Couponing: To Save or Not to Save?
If you’ve been a follower of Confessions of a Slacker Mom for awhile, you probably know that I like to coupon.
Whether or not you’ve been a faithful follower (and if you aren’t, you should be!), you probably don’t know that I fell off the couponing bandwagon–or did I get back on? I never am sure how that works–for the past couple of months. I’m not alone in this. Even the most veteran of couponers occasionally find themselves in need of a break.
So what was my reasoning for not couponing?
it’s a lot of work.
I can’t tell you how backed up I am in clipping coupons! Sigh. My coupon binder, having purged it of all expired coupons, is almost entirely empty. And you know what?
I’m wasting money.
Folks, I don’t have a lot of money to spare. This month especially, since I really screwed up the grocery budget. I was doing so great with following my monthly meal plan, that I had this notion of having a lot of extra money.
I didn’t. The money was just better spent than it normally was. But then I went and spent more money, thinking I had extra. Seriously, I don’t know why my husband lets me use a debit card at all. Everyone email him and tell him I’m completely dumb with money, okay?
No, please don’t! And if you’re wondering, yes, I did eventually fess up to the budget snafu. He still loves me (somehow), but hopes I learned my lesson.
Where was I? Oh yeah, couponing. My point is, I have an extremely limited amount of money for the rest of the month. I have to spend every last dollar with careful thought and consideration to how it will best impact our food for the month.
In other words, not a good month for stocking up on hairspray.
My plan is to look over the meal plan and see what food we still need for the month. Fortunately, the majority of the nonperishable items have already been purchased. I just need to fill in the gaps. I’m going to pull up the meal plan now, so I can see what I need, and where I can apply coupons.
Confession: I haven’t been *perfect* in using this meal plan, but I’ve been pretty well. Anything requiring a slow cooker hasn’t happened because I’ve been too lazy. For the most part, I’ve rearranged the menu as I go. Nothing ADD about that, right??
Okay, so I’m looking over the menu. Here’s what I need: cheese (printable coupon), applesauce (check for newspaper coupon), Gogurt (printable coupon), bread (Walmart now carried my new favorite milk-free bread, and it’s only $1.67 a loaf!), peanut butter, two boxes of Mac & Cheese (check coupons?), Pepperoni (newspaper coupon), 2 cans non-dairy pizza sauce, yogurt cups (6-printable coupon), eggs, 2 lbs. chicken breasts, bananas, sour cream (newspaper coupon), milk (printable coupon) and maybe some other fruit, too.
See how simple this coupon list is? Before I go, I’ll grab my soon-to-be restocked coupon binder and check for those newspaper coupons. I’ve already printed off my online coupons. I use Coupons.com almost exclusively, unless I’m feeling really proactive and search a company site for any coupon offers.
I explained why I don’t have a lot of money this money. :[ So here are a few more things I’m doing to cut costs:
1) Always, always, always price comparing. If the brand name is cheapest with a coupon, I buy that. If the store brand is cheaper still? That’s what lands in my cart.
2) Price matching. I’m going to be perusing my grocery store ads that came in the mail today. If I see a great sale at Smith’s for Gogurt, you can bet I’m going to have Walmart ring me up at that price! (Fyi–they’ll want to see the ad, so be sure to bring it and put a sticky note on the price so you’re not fumbling through it while in line, muttering, “I know it’s in here somewhere!” Not that I’d know about that.)
3. Utah County Walmart’s double coupons on Tuesdays to price match with Ridleys. (I’m ever so grateful with Ridley’s, even though I’ll probably never shop there!) I don’t ordinarily drive down to do this, but when I’m in a pinch, it can be a big money saver. Today, it’s worth the drive! You can read more about this double coupon shindig here. Just remember you can’t price match and double coupon on the same item. Also, it’s gonna take a long time to check out! Freebies2deals.com has a great weekly post on the best double coupon deals at Walmart!
Your turn. Do you coupon? Love it or hate it? And please, tell me (and my husband): am I the only one who screws up on the grocery budget??