The first thing I discovered is I’m probably an atypical food buyer, at least when it comes to coupons. A lot of the foods for which coupons are offered are things I wouldn’t buy either because my lifestyle doesn’t call for them (things like diapers or pet food) or because of dietary restrictions ( I have to watch salt so a lot of packaged or processed foods are out). This means that some of the coupons that I might otherwise use I don’t use, which then limits my potential savings.
Still, I did find out a few useful things this week. One is that there are a lot of useful online sites where I can find and print coupons for free. This had concerned me a little bit, because I tend to read my news online and paying for a Sunday paper simply for the coupons seemed kind of wasteful. Now I’ve discovered I can find the same coupons online, which means I can save the cost of the paper and still find the coupons I need. I particularly liked the Smartsource coupon site, and found it easy to use.
I also discovered something which many of you might have already known, which is the fact that Walgreens has a monthly EasySaver booklet, which includes monthly coupons and rebates. I knew they had a weekly circular, but wasn’t aware of the booklet. I picked one up last time I was at Walgreens, and I found some coupons I will use this month and even a few rebates that I might use. So that’s another source of potential savings.
Now, for what didn’t work, or hasn’t yet worked for me. I did sign up for the Grocery Game, but I don’t think it will be all that useful for me personally. I can see where it would be very helpful for people who lived in larger cities and shopped at chain stores, but there doesn’t appear to be a lot it can tell me. I’m going to continue to use that site for this month, and we’ll see if it does make a difference. As I said, I think a lot of the reason it isn’t working for me personally is just lifestyle, diet and the location in which I live. I can see where it could be useful in other circumstances.
The other thing I need to learn to do is buy in bulk. I know that this is where the real savings come in when using coupons, and I can see where it makes sense. I just have to train myself to do it. When I lived in an apartment it really wasn’t practical, but I have plenty of storage space in my condo, and I could certainly store extra items. I also need to remember that non perishable things will last for a long time. Since I’m single I tend not to keep a lot of stuff on hand or buy in bulk simply because I don’t go through things fast enough. That’s not a worry with non-perishable stuff, so I just need to remember that.