Take it away, Jared!
Like most everyone I started couponing out of necessity. My wife and I were just getting by on a budget of $200 a month for food for us, our daughter and our 2 dogs. We could never eat extravagantly and dinner was always limited choices and bland, but we made do. I used to hate the grocery stores. If my wife called me and wanted me to pick an item up on the way home from work I would feel as if it ruined my day.
I wanted to try couponing but just didn't know how. We had been watching the show for a year and would say"WOW ! Look how much food they got." But we would also see what they got and thought that is a lot of junk food, fatty food, or just plain old unhealty.
I really did not have much spare time, so instead of thinking big, I thought small. I started with toiletries. I spent the exact same dollar amount I would 'normally' spend and in 2 months had a 1 year supply. During the 2nd month, I added laundry detergents and cleaning supplies. Yet again, in 2 months I had a 1 year supply - still spending the exact same amount I budgeted for.
From then on, I just started adding more categories and items to my stockpile. Now my shopping list has all items on it that we use, including meats, snacks, vegetables. I can hit almost all the categories on my grocery list without feeling overwhelmed. Our fridge/freezer and pantry are all full of food with a reasonable stockpile for rotation. We go to food websites to get recipes for items we want to cook that we have in the house.
It has been exactly 1 year since I started couponing. I spend 45 minutes a week couponing and do all the shopping. It is now my happy place! A couple of times a week I just walk around the store in the evening to get a feel for whats on sale. My binder is usually full of coupons (maybe not organized the best).
Last year we purchased $6000 worth of groceries, and paid less than $2500 for a savings of $3500. This might seem like the best savings to some couponers...but we have fresh meats, fruits, vegetables as well as some items we just want to treat ourselves with every so often.
Thanks for sharing your story, Jared!
I could really use a few new volunteers for the Reader Spotlight – so pretty please with a cherry on top...please write in if you have a story to tell! Your post can be about almost anything to do with couponing. You can tell us about a particularly good or bad situation you’ve dealt with as a couponer, about how you got into couponing or how couponing has impacted the rest of your life, you can make a list of things every new couponer should know…just about anything, really! If you think it’s interesting and it has to do with couponing, email me with your idea at contactiheartpublix @ gmail.com.
This is one of my favorite features on the site! Be sure and check out all the past Reader Spotlights HERE.