If there’s one thing that we love it’s saving money! With three kids between the two of us we certainly know how expensive life can be. We started couponing a few years ago and while we’ve certainly scaled back in some areas, we are still hunting the best deals!
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of our favorite apps to help you save! In the meantime, we wanted to share our top ten tips for Extreme Couponing: Mom Style.
#10: Consolidate Stores
As a mom, time is precious. Before kids we’d make multiple runs a week to as many as five stores. That’s just not realistic anymore. Forget the fact that we don’t have that kind of time, imagine getting your kids in and out of their car seats that many times, no thank you!
#9: Start a Stockpile
We can’t even explain how important this is. I can’t imagine what I would do if we ran out of diapers, paper towels, or toilet paper! Luckily, we don’t have to find out!! When they’re free (or really cheap) stock up on the items you use frequently. While storing these things may be annoying it is worth it in the long run for convenience and cost savings.
#8: Forget Brand Loyalty
With the exception of very few items, we don’t necessarily always buy the same brand. Being open and flexible allows you to save the most money. A salsa in one brand may be free, while another could be $4! We’ll take free please!
#7: Set Your Max Prices
How do you know you’re getting a good deal? You won’t unless you set some thresholds, there are certain things we just refuse to pay for, like shampoo. But there are other items we are willing to spend money on, but not a lot. For example, Emily prefers not to pay for coffee, but she’ll pay up to $1.49/lb.
#6: Meal Plan
Meal planning may not seem like it relates to couponing but it sure does! It’s not enough to look at the sales for the week, if you can create meals with what you have in your stockpile/freezer and then replace those items with the sales from that week- you’re always going to find that you save money. It also doesn’t hurt to meal plan so that you’re not left scrambling and then end up ordering takeout!
#5: Shop the Sales
This shouldn’t need to be said, but shop the sales when they happen. If there’s a great deal on a ham before a holiday, but you’re not going to be home, get it anyway and freeze it. You can always use it and you may not see that sale again.
#4: Clip Coupons
Gone are the days where coupons only came in the Sunday paper. While you may still want to buy one (or 4) newspapers there are so many other places to get coupons. Try printing some from coupons.com, Red Plum, Smart Source, or even many manufacturers websites. We use a coupon database and check for coupons for every item before shopping!
#3: Rewards Programs
It pays to be a member! You know we love programs like Pampers Rewards, but did you know there are other rewards programs? One of our favorites is Kellogg’s family rewards. You just link your grocery store card and you accumulate points for buying their brands. You can cash those points in for coupons!
#2: Use Your Store Loyalty Card
Your store loyalty card is super important! For many stores, like Price Chopper or Shoprite, not only do you get sale pricing with your card, but many have e-coupons that you can add and stack with your paper coupons. That’s an easy extra savings! And places like Target have debit cards linked to your checking account (Red Card) that doesn’t hurt your credit AND saves you an extra 5%!
#1: Stack It Up!
We always say, don’t just use one coupon! Know your stores coupon policy and use as many coupons as you can- that may mean a paper coupon, an ecoupon, a sale and a rebate through one of many available couponing apps. Check out our favorites in the next few weeks as we highlight them!
Couponing does really does pay off- we’ve saved thousands each year and are able to do so many more things for our families! You can put it towards your savings, family vacations, date nights, whatever you want! How do you save your family money?