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Effective Couponing How It Was Experimented By A Family



I never experienced extreme couponing at home and so didn’t consider it at any stage of life until I started my college and started to live with my roommate of then and best friend of now. It all started with a language course that we decided to take and despite of heavy fee, we thought we could manage it somehow. But after a while, the semester pressure and student activities piled up into a hectic schedule and we were short on funds. Then my roommate suggested that we will have to save together and cut down our unnecessary activity to pay the fee. I didn’t exactly know what she was talking about, yet I jumped in.

So, in the beginning I had a lot to learn so I was usually doing the laborious work like cutting coupons or searching them on internet. But as time passed, I learnt quite a few things about regulations and ethics of couponing and about Catalina deals.
 
We pulled off some freelance tasks and couponing which in combination drove us to the very blissful graduation that we had. So, cutting it short when I started a family several unexpected occasions occurred challenging our budget each time. I came back to Couponing while I was reading inspirational couponing advices and I jumped to an online site and I starred the link, the website was lavishcoupon.com and I still follow it for furniture coupons, movie tickets and several other deals that it constantly updates.

As it turned out, coming back to coupons was not as smooth and I thought it would be and after doing calculating values and spending this is what we got:

Time Spent: 18 Hours per week

Savings: $48/ avg per week

It was way below our targets as kids come with expenses and we were expecting to cover a good portion of our spending with couponing and do not just settle for average couponing.

This is the summary of our four weeks of couponing which kept me employed for a month and I was also able to draw a result which I would be happy to share.

Week One:

I read lots of articles and they usually all include the lists and therefore I made myself a list too. When I reached the store I couldn’t control to add up a few more items which felt very essential at that moment. The grocery store I picked did allow only generic products and there were no brands available. In one way it saved my time on cutting and organizing coupons which I felt good about. I got all the basics in my basket (with a determination to recreate the healthy dishes), and also slipped for extra cheese thinking it was my backup for any blunders that I will make during cooking. The groceries with my firm determination about healthy cooking (forced on my kid) led us to stick to our groceries on which we spent $105.0/- which was $68 below from what we usually spend. But by the end of the week, my family had enough of sauces and bread prepared with basics. So, we ran to the store to get some delicious ingredients on which $17. This lowered down our savings to $51 only.

Week Two:

I wanted to step out of saving on groceries mode, so I had to step into the store that includes brands as well. Now most of my work regarding couponing was spent at home. Cutting couponers with a toddler moving and disturbing decorative items around was not as easy, but we somehow pulled off with co-operative naps of my 2 year old.

In the week one, I had missed on lots of things and so there were few things unavoidable adding up on the list. What we decided is agreeing on accomplishing one wish per person per week starting with our baby. So I had target coupons and this time I did pretty well at sticking to my list since there was already luxury items added. So I spent in total $214.35 and saved $71. The savings was implied after comparing it to the list that we made containing approx. same items without much concern for the budgets.

Week Three:

Then came the week 3 in which we were given a challenge of handling a birthday party of a family friend’s baby. We were given invitation (thankfully) at right time so we could consider options. I am not much of DIY person so I started looking online and on clothingric.com, I found various sites with enormous discounts for baby clothing and I went for it. At first, I was little ambiguous about the quality and delivery terms yet the transitions that were happening pushed me to try it and so I placed my first online order. I scored a pack of fun baby dress in $62.4 with free shipping and great discount of 48% and guess what there was no fuel charged.

For the third week, we kept it light on our groceries and repeated meals that were economical, easy to make and also delicious. We spent total of $35 on the groceries and the total expense for the week reached: $70 + $35 = $105. Savings sum up to $57.6 and lots of patience.

Week Four:

The last week of the month is stressful for every family depending on monthly earnings. We tried to go with left overs for the first two days. Took a pizza deal for the weekend and rest of the days, we cut coupons for the food and necessities. After the week attended our spending rounded to $34 and saving to $25. We had a reasonably satisfied week overall.

In my hyper experimental mode shopping list in all four weeks was not similar. However, the most satisfied week of the month was second week when we had many of our favorites available and the savings were great too.
Savings and work summed up to:

Time Spent: 14 Hours per week

Savings: 204.6/ avg per week


I hope my calculations will prove helpful to make you ready for your couponing challenge. But I am not implying that it will be same for you as it wasn’t even same for me every week. For normal families, though a few days will be tough but the overall savings of the month will make looking back, fun and easy.

Published On: February 24, 2015