I started getting into coupons a little over 3yrs ago. My husband actually presented the idea to me after we watched a marathon on TLC of Extreme Couponing. He was like I bet you could do that. I kinda chuckled it off at first but later on I began to research the idea to see just how these folks on the show were saving so much money on groceries. I of course immediately went to good ole YouTube and found dozens and dozens of videos of everyday folks just like me who were explaining step by step how to save money at the checkout. I discovered the easiest way to match up the coupons with the ads was to use a match up site/ blog. That is when I found Southern Savers.
She post all the deals for the stores in my region. So I started small. I just planned for one store with a few items. I didn't start out with any coupons from the Sunday circular cause I hadn't start collecting them yet. Instead I did what I did on this shopping trip here. I just only went for deals with Printable Coupons. For those who don't know the same way a manufacturer puts out coupons in your Sunday paper in those booklets called Smart Source(SS), Red Plum(RP), and Proctor and Gamble(P&G) they also have coupons available on the web. These coupons you can mostly find on the products webpages, liking them on Facebook, or through the online version of the Sunday Circulars(i.e. www.smartsource.com, etc...)
I successfully saved my family 50- 90% on our grocery bill each trip for almost two years straight. I amassed a pretty decent stockpile of food and even managed to feed us through a serious financial hurdle for a nine month period when my husband was off on workman's comp and we only have 60% of his usual income. Couponing sustained us and keep my children's bellies fed. Now even though coupons turned out to be a blessing to our family it also had its drawbacks. I spent hours on the computer search for deals, lining them up. planning my trips, clipping my coupons, organizing my binder, etc.. It quickly became an obsession for me. I have an OCD like personality so it doesn't take much for something like this to take over my time. Well with a family of 6 I finally had to reel it in and call it quits for a while. I got burned out too. I backed off initially with the intent to start back but at a more more moderate controlled pace. Well life happened and months went by. Now after a 8month break I am back in the saddle so to speak.
This time I am going for more of the Couponing light than the Extreme side of things. I am taking the techniques I learned in the past and pairing them down to a minimum to save some on each trip instead of chasing zero totals. Here is a peak at my first time back. We tried out Public grocery store. I paid aprox. $63.00 and saved about $46.00. Not bad that was almost half off and I only spent about 15- 20mins tops preparing for the trip compared to my good ole days when it would have been about a 2hr process or longer. So I say all this to show you can save money with coupons with or without taking it to the extreme.