There are about a billion ways to coupon. When I first got into coupons, I started with just a small accordion file. After a few months and a couple of other organizational techniques, I moved to the coupon binder. Have you seen those? Yeah, I had one. It was about as big as my diaper bag.
After a while though, I realized that something wasn’t working for me. I had cupboards full of food, but it wasn’t necessarily stuff I felt I could make meals out of and that I had bought just because I got it at such a great deal. It was definitely a problem. So, I layed off coupons until I could use up my stores. It took a while.
When everything was pretty much gone, I started to rethink how I shopped and how I cooked. I started making things from scratch and decided that I really didn’t need all those box mixes and such. I could make these things myself for not much more effort than from the box.
And then it was to find out how coupons work in my make from scratch (most of the time) world. I’ve cut way way way down on the number of coupons I use, that’s for sure. Coupons for toiletries are a must, but for food? Well, now its just a few coupons looking for great sales on meat, dairy, and pantry staples (like oil and spices).
You know what…I’m actually spending less per month on groceries now than I was when I was a hard-core couponer.
Coupons are great and I totally think they have their place, and finding out how they work best for you is so important. Only then can you strike the balance necessary to save the money you want and make things work the way they work best for you.