Part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide. Let’s break couponing down to be fun and easy, not extreme and time-consuming!
Question from reader Jackie:
I’m new to couponing and am having a hard time seeing the savings. Most of the things I see coupons for are for things I don’t use. I cook from scratch a lot and there seem to be a lot of ready made items with coupons. Tell me what I am missing please.
Jackie, that is a great question! The thing I personally save the most on is diapers & all baby items, cereal, big-ticket purchases, and personal care/hygeine items. Sometimes, watching for sales and knowing when the items you normally buy are at their lowest point is another way to save if there aren’t coupons for the items you buy.
There are almost always coupons for diapers
Normally, people go to the store and pay $11 or so for a jumbo pack of diapers once or twice a week. I wait for them to be on sale for $8.99, then I use a $2 or $3 off coupon, plus combine that with Rite Aid’s catalina +UP rewards, which prints another $1 off coupon. So my “stock up” price is $5.50.
If you buy diapers for two years at one pack a week without looking for sales, you will pay: $1144
If you buy diapers for two years at one pack a week (or averaging one pack a week, I normally buy 3 or 4 when they go on sale then don’t buy for a few weeks) you will pay: $572. And that’s if you’re paying $5.50 – a few weeks ago there was a deal at Target for diapers for $2.50 a pack with coupons!
The story is similar with baby formula and baby foods and clothes.
Another area I save a lot of money on is big-ticket items
I don’t save up money and as soon as I have money for an item go buy it. I had money saved up last fall for a wooden playground for my kids, but couldn’t find a deal. Four weeks ago Toys R’ Us had a sale where they were 30-40% off based on the set, and I had a $100 coupon! I got my set cheaper then you can buy them used – trust me, I searched KSL and Craigslist daily!!!
All personal care items and non-prescription pharmacy items I get 70% off or free
You can also save the most on with coupons and watching for sales at CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. And these aren’t junk food – these are soap, shampoo, conditioner, razors, and toothpaste. Things we all use. Almost always you get free toothpaste and toothbrushes so I never pay for those.
Yet another great place to save money on is at dining out! I use coupons every time I go out to eat, BOGO free entrees save you a lot of dough!
In the End How Do You Save?
So in the end, will your grocery bill go down because of couponing if you eat all healthy, organic food? Not drastically. Will your costs for other necessities decrease? Trick question! At first, hold on to your seats, they will increase. Because you don’t have a stockpile! So every good deal you see you will want to grab. But once you get a huge stockpile, your price points shift lower and lower and you spend less and less. You will see dramatic savings.
Ask CCD Readers: What do you save the most money on using coupons?