Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to get started couponing

This is going to come in several parts over the next few days. You'll be able to find it all in one location here if you ever need to refer back to any of this information.

Before you EVER start couponing you need to start here:

#1 How to be successful and trim your budget:

The keys to being successful and trimming your budget for good is budgeting, make a list, stockpiling and menu planning!

1.      Budget- Everyone needs a budget! Sit down and determine your budget. Start out with the average of what you have been normally spending each pay period. For my family it was $150 every two weeks. (I divide my budget for those two weeks so I can catch sales for both weeks.)
2.     Lists-
§  Make a meal plan with what you currently have on hand. I make a list of all the meals my family likes and start from there. View partial list here to get an idea.
§  Make a list of all your necessities. Hygiene, foods your family eats most
   often, pets, toilet paper, etc.
§  Each week start your list with your “needs” that will include food for
   you meal plan and any necessities.
§  Look for these items on sale and match up coupons.
§  Add any stockpiling opportunities.
3.   Stockpile-Use you remaining budget to stock up on any items you use regularly that are on sale that week. As the weeks pass you will see your “needs” list shrink and your stockpiling budget increase.
4.     As your stockpile grows you can slowly start to cut back on your budget.
§  Use the money saved to pay off a bill, save for a big purchase or vacation or treat yourself to something special.
5.      I keep a savings tracker of my purchases that includes which store, how much I spent and how much I saved. You can get that here. You can download it for free here from The Coupon Project.
  •       I also keep a copy of my meal plans. You can view a sample here.
6.      I also do a small scale Once a Month Cooking to keep my freezer full of quick to fix meals. Money Saving Mom and Good Cheap Eats are two excellent resources to get you started!
7. Also Money Saving Mom has some excellent downloadable forms to get you started on your menus and lists. Go here to get your for FREE!

Tomorrow, Coupon Myths and The Rules!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Reagan! Where would I find a Walgreens and CVS that are coupon friendly in Ocean Springs? I know in Mobile some of the drug stores catered to coupon users (CVS was the BEST). Are there any stores here that you find to be more friendly?