Back in October 2011, I started using coupons in an effort to save money on groceries. I began researching online and buying the Sunday newspaper at an alarming rate! But fortunately, I found that there are free online printable coupons from RedPlum, SmartSource, Coupons.com and Coupon Network.
Although I enjoyed collecting and matching up the coupons to the store deals, the whole process can be time consuming, a bit tedious, a little over-whelming, especially for those of us who struggle with time management.
However, there are other ways I have learned to save money:
I have slowly, but surely, begun a stockpile of items that I use often. When I find them on sale, I buy two or three instead of just one. This can be difficult when you are already working on a tight budget, but catching just a few items on sale can save you money in the long run.
Make Your Own
Instead of buying pre-packaged, we all know that homemade is usually cheaper (and healthier). Making homemade cookies may take a little more time, but if I want to save money, I make them instead of buying boxes of snack cakes. I also make pancakes instead of buying the frozen waffles or expensive Pop Tarts. And Daughter #1 even makes her own cereal instead of buying pre-sweetened cereal for her kids. Buying pre-packaged is a time-saver, but a money-waster.
Make Fewer Trips
I very seldom make a trip to town just for one reason. I save up my running and combine it with other errands. I like to go shopping once a month, but if I find I need something sooner, I’ll get it when we go out on our date night, or we are coming home from church.
Make a List
Make a list. I make a list every time I go shopping—sometimes I leave it lying on the counter, but I do make a list. So make a list of everything you need, take it with you to the store, and try to only buy what’s on the list. Sometimes it’s better to go by yourself (leave the kids and hubby at home), so there are no “extras” placed in the shopping cart.