Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Couponing 101: Treat Coupons Like Cash

Before I started using coupons, I looked at a coupon as if it were just a simple piece of paper that could just get you pennies off of your purchase. I didn’t realize the dynamics of how a coupon worked or even thought that one day my shopping habits would involve using them. I saw people at the checkouts with stacks of them in hand as people with too much time on their hands. Now, I am proudly one of those shoppers that people get irritated at for holding up the line because the cashier has a stack of coupons to scan through.

I first started to taking coupons seriously when I realized that my life called for a drastic budget change. I had decided to work from home and my income would take a hit because of my decision. Even with the realization I needed to start using them, I still didn’t understand them. I started to reading blogs about coupons and became amazed at how they can transform a families grocery bill. There were people actually buying a weeks worth of groceries for a family of 4 for half the grocery bill because they used their coupons strategically. It opened my eyes up to the saving possibilites that coupons provided.

During my wading through the internet to learn the best methods to cutting my grocery bill, one thing rang true with the pro couponers, Treat Coupons As They Are Cash In Your Pocket. What do I mean by that? It is simple, a coupon has a monetary value when a cashier scans it, so why not treat it for what it‘s worth. Say you have five $1 off coupons that you are using in one transaction, that is just like if you gave the cashier a $5 bill, only you got to keep the $5 in your pocket. Now think about coupons on a larger scale. On a normal grocery shopping trip to my local Kroger I usually have around $60 or more in coupons. That means that I just saved enough in my budget to pay my phone bill and have some left over to put toward another bill and I still got my necessities at the grocery store to have enough to feed my family.

$60 In Coupons= $60 In Cash Savings
$60 In Cash Savings= $60 Phone or Utility Bill Payment

It took my some time to get used to this mentality. When I finally got it, I started seeing my grocery bill change. I started menu planning, looking for ways to get more coupons, scouring for deals on the internet, and organizing my coupons in a more efficient way. It even gave me a chance to restructure my budget since I was not spending a ton of money on my grocery bill. I even started being able to put more into savings.

Thinking of coupons as cash in my pocket is the driving force for the series of post that I have entitled, Couponing 101. I wanted to start the new year off right and help others kick it off by saving them money in their pocket. If you have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to leave them below.

Tomorrow I will be sharing Couponing 101: Where Do You Get All Those Coupons?

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