It’s Day 64 of my 100 Day Challenge and I’m still going strong! I just came off a week that was one of my best, spiritually. The Mother Teresa novena was remarkable and I recommend it to anyone who wants to go a little deeper in their faith. My last post was my favorite, so where do I go from here? Putting my faith into action. This blog is about helping others live life to the fullest. Today, we’re going to talk about saving money through the use of coupons because I’ve been there and done that. It’s good to be a good steward of the resources that God gives us.
Hard Work Pays Off
I have a few young friends who are experiencing money woes and I hope this will help. One of my friends is considering going on food stamps instead of getting a good job to provide for her family and another friend is working two jobs to provide for her kids. My advice is….get a good job and stand on your own two feet without the help of the government! You’ll have to make a few sacrifices in the beginning but you will learn so much more and be better off if you will just put in the hard work. There is no better time than right now to get a job! Everyone is hiring. You just have to show up.
It’s been a while since I’ve had to worry about saving money. There was a time when money was tight and I had to learn how to make a dollar stretch. It’s just me and my husband now and we’ve managed to save quite a bit of money over the years to be able to afford to do things now. I don’t have to use coupons and buy everything on sale like I did when I was younger, with a young family of five. But, then I thought, why shouldn’t I continue to do this? A penny saved is a penny earned, right? I’m curious as to how much money I could save in a year. I’d like to plan a trip to Rome someday. So here goes.
For the rest of this year and next, I’m revisiting couponing just so I can show my young friends how easy it is to save money on groceries and then put savings aside for other things for the family like an emergency fund for unexpected problems and a vacation fund for family time together.
Before you jump right in, just a bit of advice: create an email just for signing up with couponing websites and free things. You’ll get quite a bit of email and a lot of junk. Don’t use your regular email and never give your cell phone number or personal info when signing up for free stuff. A lot of these websites use third party advertising to get you to buy from them. That’s how they pay for their websites. But we’re going to be disciplined in our spending, right? That’s the goal.
I’ve followed quite a few people over the years in the couponing world. There are so many resources out there. You have to find one that works for you and you will, through trial and research. Resources I’ve used: There’s the websites Coupon Mom, and Money Saving Mom. I’ve used the Ibotta App and Fetch Rewards. And if you are really motivated, and you have a lot of debt and want to get free, Dave Ramsey is the guy to follow. His book, The Total Money Makeover, is a great book to get finances in order. It totally changed my outlook about money. I bought his book for each of my kids.
Let’s begin with a budget. How much money can you afford each week for groceries? How much are you spending now? Let’s keep track of that. We’re going to go to the store once a week. The Money Saving Mom feeds a family of 5 for $70 a week! It can be done and it’s no easy feat. There’s work in finding bargains and using coupons and buying things when they go on sale, but it can be done. After awhile, it gets to be like a game and can be quite fun. But you have to be careful not to buy just to be buying. You need to actually use the stuff you’re buying.
Stick to the plan. Yes, there needs to be a plan. A meal plan for the week is a must. But you are planning your meals according to the things that are on sale at the store and the things you have coupons for.
Start with signing up for a store’s savings card. In my area, we have a Kroger grocery. Because I have a savings card, I pay a discounted price for my items when checking out. The store will track your purchases and you will get some great coupons mailed to you. They also have digital coupons you can sign up for using their app. Put the store’s app on your phone.
Pick up a local Sunday newspaper and pull out the store’s sale flyer insert. Our local area Dollar Tree store sells the Sunday paper for $1. Companies also insert coupon packets for major products like toilet paper and cleaners. Pull that out as well. Sometimes, I would buy two papers so I could get more than one coupon for a particular item.
Sign up for theKrazyCouponLady.com and moneysavingmom.com. They both have great tips about what’s on sale and making the most out of your couponing experience, then get to work. Look for deals and only buy what you need. Stay focused.
There’s one more thing. It takes discipline, but you need to do it. — You have to stop eating out at restaurants. So much money is wasted by eating out. I know, it’s so convenient! But try to cut back eating out to just once or twice a month and use coupons for that, too. They’re in the Sunday paper as well. Be disciplined at packing nutritious lunches for your kids and yourself. You will be amazed at how much money can be saved.
Start small. Work toward a goal. Start saving your money. Those paper coupons are as good as gold! It’s like free cash. Keep track of how much you are saving and put that money in an account.
Thanks for following along. If you know someone who could benefit, I hope you will share this post. If you have a character trait you’d like me to write about, send me a message. Sign up to get these messages in your email every Wednesday.