. Nope, instead I got, “Honey, that’s great. Where is the Diet Coke?” My answer? “It wasn’t on sale!” To me this statement explained everything. To him it meant grabbing his keys, driving back to the store and buying some Diet Coke!
See, the thing is that it all comes down to one simple word. Perspective. Yes, I shop with coupons and yes I use them to save a substantial amount on my weekly grocery bill. But! My family doesn’t have to go without things they want, or even things we flat out love.  Since that fateful day we have cut diet coke from our diet, our new favorite is fresh fruits and veggies.

So what do I do when my family needs something I don’t have coupons for like fresh fruits and veggies? I buy it. Through understanding the sale cycle and building a sensible stockpile I’m able to significantly cut down on the number of items I need every week. My overall grocery bill is much lower, therefore I can afford to buy items my family wants without breaking the bank.  By saving so much money on our household expenses like toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, and toothpaste more of my grocery budget is freed up to spend on the fresh fruits and veggies that my family loves.  

Finally, by investing an hour or so a week, most people are able to cut a significant percentage off their weekly grocery bill. That means they won’t have a coupon for everything they buy, but it is fairly common to save $50 –  $100 a week (or more). When you pull back and look at the big picture this means saving upwards of $2,500 to $5,200 a year. Definitely a worthwhile number!

So just keep it in perspective. If there is something that you really need, or just flat out love – buy it. Then, start watching for a sale on that item so you can build your stockpile and increase your savings. It takes time, but each week your need list will shrink as your savings grow….and grow….and grow!

Having a hard time understanding how to coupon effectively?  Would you love to save money without investing all your time?  Check out my new book, Couponing for the Rest of Us: The Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More to learn how.  Available in paperbackor on Kindle.

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