Couponing can feel like a job at times, but we have some great couponing tips that are going to make it easier to manage and keep you from suffering burn out. With so many deals out there to be had, it is super easy to get overwhelmed. If you are worried about it being “too much” or about suffering burn out, these tips are just what you need.
Establish a weekly grocery budget
One of the best couponing tips is to stick within your family’s budget. It is so easy to get caught up with the sales that you spend more then what you have budgeted. Start and stay small. Focus on those weekly rock-bottom prices and start to stock up on those items. You will begin to set a trend on savings.
I like to keep what my family calls as a “Need List”. It can be as simple as a hand written list or a more elaborate, such as a spreadsheet. It is also very important to establish coupon organization system early on. There are many ways to keep organized (i.e binder method, file folder system to portable coupon envelopes). The choice is yours and what may work for some, may not work for you. Just remember, to file your coupons as they come in. Nothing stinks more then a HUGE pile of coupons that need to be organized.
Purchase only what your family will use within a 6 – 8 week period
Stockpiling can be great, but let’s face it, stocking on more then what you family can utilize, can lead to you wasting food instead of actually using it. Unless, it is a non perishable item, I say don’t get more than 2 month supply. There are occasional exclusions to this rule, but overall couponing is there to save money, but not become a hoarding problem. All food products do have expiration dates. Even if you think, “I can donate it” it is likely that some items may sit on shelves/boxes waiting to get organized to move on to a family who needs it. If you purchase with the intent to donate, move it quickly to its destination.
Why 6 to 8 weeks? Sale prices do fluctuate on a set schedule. If it is on sale this week, expect it to go on sale within another 6 to 8 weeks. There are some items that you find are seasonal. Such a better sales on Pizza during “Big Games” or “Summertime Picnic Savings”.
Coupons also follow the same cycle as well, allowing you to get the maximum amount of savings (Pair a sale with a coupon). My favorite part of couponing is shopping in my stock pile. I love that I don’t have to run to the store every time I need something, I can just run downstairs. A stockpile can free you from having to run to the store.
Figure out your limit
One of the best couponing tips is figuring out how many items you need to keep within your stock pile. The goal is to keep to your limit even if you find it for a steal. Again, if you find it for FREE, purchase and pass it on to family, friends or your local food pantry. Don’t wait last minute to donate (we covered that reason).
Don’t chase after every sale
First you may end up at 4 different stores in a week or the same store twice in one day. If you are constantly running to every sale you will easily loose your fuel to save. When you first start couponing, it is so easy to get wrapped up in all the deals. HECK, I did! Saving money is fun and fulfilling. Why not keep going?
Set a pace. Just like a horse leaving the gate, the energy is high and exciting. But towards the end of the race the energy changes. It slows down and the horse needs to be recharged. You need to get recharged as well. Don’t expel your energy. Know when to slow down and focus on other things. You’ll will find that couponing can be a relaxing, enjoyable, and profitable.
We often share couponing tips with you within our budget posts, and even coupon deals themselves. These tips will help you to avoid burn out and still rack up tons of great savings for your family.