My wife and I began budgeting in January. We’ve struggled to stay within the budget for a few categories, but there is one where we stay within the budget every time, and that’s the food budget. We allow ourselves $400 a month for food and toiletries, which normally allows us to go out to eat about two times a month. We think our food budget is a good one, but we’d like to go out to eat and enjoy ourselves more often. The solution: (no, it’s not increasing the budget) coupon clipping!
Susan Samtur, a woman who is famous for mastering the art of coupon clipping, was on the news a few months ago, showcasing her skills in the aisles her local supermarket. With a cart full of groceries, and a bill of only $9.00, I was immediately intrigued and vowed that I would learn this money saving art.
I woke up this morning, eager to get the Sunday paper and try my hand at coupon clipping. There were quite a few coupons, and most of them were on items that we were looking to buy today. My excitement level was certainly on the rise! Plus, not only did I clip the coupons from the newspaper, I also visited the Target website and printed the online coupons as well.
Based on the news story, I knew that coupons would definitely yield a savings from the grocery bill, but the trick was to match the store’s sales with the coupons in order to maximize the savings, and sometimes even get free items! So, after I clipped the coupons, I perused the Target website to see what was already on sale. I did my best to match up the coupons with those sale items, but since this was my first go-around and I only had a few coupons, there weren’t too many.
So I know you’re wondering, how did I do? My wife and I zipped through the aisles of our local Target superstore. I manned the freshly cut coupons, and she made sure that we got everything on our grocery list. After all of the groceries were bagged, the total bill came to $156.17. It was time to hand over the wad of coupons to see how I did. Beep, beep, beep; the total was going down and down. I have to admit, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the final bill of $110.43, but it was a savings of $45.74 (I saved 29%!). With those savings, we can go out to eat at a pretty nice restaurant!
I am going to continue to hone my skills in the future as my wife and I continue our journey in becoming debt free. I’ve learned that I actually enjoy coupon clipping. It’s an art that takes discipline, patience, and persistence, and it’s a new challenge that I would love to master!
Do you have any stories about coupon savings? Or maybe it was just a great clearance item that you put to good use! Let me know; I would love to hear about it!