Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Couponing Truth

Hey its me!!

I have people asking me all the time to teach them how to coupon. Although I love it when people are interested and want to know more, I feel hesitant at the same time. I don't want to mis-lead people and have them think I am this crazy coupon lady who can teach them "secrets" to save a bunch of money. So I am taking this opportunity to give my couponing truth. However, in reading this I want you all to remember that you get as much out of couponing & saving money as YOU put into it, as you put into it.

First of all, I only really use about $10-$15 in coupons on my weekly grocery shopping trips. Surprise! My savings from coupons, is not as grand as most would think. I get most of my savings from shopping smart. I shop by price. For example, if I want to get one item, but its not on sale and I know it will be soon, I will choose something cheaper instead.  I can always buy that item at another time, when I can afford it.

Coupons, mostly help me purchase items, for really cheap, that I would not normally buy. For example, I would never buy a $10 razor...but if I can get it for $2 or less, I very well might. And it would be a needed item anyhow.

So I guess what I want to reveal is that the biggest way I save money is just by analyzing what I buy, when, why, and for how much. It's called being honest with myself and having self control.

I feel like if you currently do not coupon, the best thing you can do for yourself is to really analyze your bank statement and be truthful with yourself.  We often do this every few months, when I notice that it seems like our spending is getting a little out of control. Print your last months statement, and look to see what all your purchases were. Is it something that can be cut down or cut out, like trips to Wawa or Dunkin Donuts every day? I know, I was there - those and CVS were my 3 big evil's of the bank account.
Back when I used to smoke, I noticed that I would stop at Wawa all the time for cigarettes and never did I buy JUST the cigarettes. There was always a soda with it, or breakfast, or coffee.  Once I became honest with myself, I cut out all the extra purchases.

When it comes to control, you need to learn to tell yourself NO. I am always seeing things that I really want. But I literally look, say "OMG that's so cute, I want it", and I keep walking. I walk away. I don't even give myself the time to talk myself into buying it.

I often analyze those impulse purchases with these questions:
1 - Will this item feed or shelter my family?
2 - Do I need this NOW, or can it wait until next payday?
3 - Are any of my bills behind right now??????

Also, I don't give into my kids. Ask them -  I am the mean mom who always says NO. BUT...they have a place to live, and food to keep them growing. That is what they will remember as adults.

And, before I go shopping for anything, I am always looking for a coupon. Pretty much all stores have coupons.Just take a look at RetailMeNot.com. They have coupons for all the typical stores you might normally be shopping like AC Moore, Old Navy and more. 

All in all, I think of couponing as a small portion of the way people can save money. Its all about your own will power.

THAT is my secret!