During these tough economic times, every little bit counts. That's why I asked wells75904, Group Owner of Frugal & Thrifty Moms, to give us the 411 on clipping coupons. She says on average she saves 50 percent, every time she goes into the grocery store—which adds up to $100-$200 a month!
If you're on the fence about whether clipping coupons is worth it, this might just push you over the edge. I had no idea it was so easy, or that the savings could be so huge.
When I asked wells75904 about whether clipping coupons was worth the effort, here is what she had to say:
"Yes. When I was raising my brother's five kids we had eight kids in the house (ages 8, 5, 4, 3, 3, 2, 1, 1, and 3 months) plus me and my husband. I fed us all on $200 or less a month including all our diapers (we had three in diapers and one in pull-ups), plus toilet paper, laundry soap, and everything else we needed for the month. It's not always convenient, but it can be done."
Wow, I'm impressed. Here's what else wells75904 had to say:
Where are the best places to find coupons for food?
I get most of mine from my local paper and through coupon trains.
How do you get into the routine of clipping and using coupons?
I have always been thrifty, but when I saw my local grocery store doubled and tripled them it inspired me to start clipping them regularly.
How do you organize your coupons?
I have a coupon organizer and organize them according to type (freezer foods, canned goods, etc.).
What do you do with expired coupons?
I send them overseas to our military
What does it mean to "stack" coupons?
To take a store coupon (like CVS) and use it at the same time as a manufacturing coupon (like you would clip in the paper). Only certain stores allow you to do this: CVS, Walgreens and Target are the main ones.
I've heard some stores double and even triple coupons? Is this true and are there any other strategies you use to maximize your savings?
To truly get the most from your coupons, you need to visit a store that doubles or triples them. My local ones do it, and it works great. I hold on to the coupon until the item goes on sale or the coupon is about to expire. Then I use it. For example, I had a coupon for 33 cents off Pop Secret Popcorn. A few weeks back it went on sale for 99 cents a box, so when the store tripled the value of the coupon my popcorn was free!
Any other dos and don'ts with respect to using coupons?
Always shop around, even after doubling and tripling, because sometimes the store brand is still cheaper. Also be careful: The coupons are there to trick you into buying something you otherwise wouldn't. In other words, it's not saving you any money to buy that coffee just because you have a coupon if you are not going to drink it.
Also, when you can get things on sale, stock up, get a freezer, find a place to store things, stockpile things, etc. When things do go on sale, find as many coupons for that item as you can, ask friends who read the paper (many people throw those things away), then you have more coupons to save more money.
*Got any more questions about coupons? Let me know, and I'll try to find some answers for you!