Tobins' Tastes: Why I Decided To Start Couponing

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why I Decided To Start Couponing

I have always been a bargain shopper. If you know me, you know that my favorite stores are TJMaxx, Home Goods and Loehmanns. Ever since senior year of college when I had to start buying my own groceries, I have tried to shop grocery store sales and attempted to stock up on my favorite items when Publix does a buy one get one free sale (BOGO) or other store promotions. Justin and I even use to have a game to see how much we could save vs. what we spent at Publix each week yet I never really used coupons.

This year that all changed. In March, we bought our first house. Even though our mortgage payments weren’t much different from what we were use to paying in rent, we realized quickly that it’s really expensive to own your own home. (ie: our air conditioner broke within weeks of moving in) We wanted to cut back on our spending and save a little more but we really didn’t want to cut anything out of our lives (sounds spoiled, I know).

Then I saw the TLC show “Extreme Couponing”. While I have no desire to buy 100 cans of cat food, the concept really made sense. Why not stock up on things when you can buy them for “free” or way cheaper than normal? So I decided to give couponing a try.

I started out slow. I basically just started buying the Sunday paper and looking online for printable coupons. Then I started reading blogs and following sale cycles. I started out just couponing at Publix then shortly after I started following the sales at Target and Walmart. In August, I decided to Walgreens and CVS (a whole different type of couponing than other stores, but that is a post for later). Slowly but surely I started to save more and more each shopping trip.

We use to spend at least $100 a week on groceries. Now I almost never spend more than $50 and that $50 includes way more stuff since I am now adding to my stockpile. One shopping trip a week provides for our breakfasts, most lunches and 4 home cooked dinners as well as extra pantry staples, health and beauty products and house hold items that I get for free or super cheap.

I use to go to Target or Walmart and end up spending $40 on 5 things when we needed razors, deodorant and body wash. I am now able to get those things for significantly cheaper and stock up on them so that we never have to “run out to the store” and pay full price.

 I am still learning every day but I can’t wait to share what I know and what I continue to learn.
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