Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Coupon Mania!

Getting the budget under control has been one of the most difficult tasks in becoming a stay at home mom. Trimming the grocery budget hasn't been easy, but not that difficult, either. There's many ways to accomplish this, coupons being the easiest and fastest. Changing the way you shop also helps. Keep up on store sales to maximize the power of your coupons, matching them to store ads. Coupons can also be found online at various websites, and even can be bought in bulk on sites such as Ebay.

Many websites offer manufacturers coupons, plus they can usually be found in local newspapers. Call around and find out which stores offer double or triple coupons, and if there's certain days. Keep this info on a chart, so that you can plan your grocery shopping around these days. Coupled with store sales, this can amount to substantial savings! Stockpile what you can when you find a terrific deal, things such as dry goods or frozen food will keep, and you won't be shopping for those items for a while, which saves money in the long run. I allow about $20 extra in my grocery budget to stockpile needed items. There have been weeks all I've needed to get from the grocery store is milk and diapers, everything else was stocked up!
Learning to perimeter shop can help trim the budget as well. The theory is the vast majority of your shopping should occur on the outer walls of the store, fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and dairy. Making dinner from scratch is not only satisfying for most stay at home moms, but nutritionally superior and cost effective. Watch the prices for produce, a good sale in frozen veggies can end up cheaper in the long run. Plus steaming from frozen produces quality similar to fresh.
When you have enough coupons, shop on a double coupon day, and use it for products on sale already for things you usually use, you can save a huge amount of money in the long run. It can be a little tricky to get started, but the payoff is unbelievable overall. 

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