We now have a monthly budget. I have to figure out how to buy food, provide clothing and extra stuff within that budget. We also try to eat healthy and organically. Do you know much organic milk costs where I live? Try $7 a gallon. Times that by 3 gallons a week and we go through our little budget pretty fast.
So we started using coupons- about a year ago. I consider this last year to be a learning experience. I failed in so many ways. Candy for just pennies! Packaged deli meat (that we didn't like) for a dollar! So I learned to only buy what we actually eat. No more candy and only deli meat that we actually eat.
Honestly, I was a little uneasy in using coupons. I always thought of coupons saving 35 cents or maybe 50 cents. So how was I going to really save any money? Well let me just say that we do save. I have even turned my husband over to the coupon side. Before he goes to the store, he asks if I have any coupons to give him.
What I learned I have to say thank you to The Grocery Game. It's not about just using a coupon. Use that same coupon when an item is on sale and SAVE. I've learned to watch for items that I actually use to go on sale, use a coupon when the item is on sale, buy more than I need and we save dollars. I guess that was what I really learned, never pay retail for anything if I can help it.
So now on Sundays, I spend a few extra minutes with the newspaper and go through and cut out coupons. I also spend some a little time at the Coupon Clippers where I pick up a few more coupons that I know I will use.
I've also learned to check out deals on the internet. I love these two websites- retailmenot.com and ebates.com. I've earned some money back with ebates, I probably could've received more back if I'd remember to check there first before buying online. Still working on making that a habit.