I don't coupon to the point that it would be TV worthy, but I have figured out that by buying multiples of things that I normally buy when they are on sale and I have a coupon, I can save 40-80% over time. For example, I haven't had to buy toilet paper since early in April because I was able to get 4 packs of 24 double rolls of our favorite brand of toilet paper for less than $10 each.
Yes, I did spend $40 on toilet paper in one day and that may seem a little crazy. But, I was buying a package of 12 double rolls at around $8 per package. Over time, to purchase the same number of rolls, I would have spent $64 on the same toilet paper! By buying the big packs when they were on sale and pairing the sale with a coupon I had, I was able to save $24.00.
To answer a lot of questions that have come up (and that I had myself) about couponing:
- I don't buy something just because it's on sale, and I don't clip every coupon I see. I only purchase non-perishable items that I would normally buy in the course of the next 3-6 months OR items that I think I might be able to get for free to donate to local charities.
- I hold onto coupons until the item goes on sale at a local store. That way I can maximize savings.
- I try to buy 4 or more of an item when savings are good, and store them until I need them. That way I have enough to hold me over until the next big sale.
- Yes, managing all those coupons can make your head spin. But there are lots of ways to file and track coupons. A coupon binder divided out into the sections of my local stores does well for me.
- I survive if my coupons expire. I don't have to throw them away though, I mail them to a military family overseas who can use them for 6-12 months after they expire.
The best advice that I can give you if you want to try couponing is to start small. Start collecting the weekly paper and going through the coupons and ads. Save coupons each week and see how they match up to sales over the course of a couple weeks... then when you think you see a good deal go get it! By starting with just a couple of items at one store you can see how easy it really can be and get motivated to coupon more.