How Meaghan Saves Money By Clipping Coupons

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Welcome to the third guest post in my series “The Great Grocery Budget Battle: Choose Your Weapon”.


Today I’ve got Meaghan, from Cook. Craft.Love., sharing how she is saving money by clipping coupons but still buys healthy foods.

Meaghan shares how she saves money on groceries by clipping coupons, and yet still buys healthy foods.

Hello Eat Better, Spend Less readers! My name is Meaghan and I blog over at Cook. Craft. Love. I’m so excited to be here sharing some tips with you as a part of Beth’s money saving series!

Before we dive into what I’m going to talk to you about today I want to give you a little bit of background. Way back when I was a brand new blogger I was super into couponing; that extreme kind of couponing you see on TLC. Those people some people roll their eyes at… I wasn’t the kind of person buying 57 bottles of mustard just because they were free but I was happy to walk out of the store every week with dozens upon dozens of items for 75% off. Minimum. In fact unless it was at least 60% off it didn’t come home with me. Some weeks I was definitely not the favorite person in the family.

There are two big problems with couponing at that level:

1) It’s incredibly time consuming and draining.

2) It’s rare that you’re couponing for food that has ingredients you can pronounce.

A few months ago I had a huge mindset shift. Because I watched a movie.

Have you heard of Food, Inc? No? Watch it. It’s a life changing film about the FDA and our government’s relationship to our food. And it’s one of those movies that makes you want to run to your kitchen, throw out all your food, and never let another processed piece of food pass your lips again. But obviously that’s not practical.

Some people don’t have the time, patience, or skill to make everything they eat from scratch. Others don’t have the money to buy only locally sourced ingredients from farmers markets or local farms. We certainly don’t. But I wasn’t ready to just give up on saving money at the grocery store and go back to spending $500 a month on food. So I had to modify how I coupon in order to maximize my savings on what I was spending. I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to be able to do it but I really surprised myself. We still save an average of 50% at the grocery store every single month. And here’s how.

Shop the Sales


Meaghan shares how she saves money on groceries by clipping coupons, and yet still buys healthy foods.

You’ll see this on every single coupon blog you visit. Shop the sales. I even talk about it during my Couponing for Beginners Series I wrote way back in the way back days. Pull out that circular {or pull it up on the internet like I do} and see what’s on sale at your number one favorite store that week. Use those sale items to decide what you’ll make for dinner, what you’ll pack for lunches, and what you might want to whip up for breakfast for the next seven days until a new sales circular comes out.

This doesn’t mean you need to visit every single store in your town to get the best deal, though. I do not waste my time driving to three or more stores weekly anymore. I go to my favorite store where I get the best savings and if they don’t have something I really need on sale I’ll check for it at my next favorite store. If it’s a much better deal I’ll swing by store #2 for it. If not I won’t waste my time, gas, or sanity driving to a second store if I don’t really need to.

Maintain a Stockpile

Meaghan shares how she saves money on groceries by clipping coupons, and yet still buys healthy foods.

This is still a great idea even if you’re not couponing like a crazy person. You can still stockpile those ingredients that you’ll use every single week that have a long shelf life like pasta, rice, flour, canned fruits and veggies, and healthier cereals. I also maintain a good stockpile of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and other toiletries as well as paper products like napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper and cleaning supplies like Clorox wipes and laundry detergent. Those are always great things to stock up on when they’re super cheap and store them. But only if you have the room!

Just keep in mind that you don’t need an apocalyptic stockpile. If you can’t store 100 bottles of laundry detergent why are you buying that many? If you only have enough room for 4 packs of toilet paper don’t bring home 10! It’s a surefire way to get burnt out and fast. Sales are cyclical so it’ll go on sale again. I promise. Plus if you’re not clearing the shelves you’re leaving some stock behind for the person behind you hoping to grab that same great deal.

Don’t Buy Paper Coupons

This is a personal preference of course but I don’t buy the paper anymore. One week when I was slipping my coupons into my little accordion file I keep in my purse I realized the ratio of clipped paper coupons to ones I had printed from the internet was about 4:1. And I wondered…what the heck am I wasting all that time filing, searching for, and clipping these paper coupons if I’m not using them? Why am I paying $2.50 a week having it delivered to my house if I almost never use them? So the first thing I did when I changed how I coupon was change where I got my coupons from.

I canceled my newspaper subscription and now print all my coupons from the internet. Sometimes if there’s a deal I really want I’ll run up to the nearest gas station and buy a paper but for the most part they’re all from the internet and I’m much happier that way. I’m not wasting time filing them or searching for and clipping them each time I plan my shopping trip.

It’s still worth it for me, even though we’re switching away from processed foods.

I have to say that I am soooo much happier with the way I’m saving my family money at the grocery store now. I’m making a lot more of our food from scratch. We haven’t bought bread from a store in almost a month now! That makes me so happy! I haven’t branched out into many homemade snacks yet but it’s definitely my next step. Anything to stop the whining and begging!

I’m still happy to see our savings stack up each month, I’m feeding the coupon junkie by getting toiletries, paper products, and cleaning supplies super cheap or free, and my family is on our way to a healthier lifestyle. Without breaking the bank!

Using coupons is a huge money saver, even if you’re not buying  a lot of packaged foods. For more help learning how to get the most use out of coupons and sales, and for an easy to implement strategy, check out my  book “It’s Me Or The Coupons”.

Learn how to save money couponing.

What’s your best strategy for saving your family money without sacrificing health?

 

Meaghan

Meaghan is a former teacher who currently works part time as a substitute teacher until she can pursue her passion of blogging full time.  She loves to invent new recipes and has a wicked sweet tooth.

You can find her over at Cook. Craft. Love. where she blogs about family favorite recipes and new inventions, seasonal crafts and decor, and the occasional free printable.  She loves cupcakes, casseroles, and college football.

You can follow Meaghan on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Bloglovin’.

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Comments

    • says

      We loved having you Meaghan! Your post got me motivated to try couponing again. Even though I wrote a book about it, I haven’t been doing it lately but I think I’ll just try printing some for the things I really would have bought anyway.
      Great article, thanks for the inspiration.

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