When couponing the goal is to save money, right? Couponers strive to get nice items at a cheaper price. Couponing is hard work and can be time consuming; so, we want to achieve our money saving goals. But what about when you budget your money and realize you spent more couponing then before you couponed? What happened and how do you fix it?
Usually, without couponing, we make a list of what we need and go to the store to purchase the items on the list. We may pick up a couple extra items not on the list, but that’s okay now and then. We use what we have at home in junction with what we purchased to make a meal or to have everything we need to fully shower. There have been times when I couponed for groceries, get home very excited about my great deals, just to realize I still don’t have a full meal to cook for dinner. So, how do we fix the insufficient couponing?
6 Couponing Tips to Efficiently Save the Budget
1. Consider what you do need (and don’t need) before leaving to shop.
If you have everything at home to cook spaghetti besides garlic, then purchase garlic whether it is on sale or not. You don’t want to waste products you have at home just because you are too busy shopping for great deals on items you don’t even need at the moment. If you have 50 bottles of shampoo but 2 bottles of conditioner, then save that .75 that you could purchase shampoo with to instead purchase a bottle of conditioner during next week’s sale.
2. Savings for yourself or save for others?
You may find an item on sale, that you have a manufacture coupon for that will stack with a store coupon and then will stack with an Ibotta offer but if you don’t need that diabetic blood glucose machine, why take it off the shelf for someone else that may actually be able to use it? I often find myself leaving coupons for items I will not use on the shelf for others because there is nothing like finding other coupons that people left for you!
3. Stacking coupons or stacking waste?
Toothpaste may be available for .25 this week at the drugstore but you have like 100,000 tubes already at home…do you really need to waste those that quarter on one more tube at the moment?
If someone in your household is brand loyal to an item, like my husband will only use Old Spice deodorant, then I don’t purchase 10 bottles of a different brand unless I plan to donate it else where. I can instead save that money I would spend for the next Old Spice sale.
4. Even at that cheap price, would you purchase it if you did not have the coupons?
Often times I find myself stacking coupons and registering deals in my head. I may have a Target cartwheel offer, a manufacture coupon, a target coupon AND a target gift card deal and think, “I have to purchase this because this is a great deal that I do not want to miss”. Then I pull out my phone and calculate the deal to find that those baby food pouches are still .75 a piece. Do I buy them? No, because I can still purchase them cheaper else where or make my own out of real food at an even better price. Remember companies who offer the best deals are still trying to make a buck. Not every sale will actually be the cheapest deal.
If you get a coupon for going out to eat, consider will it still be within your budget to eat out? If a $5 off two dinner meals coupon would still mean spending $25 for dinner, consider if that is still within your dinner budget before going out. If it is not, then give the coupon to a friend instead. A lot of times, stores are using coupons to get you in the door and that is great if you were planning on going to eat out anyway.
5. What goes around, comes back around.
Stores rotate sales on the same items about every 2 to 3 months. I can guarantee you that at one of the drugstores there is going to be cheap toothpaste and deodorant every week. So, don’t rush out on family Sunday brunch to go couponing or freak out if you do miss the sale or the store is sold out. Those sales will rotate back around soon. If you are not brand loyal, the deals rotate even faster.
If I have a $5 off $15 purchase at CVS but I cannot think of anything I need at the moment at CVS, I can let that coupon expire knowing they will send me another one! I do not waste money though just because I have a coupon.
6. You do not have to participate in every deal!
If you follow a couponing blog, like krazycouponlady.com, then that is great! They post different deals every day and even give have a “stockpile” price for different items. Remember though, you do not have to purchase EVERY deal! Consider if you will need the item or can use the product over the next 3 to 6 months before spending your money. You don’t need 20 crock pots even if they are $2 at Kohl’s; nor does everyone want to get a crock pot from you every year for Christmas! LOL
I love couponing and I love saving money! I like to have my work pay off by getting great items at excellent prices. Even more though I LOVE when I can efficiently use the items that I purchased.
With a love for being frugal,
<3 Beneficial Becca