After watching this show, I was quite enthralled- if they can save hundreds, there's no reason I can't try this myself! Originally I didn't do the couponing thing for a few reasons:
1) Since I buy all of my cleaning/personal care items from Shaklee, I didn't really think there would be any good coupons for the stuff I buy
2) I really like getting fresh stuff- preferably organic- and there really aren't any coupons out there for that
3) Usually the off brand is cheaper anyway, but I really am picky about certain brands.
4) (and this was more of an excuse than anything) Samantha is on a dairy-free diet and Jeremy a low/no fiber diet. This makes for a very specialized grocery list- and specialized generally doesn't have an "off brand".
But then I realized- If I just watch for deals and coupons on the stuff we do buy, surely I'd be able to save us some money.
And my newest hobby was born.A hobby that actually saves us money- by which I do not feel guilty for spending so much time on it (like knitting- oh, how I miss you).
I was very excited, decided to sign up for the Sunday paper and maybe do some dumpster diving when I take the recycling.
And then I talked to Julie. Julie informed me that her weekly grocery budget was half of what we have. My jaw was on the floor. We generally went over our weekly budget. How in the world could they survive on half of what we use?!
She opened my eyes to two new ways of thought:
1) Add/Coupon matching
2) Adjusting your grocery shopping to a stock-pile method, vs a weekly "needs" method
I, myself, do not do the match-ups. I've found a couple gals that do the work for me.
Long story short, we've cut our grocery/toiletries bill from $120+a week to $60-$80 a week.
That's roughly $200 a month! When you are living on rice and beans, that's a nice little chunk to add to your debt snowball.
Now, I spend around 3 hrs a week clipping coupons, checking blogs for deals and making a list/shopping plan. I originally made my own coupon binder that I carried in a plastic bag:
But was recently blessed with a much nicer (and less annoying) coupon binder for my birthday that I L.O.V.E
(Coupon Clutch on the left)
I'm still a novice and learning a great deal, and certainly have not made money off my endeavors yet, but I'm getting pretty darn close.
One of my "early" trips- don't remember the exact amount, but it was under $15 for all of this...pretty sure it was $10. Anyway, I was proud, so I took a picture.