If you missed part one you can see it here! Yes I'm finally getting to part two!
So how do you "Coupon"? I'm sure there are many ways people do this, you really just need to start and give it at least 3 months to see how it works for you! I do believe that everyone can save a lot of money off their monthly budget with couponing. Even up to half off!
The best I can do is tell you how I do it. Then you can go from there and tweak it to fit your style.
First you have to start buying Sunday newspapers. I buy 4 each week. I buy 2 Chicago papers and 2 local papers. You will find that the "Big City" papers have more coupons in their inserts. It will take you several months to get your coupons built up but you can begin right away saving some money.
I have the two local papers delivered to my house. One subscription is 7.00 and the other is 6.00 for the month. Then I also spend $5./2 Chicago papers each week. So each week I spend about $8.25 for the 4 papers. This might sound like a lot but I have cut my grocery bill by over $200. per month. So it's well worth it for me!!
Second you need to clip all coupon in the inserts and file them away. Yes I clip almost all coupons. There are very few exceptions. Then find some way that fits you to file your coupons. There are many methods to doing this. I use a binder that has baseball card holder pages in it. Then I file them by category so I can quickly flip through the binder to find any coupon.
I will try to do a post about filing coupons sometime in the near future!!
Next you need to begin planning menus and stick with it. (You can see some of our menus here) As you build your stock it's best to make your menus around what you already have on hand. That way the majority of your budget can be spent on items that are on sale and you have a coupon for.
Then each week I spend a few hours (this can take a lot less time but I enjoy looking for the deals) looking at ads for the four stores (Meijer, CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger). I just look for items that I will use or can use that I also have a coupon for. Then I will buy multiples of that item so it will last for a while. It's amazing for the 8mo. I've been doing this that there is always several items each week very cheap or free. While I'm looking at the ads I just pull the coupons out of my binder and make a groc. list all at the same time.
There are several places that even do the research work for us!! Two big ones I check often are hotcouponworld and moneysavingmom
Then all that's left is actually doing the grocery shopping!!! It usually takes me about 2 hours to visit 3-4 stores. I'm not in any stores for very long since I'm not filling my cart completely up! That isn't much more time than it used to take me to go to Walmart and Aldis!
So for our family of 6, I have kept our grocery budget to $55. per week or $220. per month. This includes EVERYTHING except the Sunday papers. I used to spend around $450./month, I went over a lot and could only buy exactly what we needed (no stock)! It works best for me to simply get the $55. out in cash, that way that's all I can spend.
It's still amazing to me to see how our stockpile has grown and how our freezer has filled on this small budget.
If you have any question or if something doesn't make sense, please leave a comment or email me. You won't be bothering me! I'd love to help you save a lot of money on groceries!!