Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Value of Using Coupons

So today is the day that I prepare for my grocery shopping trip of the week. In my area, two of the three major grocery stores start their sales on Sundays. I subscribed to the newspaper when a person from their sales department called and offered to give us the paper on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays for $1 for an entire year! We got a bill in the paper later for a total of $1. Seriously! So now I get a Sunday paper overflowing with coupon inserts and I try to make shopping fun.

I sit at the dining room table with my laptop, notepad, scissors, and my coupon organizer. I fix myself a hot, steamy cup of fresh coffee and go to work. I scan the flyers and find the third store's flyer online, as they don't mail theirs out. I then make a column for each store and jot down all the loss leaders (the huge savings on a couple of items splashed on the front page of their flyers) for each supermarket. Then I look for coupons for those items if they apply. As I scan the rest of the flyers I add the sale items that I actually use, doing a quick check for a coupon. I don't buy anything, no matter what a steal it is, unless it's healthy and a product that my family actually uses. By taking a few minutes each Sunday to prepare for my weekly shopping trip I save $20 to $30 on my $100 budget per week for groceries.

We eat only foods on the food pyramid and by shopping like this each week we have accumulated a small stockpile of all of our favorite foods and household products. There is no waste at my home. I don't obsess over couponing but I also see the great value in using them. Couponing is time well spent.

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