Hey everyone! Hoping your holiday weekend was great! Ours was pretty low-key but thats the way I like it 😉 My daughter sure did get a lot of stuff for Christmas! Which, brings me to the point of this post. Raise your hand if you think having a child, and life in general, is expensive!
It seems the prices for everything get higher by the day. Being a one income household, its really important for my family to save here and there when we can, and believe me, it adds up!
I am in no way, shape, or form any type of an extreme couponer. I do not have a basement that looks like a bodega. I see absolutely no need for my family to have 46 bottles of mustard on hand at all times. Its just not us.
I do coupon as much as I can for my regular shopping trips! And I’ve saved my family thousands by doing so. If you’re a newbie at couponing, or think you “just don’t have the time” – this post is great for you! I very rarely coupon for food items, but once in a while I’ll use one for coffee, juice, pasta, etc. My main focus today is to highlight savings in the two categories I find the most expensive yet happen to save the most in 🙂 – household items and baby items!
But first, I want to share with you my ‘rules’ of couponing:
- Do not buy things just because you have a coupon for it! You will wind up spending extra money, thus defeating the purpose. Instead, focus on things you use frequently in your household.
- Do not drive yourself crazy going to 10 different stores in order to save a few extra cents on something. Instead, choose stores you regularly visit. You can still save money without making it a chore for yourself!
I happen to live close by to two supermarkets, a CVS, a Target, Walmart, and two dollar stores. For those of you who don’t have that same convenience, fear not! Just do what works for you. This is meant to be a guideline as to how to score good deals generally. Adjust it to your household, schedule, and store of choice’s coupon policy (always check the coupon policy.) Okay, here we go!
- Download the coupons.com app. That way you can search through and print the coupons you’ll use right from home. Easy peasy.
- Start getting the Sunday paper, you don’t have to subscribe (although you could if you want it delivered to your house) – a trip to your local gas station or deli should do. They have the inserts with the coupons! Check and see which local paper of yours has coupons inserted and start getting it, at least 1-2x a month is a good start. I don’t personally get them every week, but again, do what works best for your household. The most popular coupon inserts are SmartSource, RedPlum, and P&G Brandsaver. WE LOVE ALL OF THEM! 🙂
- Give yourself a budget, write a list, and STICK TO IT!
- Sit down, pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, and start clipping. As I previously mentioned, clip for things you already use or something you’re sure you will. I like to separate mine into my two main categories – baby and household.
- Then take out your trusty little smartphone, tablet, or computer and google “(Store you’re planning to shop at) coupon matchups.” BAM! Most of the work is done for you at this point. Just read through them and choose what you need. You can also search your local store of choice’s weekly saving ad, and don’t forget to write your list!
- If you are a Target shopper, you definitely want to download CartWheel. This allows extra savings right on an app from your phone! Check the stores coupon policy, a lot of supermarkets double manufacturer coupons up to $0.99. And of course, sign up for store savings cards.
- Always check and see what the store has on clearance, a lot of times, its a product with a new design on the bottle and the store has to clear the shelves to make room.
Now that you have the bare bones of saving money by using coupons, you’ll want to head out on your first shopping trip!
Household items: When shopping for household items, I try to get myself a month’s worth of stuff, plus more if I see something at a stock up price. Because prices vary throughout the country, I don’t want to throw numbers out here. But, a good example I can share was when I found a usually higher priced whitening toothpaste for $0.96 ea. I bought 5 for the price of 1! It was on sale, and I had coupons!
Some of the things I like to get that last longer than a month are laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, and garbage bags. I generally find that these are used the most frequently, and per item can cost the most. So, I try to get myself some extra when I see a sale + coupon I have (thats always the ideal scenario, which is why its good to get some extra, so you can have enough til the next sale!)
There are frequently, pretty much every week, coupons for basic household goods. This includes toothpaste/mouthwash, paper goods, dish soap/dishwasher soap, laundry detergent, and personal hygiene items. In my house, we don’t really care if we don’t use the exact same brand of toothpaste every week, so if you prefer one brand over the other, thats totally fine! Adjust it to work for you.
Baby items: This one is my favorite! I am proud to say that I have a 5 &1/2 month old and have not had to buy any diapers (just had to exchange a few packs for different sizes) since she’s been born! I stocked up on diapers, using coupons and sales while I was pregnant. Diapers are such an expense, an average newborn goes through about 10 diapers per day, so a box of 100 diapers doesn’t even last two weeks! If you do the math, you can see easily how quickly the cost goes into the thousands in the first year of life alone. When I was stocking up, I used CVS and Target as my go-to stores.
CVS frequently has a store coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase of diapers and wipes, when combined with a manufacturer coupon and a sale, and possibly an ExtraBucks reward, we’re seeing savings on savings! At Target, they often offer a gift card promotion with the purchase of diapers. So between the manufacturer coupon, CartWheel savings, and gift card reward, we’re seeing savings there too! Target also prints catalina coupons (the ones that come out of the register) and sometimes they’re store coupons, which means you can stack ’em with a manufacturer coupon, which means … SAVINGS! I stuck with two stores to stock up on my diapers mostly, so if I needed to exchange a size I didn’t have to go on a wild goose chase.
I experimented with the top three brands of diapers (Pampers, Huggies, and Luvs) and they all have their own sub brands (Baby Dry, Snug & Dry, etc) so I would recommend trying a variety and seeing what works best for your baby when he or she arrives! If you were to open a pack, use a few diapers, and see they absolutely totally don’t work for your baby, I would suggest donating the rest. If no one you know has a baby in that size diaper, you can contact your local department of social services or homeless shelter and they will gladly take them off your hands or direct you to a place you can donate them!
I have gotten great deals for baby wipes at supermarkets too, because my local ones double manufacturer coupons. So, if the wipes are on sale for $1.57 a pack, and you have a $0.50 coupon, it will double to $1, which will make each pack of wipes only $0.57 each!
I have also found boxes of diapers with 100+ count, packs of wipes, and baby shampoo/wash and bottles on CLEARANCE at stores! So be sure to check your stores clearance section!
I’m hoping although this post is pretty general, it helps those of you reading save a little money on things you already use. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any more questions. Have a great week!