This is a new improved repost of a previous blog entry. I think it fits nicely with the 31 Little Things theme. I am a Stay At Home Mom. I think it is part of my job to save my family money. I think coupons can be a great help and by clipping coupons it is a small thing I can do to save money. However, I have 10 Commandants I use to Stay Sane Couponing. So if you sitting down reading the Sunday paper today and clipping coupons just some things to mull over.
1. No Deal is worth losing sleep over. I don't do complicated coupon deals. The more complicated it is the more stressful it is to me. If this is your cup of tea, go for it. I need my deals to be pretty straight forward.
2. Time is money. I am a big believer in balance in my personal life. I am not going to spend all day seeking out deals or clipping coupons. I spend roughly 1 hour a week clipping coupons and seeking out deals.
3. Meal planning saves you money. It will save you more than couponing in the long run. It saves you when you are not eating out. I rather invest more time in meal planning and cooking ahead than clipping coupons. I think over the long term this pays off more than couponing. I shop sales and plan my meals around those sales.
4. Make sure your coupon organization system works for you. I actually clip out coupons. I file them in a certain order. This system works for me. I was a file clerk in a very previous life. My friend is a simple file the insert. It works for her. Have a system and use it. The more organization you have the less time you have to spend on couponing.
5. Don't buy foods/products you won't use. No coupon is a great deal if you aren't going to use the product.
6. Use coupons ethically!!!! You would think this would be common sense. Don't be a shelf clearer. Don't forge coupons etc.
7. Don't go it Alone. I use coupon websites that help me pinpoint the deals. The internet community is full of bloggers that seek out the best deals nationally as well as locally. There is no need to reinvent the savings wheel. I also have several girlfriends that share deals and pass the info on.
8. Make sure you get the paper with the most inserts. My local paper barely gets any coupon inserts. I am lucky that my Mother-In- Law gets a paper that gets the most inserts and she saves them for me. I regularly buy Seattle Times to get more inserts.
9. Be Flexible. Deals sometimes don't work out. Try new products.
10. Don't compare yourself to other couponers. I am never going to be an extreme couponer. That is too much effort. Any savings is better than no savings at all in my book.
My bottom line is to feed my family cheap nutritious food with minimal stress and fuss.