February 23rd, 2012 | Ann
I really like routines. In fact, I like Monday mornings because I love my week-day routines.
Weird, I know.
I try to keep some weekend routines, too, and Sunday morning is one of them:
– Get up, start coffee
– Let dog out
– Get newspaper
– Let dog in
– Drink coffee, clip coupons
– Make healthy breakfast for me & Jay
Most Sunday mornings follow the same routine. We usually do our grocery shopping and errands on Sundays.
After all, that’s when the new circular ads and manufacturer’s coupons come out.
Isn’t that what everybody waits for?
I grew up in a house where my mom clipped coupons. Not in a crazy “extreme-coupon-er” way, but in a “hey, we can save some money if we are already buying these things” way.
And honestly, we’ve gotten the paper since July and I just recently started clipping coupons. I say, about 2/3 of the coupons are things I already buy: household items, toiletries, paper goods, boxed granola bars/healthy living products, dairy, frozen foods, and dog treats.
Sometimes it’s hard not to clip coupons if it’s something I would want – like, bags of candy or boxes of cereal or unhealthy meals. I like clipping on Sunday mornings because my head is usually pretty clear. Saturday is usually a long-run, and I almost always feel great (accomplished, proud, sore but energized) on Sundays. Having a weeks worth of workouts done helps me stay on track with clipping healthy food items or products.
I’m also a diligent list-maker. I plan out meals, I plan out grocery lists, to-do-lists, and even the order I’ll run errands in. Having a plan for my food and meals for the week helps me with clipping the items I’ll actually want and need. For example, if I know we are running out of coffee, or will in the next few weeks, I’ll clip a few coffee coupons. I’ll check the ads each Sunday, and once coffee goes on sale + I have a coupon, I’ll save some money on that purchase.
Now…. I know there are tons of coupon sites. Just Google “Coupon Website” and there’s over 379,000,000 pages. (No joke! I just did it!)
I’d love to think that one day, I’d get into those online coupon sites and REALLY save a TON of money. However…. for now? I spend about 20 minutes every Sunday, clipping things I’m already planning to buy. I organize the coupons by type and lay them out by category…..
I can’t believe I’m telling you how crazy obsessive I am sometimes. I just LOVE organization.
I pull out all my prior weeks’ coupons to see if I have any double-coupons, and then I check what’s on sale at the store. Of course, it all goes off my “master grocery list” –
Believe it or not, I do my weekly grocery shopping at Target.
Yes…. at Target.
I suppose part of it is because I grew up in Minnesota, home of The Targets. And maybe I just really like the convenience of everything in 1 place. Seriously, I can look at clothes, and shoes, and accessories and workout wear. Jay can look at electronics and sporting goods. We can look at pets supplies, luggage, home decorations. OMG. I could probably write an entire blog post about why I love Target.
But, I digress.
So I organize my coupons, make my weekly plan, search for deals in the Target ad, and come up with my final list.
Another amazing, helpful, handy tool?
This coupon organizer is the single greatest thing in my coupon-ing routine. The best part? It was $1. From Target.
BUY YOURSELF A COUPON ORGANIZER RIGHT NOW. You can even write your own tab labels.
Also – decide where you’ll be shopping and get hooked up with their “Rewards” program. Most stores have a “frequent shopper” scanner or some sort of deal where they give you discounts, coupons, etc. for free. For my trusty Target, we got a Target Debit Card – the money is debited directly out of your checking account, but because it’s the “Target debit card”, we automatically get 5% off every purchase! If we spend $100, we save $5! For 52 weeks, that’s an annual savings of $260. Just for swiping a different debit card when we check out. Cool, right? Right.
I hate spending extra time in the grocery section. But sometimes reading the coupons and looking for the matching items takes time. And sometimes, when the coupon says “50 cents off value-sized Planters trail mix” all you can find is the regular-sized Planters trail mix. And it totally sucks. And you have to be flexible, find something else you have a coupon for and planned to buy, and move on.
Here are Ann’s Tips for Successful (Healthy) Coupon-ing:
– Be flexible – sometimes they won’t have that item, and you’ll have to move on
– Have a plan, make a list!
– Only clip coupons for things you buy or are planning to buy
– Eliminate the opportunity to buy crap you don’t need. If you wouldn’t regularly buy a chocolate bar, why would you buy one with a coupon? Crap is still crap.
– Organize your coupons in a way that will help you save time & money
– It’s okay if you don’t love coupon-ing…. I promise you’ll love saving money
– Get hooked up with a ‘rewards’ or ‘cash back’ program – most are totally free!
And the biggest tip? Do what works for you.
Because if you try to follow my plan, or someone else’s plan, or a coupon website’s plan, you may end up completely overwhelmed and give up. Start small and figure out what’s going to work for you.
Lastly? Plan something fun with your money. I usually save between $20-$30 per week. Annually, that’s atleast $1,040. I can think of LOTS of things I’d LOVE to do with an extra thousand dollars!!
Coupon-ing, especially healthy coupon-ing doesn’t have to be a big deal or take a huge amount of time. Just start small, come up with a plan, and do what works for you.
Ready…. set….. COUPON!
Do you currently clip coupons? If so, how much $ do you save??