Friday, April 22, 2011

(not so) extreme couponing.

Check out this picture of our amazing grocery stockpile!


Okay, so obviously that situation isn't currently happening in our one bedroom apartment, but the Krueger family has officially joined the couponing club. We've been using coupons and focussing on shopping sales since the first of the month and it is already making a HUGE impact on our monthly grocery budget. So far this month, we have saved over 40% and I feel like that number will easily grow next month.

A few disclaimers, I am not an expert. I'm definitely new to the game and am still learning the ropes. Also, I have no intentions of hoarding groceries in our closets. My only goal is to shave a little bit of money off our grocery bill. My goal is not to have 95 bottles of salad dressing!

I have had some friends asking for tips on what we are doing so thought I would share some tips and highlight some of the things I have learned so far.

Almost everything I have learned is courtesy of This website is absolutely incredible for walking you through the process of learning to coupon WISELY! There is no need to have enough toilet paper to last 40 years (ahem, Extreme Couponers!) but you can shop smart and see a great difference in your budget. Here's a little breakdown of the tips that I think are most important:
  1. Don't just shop with coupons, also shop the sales. Buy 1, Get 1 sales are a great place to start. B1G1 deals combined with using coupons are an even better place to start. 
  2. If you are willing to be flexible with brands, you'll find more sales available to you.
  3. That being said, be a smart shopper. Don't spend the money if you know no one in your house will use it (unless it is an incredible deal... then you should take advantage and donate it!)
A big question with couponing is where to find the coupons. These are the places where I find most of my coupons:
  1. Newspaper inserts-I have a Sunday-only subscription to our paper (I bought the subscription on Groupon!)
  2. Printable coupon websites-a few common ones are, and
  3. Shopping lists on
  4. Facebook-lots of companies will post deals on Facebook, all you have to do is 'Like' their page to have access. 
And to break up a few misconceptions that I think keep people from couponing...
  1. You don't have to buy junk food to be able to use coupons. Think about all of the things you regularly buy in addition to food-paper products, cleaning supplies, toiletries... there are coupons for all of that! There are also great coupons and sales on good foods. I promise, Kyle and I don't sit around eating potato chips and frozen pizzas every day. We save that for Fridays...kidding...maybe :)
  2. Couponing doesn't have to take up all of your free time. I have spent VERY little time cutting coupons. That is because does all of the work for me. I don't even clip the coupons from my newspaper inserts, I stash them away until I see them listed on her weekly shopping lists. 
  3. You do not need a bomb shelter to hold your stockpile. I know I've already mentioned that but it's so true. I may have a few extra rolls of paper towels stashed in our laundry room, but only enough to tide us over until the next great sale. 
  4. You won't need to have eight shopping carts at the store and ten friends to help you navigate the checkout lanes. (see number 3 above)
That's probably plenty of information to overwhelm all of you for now! I have a few more posts scheduled that should help, one on my favorite things about (have I mentioned yet that I love this website?!) and one on a few other money saving tricks I've recently discovered. I should have those posted in the next few days. 

Feel free to leave questions in the comments section. This is probably my third attempt at couponing, the first attempts lasted about five minutes when I quickly realized that saving $2.00 was not worth 2 hours of my time. What is worth my time is spending about one hour a month to save over $200. Those are numbers I can stand behind. After all, I have a sweet little baby on the way and need to be able to shower it with presents!

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