Saturday, May 14, 2011

Realistically Speaking

Do you have the "Coupon Craze" that has been started recently due to some television programming?

First - I think that we all need to remember that this is television, so it's likely not showing you exactly what the reality of couponing is.  It has indeed brought to light the value in couponing, but it has also brought with it the dark side of couponing, and potentially given some viewers some unrealistic expectations.

Do you expect to pick up a newspaper this weekend, clip your coupons, and head to the grocery store to save 90%?  If so I can't help you!

However, if you want to consistently save 50% or more on your grocery bill I can help!

First - if you haven't already read the "How Do I Get Started?" post please do!  Getting started takes time.  Don't expect a 50% savings week 1.  Don't even expect a 50% savings on week 2!  It takes a while to build up your savings, but you will consistently start to save a little more each week on your grocery bill, and be able to pick up some HBA items along the way for FREE!

You will need to devote some time to couponing each and every week.  The typical shopper will probably spend about 45 - 60 minutes clipping coupons and getting their lists together for their weekly trips, depending on how many stores you plan to shop at. 

I do not have 60 - 70 hours a week to devote to couponing....what about you?  I am an Air Force wife, mom of 7 (for which 4 still live at home), and I work full-time.  I coupon in my "free time".  My time is worth something, and I will not take time away from my family for couponing.

You will not notice a huge increase in the amount of time that you are spending at the store.  It only takes a couple minutes to pull coupons out of your binder as you're putting items in your cart, and a few minutes to scan the coupons.  Most of the work is done before you leave the house!

To keep your time to a minimum, follow coupon sites that match up deals for you, like mine.  Another site you may be interested in, especially if you live outside of Michigan, is WeUseCoupons.  If you sign up on their site be sure to let them know stretchthatdollar invited you!  All you have to do now is visit my site, or the site of your choice, and read through the deal match ups that have already been put together for you and make your own shopping list from these match ups.

While we're being realistic, who needs enough toilet paper to last 20 years?  Who wants a stockpile of 100+ bags of diapers if there's nobody in your home who wears them?  Who has room to store that??  I know I don't.  I do, however, have a stockpile.  Right now my stockpile includes 96 rolls of toilet paper - enough for about 3 months in my house.  I do not have 100 deodorants, or body washes, or anything like that.  My deodorant stockpile stands are 10 today, and with 6 of us that is just about 60 days worth....maybe.  I buy what I know we will be using for the next 3 months, knowing that the sales cycle, and I will be able to get another sale again in a couple months to restock.  If I happen across a sale and don't need it to restock my stockpile for the next 3 months I will still pick it up, but those items will be donated to one of multiple organizations I am a fan of!

You still with me?  Good!  That means you're serious about saving money, and your bubble hasn't been popped by my "realistic view" of couponing!  I'm not Debbie Downer - really!  I just don't want you thinkig that you're going to visit my site, or any other site for that matter, and walk out tomorrow saving 90% on your bill, then being disappointed and giving up!  You will save money - and you will have those incredible trips.....just not everytime out!

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