Oh my goodness, the coupons. Yes, I know I spent 6 hours working on coupons last week, but I then saved $67.13, so I guess I was making $11 an hour. Not bad for a SAHM!
I really appreciate all of those who send me coupons. I will be accepting them until September, sharing them with friends who will be staying in Europe after me. If you currently send me coupons and would like to have the address of someone else who can use them once I am no longer accepting them, let me know. I’ll hook you up with a new recipient. I have several friends here who would be happy to receive your expired coupons! (We are going to do a LOT of traveling in October and November and will be preparing for a move. The coupons I receive through August will hold me over during those months until we PCS. If you happen to send me some in/after September, I’ll just hand them off to friends because I simply won’t have time to sort through them.)
It’s not my favorite past time but I absolutely love handing my stash of coupons to the cashier and seeing my total bill drop significantly.
If you’re new to couponing, I have one word of caution. Keep in mind that the reason coupons exist is to get you to buy products. They’re pretty advertisements. They will suck you dry and make you buy things you really don’t need if you’re not careful. Here is how I combat this:
I don’t pull my coupons first.
Sounds too simple, doesn’t it?
It may be simple but it’s effective. The first thing I do is write down the things I need from my white board (see below), then I make my meal plan for the upcoming month, then I make the actual grocery list, organized by commissary aisle. And FINALLY I go through my coupons to match what was on my list. That keeps me from seeing a coupon for something I might need and buying an item unnecessarily. (That would be an impulse buy before I even GOT to the commissary and that’s what manufacturers are banking on when they offer to give you $0.25 off their product.)
Here is my super-awesome white board being held up by command hooks, (I love command hooks). As we use something we put it on the list. For example, when I use a can of cream of chicken soup for a meal, I immediately write it on the white board. That way I have it on hand next time I want to use it.
Just remember not to let coupons make you spend more money than you want and you’ll be fine. So that’s what I have to say about coupons. It’s a love/hate relationship.
(I also wrote about couponing in “My earned income” back in March where I mention that sometimes an alternate brand is cheaper than the name brand with a coupon.)