In 2008, Ashley Nuzzo and her husband welcomed a new addition to their family. Nuzzo’s transition from working as a teacher to becoming a stay-at-home mother meant adopting new spending habits. Her thrifty efforts led her to implement a couponing routine much like the Coupon Mom and the Grocery Game. Nuzzo organizes coupons and combines them with rebates, sales and special offers to purchase items at a significant savings, for free or better than free. The Tallahassee mom chronicles her savings tips, local sales information and weekly shopping list on her blog, frugalcouponmom.blogspot. The Frugal Coupon Mom also appeared on an episode of Dr. Phil to share her techniques and money-saving tips.
I am an experienced bargain shopper with some great money-saving tips of my own. Try these simple strategies to slash your household budget.
SavinMaven Coupon Shopping Tip #1 Pick up a Sunday paper or two.
The Sunday newspaper is the primary source of manufacturer coupons and special offers. I prefer not to have a subscription because it can be difficult to cancel or prevent automated renewals. I purchase the double packs of the Sunday paper at the store and save one dollar off the cover price.
SavinMaven Shopping Tip #2 Never pay for free information.
The Internet offers various businesses that offer to do the legwork for you and generate a weekly shopping list of the best deals. I have tried some of these sites and they did not live up to my expectations. Besides, there are free websites that offer the same information and more. Couponmom.com is very easy to navigate and lists several stores, including drug and grocery stores. There is a coupon database and printable shopping list. If you have a little more time, check out Fatwallet.com. Their interactive forums are full of shopping tips.
SavinMaven Shopping Tip #3 Use a quick and easy method to organize coupons.
Using coupons does not require a lot of time or extensive organization. The Coupon Mom
website maintains a free database of the current coupons. Instead of clipping and filing tons of coupons, shoppers can refer to the site to see exactly which week’s newspaper the necessary coupons.
SavinMaven Shopping Tip #4 Combine multiple offers whenever possible.
Finding the best deals requires combining multiple savings opportunities such as using a coupon for a sale item. Look for the opportunity to combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons. Increase the savings by adding rebates or special offers to the mix. Overlapping deals sometimes make purchases free or profitable for savvy bargain shoppers.
SavinMaven Shopping Tip #5 Forego brand loyalty and try something new.
A coupon may not be available for your regular brand of an item. Or maybe it is not on sale. Being flexible and open to try new brands will maximize your coupon savings and stretch your budget. You may discover something better.
SavinMaven Shopping Tip #6 Be considerate of other shoppers.
Other families are trying to save money, too. Be considerate of other shoppers and do not clear the shelves just for the sake of doing so. No one wants to serve a rain check for dinner.
SavinMaven Shopping Tip #7 Do not waste money on gadgets.
Find a coupon holder that works for you. A pricey organizer may look nice, but that does not mean it will suit your needs. Repurpose household items such as shoe boxes or baby wipe containers to make a free coupon organizer.
SavinMaven Shopping Tip #8 I did not save it if I did not plan to spend it.
My weekly coupon savings vary, but the total is sometimes over a hundred dollars. I do not consider that as saving a hundred dollars from my food budget, because that includes numerous items I would never buy without a coupon.
Coupons are a great way to stretch your grocery budget, but do not expect to haul a cart of free groceries from the store in one trip. It takes time to stock the pantry with bargains. Give it a try and share your successes and questions in the comments.
“Shows This Week”, Dr. Phil
“Coupon System”, WTV
Frugal Coupon Mom Blog