I was definitely intimidated at first, so I know how it feels to start out using coupons. I felt like every cashier was looking at me like I was trading in food stamps. I had such a negative outlook on coupons.
My coupon journey started when I saw my friend Claire rack it up with coupons. If it weren’t for Claire’s blog and her suggestion for me to start using SouthernSavers.com, I definitely wouldn’t have even thought about it.
My first bit of advice, start out small. My first few (undocumented) trips with coupons, I probably saved in the 20% range. I’m now closer to the 50% range and 70-80% range at CVS. Couponing takes time, not only out of your life to actually gather coupons, but to incorporate yourself into the coupon cycle.
Why is this? Sales and coupons run on cycles. You wonder why one week you can get cream cheese for $.25 after coupons and next it’s back up to $2? Sales run on cycles, anywhere from 3-4 weeks to 6-8 weeks, depending on your region. To truly get into the sales, I personally had to “ride” at least one full cycle so I could understand how food and their prices work. Sometimes the store brand may be the cheapest option, but most likely, not for long. Since beginning my couponing journey, my brand name to store brand ratio is probably around 80/20.
However, this does not mean that everything that I buy or eat is processed or necessarily bad for you. This was one of the biggest misconceptions I had when I started out. I was so worried that though I was going to be saving money, I’d only be adding to my midsection. Not true! There are so many coupons for healthy, organic foods and there are even coupons for produce. I regularly use coupons for salad greens, oranges, avocados, salad dressing, almond milk, almonds, and more. They are out there!In the upcoming days I hope to have a few more posts about coupons, pointers on how to use them and how you can save even more on your groceries so easily. You can do it!