This is Part 1 of my 3 part series called "Savings Superstars". I am excited to hear feedback from this series and get some great ideas on how you save money in your life. Please feel free to leave a comment below and get the conversation started! I will respond to each comment as soon as I can.
Do you coupon? Why or why not?
In my book, 8 (Really Creative) Ways to Save, I don't talk a lot about using coupons because, well, it's a book on creative saving and coupons are sorta not creative to me. They've been around for a while and most people who claim to be any good at saving money have already mastered the art of using coupons.
I say most because I don't consider myself to be one of them. I do believe in using coupons, but they don't control my grocery list like those people on TLC's "Extreme Couponing" show. Those people seem to peruse their local stores' circulars and then match store and manufacturer coupons and generate a list of items to buy or get for free.
Here's what I don't like about that system: so many of the food products are processed foods that I wouldn't really be buying for my family anyway, much less need multiples. We buy a lot of produce every week, as well as milk, cheese, yogurt, and nuts. Every once in a while, I'll come across coupons for those types of items, but not every week.
Another thing we don't do is plan our weekly meals around what's on sale or what items have coupons available. We are a family that eats the majority of our meals at home. We may have 3 meals that are either take-out or at a restaurant. The rest of them we plan in advance and add the ingredients to our weekly grocery list. And we buy the items we need whether or not they're on sale. And whether or not we have coupons for them.
So, I consider myself an occasional coupon user. Like this week, for instance, we needed laundry detergent. We have a favorite brand, so I went online and printed off a $2.00 coupon. Totally worth it because the detergent is going to be over $10 anyway. Now, I know, some of you reading this are cringing because you would argue that I should be using that coupon on a much smaller size so my savings would be greater, but I would rather just buy the larger version and not have to restock for two months. I guess this makes me a lazy coupon user.
I want to know how you use coupons in your life. Are you like me and use them sporadically when you stumble upon them? Maybe you don't use them at all because you don't have the time to search for them. Could you rival one of the people on "Extreme Couponing" because you're a master at getting items dirt cheap and even free? Where do you fall on this spectrum?
Also, I'd love to hear from those of you who use coupons to plan your meals. Are you able to find good value coupons on fresh produce and dairy on a weekly basis? I'd also like to know what some of your favorite, low cost meals are that you make for your family.
With this blog post, I'm definitely hoping to get a conversation started, so here's what I'm asking you to do: please leave your comment below and I will respond.
To Coupon or Not...that is the question. And, GO!