As I’ve mentioned before, patience is something that I ask God to grant me with everyday! It’s a struggle for me, but I know this makes me a better person. In some aspects I feel like a hypocrite, but I’ve also learned that mistakes are just as effective of teaching as successes are. So, please learn from my mistakes and be patient when learning about and using coupons! Being patient is also part of only starting with one store and staying on budget! When I first started, I went over budget about $20 a week and tried to go to multiple stores right off the bat! I got burned out and overwhelmed very quickly! I used to spend hours on the computer and search out every deal I could find! I’ve come a long way in 6 months! I now usually only go to one store per week, and only look at deals for two to three stores! We have a stock pile of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, toilet paper, oatmeal, cereal, brownies, and salad dressing. I am to the point where I do not pick them up unless I can get them for free (or EXTREMELY cheap), then I donate them.
In six months, I have decreased our “food” budget (this also includes cleaning supplies, diapers, household items (light bulbs, air filters, etc.), pet supplies (vet appointments, hair care, etc), and toiletries by at least $85! I know this may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but it’s a great start for us! We have a family of 6 and I have some very picky eaters! Our budget started at $410 per month and is now about $325 a month, which is about $81 per week! This is the first week that I haven’t spent our entire budget and we have $25 left! This is also a little deceiving because we have enough food in the house that I would not have to go to the store for food (other than produce, milk, & bread) for two weeks if I didn’t want to! I also have a “donate” shelf where I put items that we will donate. I have donated so much more this past 6 months than we have in probably two years!
I understand this is a journey and I am still learning! I am thinking about trying Walgreen’s deals again (Register Rewards) but in the past this has been the place where I mess up the most and go over budget, so I’m a little leery!
What coupon tips do you have? How much have you been able to save on your grocery budget?