I should have started this blog a week ago or even a month ago! I have learned a great deal about couponing and saving money over the last few weeks. So many things have happened that I wish I would had documented with pictures and the valuable lessons that I have learned.
I started using coupons starting in this July.
Growing up, my parents pretty much only bought things with coupons. They used to get entire grocery carts of stuff for free...AND, it was all stuff that we actually needed! I did not appreciate coupons until recently when I quit my job. If I am not making money, maybe I can help us out by saving some money. I considered using coupons in the past but it usually seemed to make me spend more money. "Oh, I have a coupon for this product. Might as well try out this brand since this coupon expires tomorrow and I need canned peaches."
In the end, it was typically a product that I didn't really need or want and therefore, I spent two dollars even though I could have saved the money for something more useful.
I have never seen the show Extreme Couponing but I can't help but associate the idea of extreme couponing with negative thoughts (even though apparently, I grew up with 2 extreme couponers as parents). I didn't want to be known as the crazy coupon lady that cashiers dread ringing up in the grocery store. When I was 16, I worked at a grocery store as a "courtesy clerk." The most uncomfortable part of the job was ringing up customers who watched me scan their items and coupons like a hawk. I felt like they were waiting for something to go wrong, like they expected me or the register to mess up and were just waiting to yell at me. I don't particularly like being that customer that watches everything. But I've had enough scenarios where I was overcharged or coupons did not get scanned because I didn't want to pay attention.
I also don't want my small apartment to become a supply house just in case another Y2K "event" takes place when the world ends. Or a mini K-mart hoarding away tons of items. I only have so much space. And time. I only have so much time. I can't continuously be scouting the blogs for the newest coupons and racing down to every grocery and drug store in town to score the latest deal before they run out of supplies. That would take over my entire life. And I am amazed that people can function with families in that lifestyle. I have been trying to find a healthy balance with coupons.
Currently our grocery budget is $350.00 a month FOR ONLY TWO PEOPLE. I know this is ridiculous. And I'll be honest, we always go over. And then I saw the an extreme couponer's blog... "Entire trip to King Soopers = $3.22" above a picture with 25 dollars worth of food.