Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Couponing Rules

As I mentioned in my first post, couponing can get addictive really fast. But things are only a good deal if you are going to use them. I have heard about a show on TLC called Extreme Couponing (we don't have cable so I haven't seen it yet), about people who have thousands of items stockpiled. I don't have the space or the desire the become that person. My goals are to save my family money on things we will actually use and to donate generously anything that we won't. So here are my basic rules:

1) Don't buy something just because it is a good deal. However, I do seek out free items that I can donate to a local food bank or shelter.

2) Don't hoard. I won't buy more than our family can use in 3 months. For my donation items, I have one large bin that I store everything in. When it's full, it gets donated.

3) Make a list and stick to it.

4) You don't have to go to 100 different stores to get the best deals. My weekly shopping trips are generally to Rite-Aid and Safeway. I go to Albertson's only when they have double coupons. I also shop at Target, Fred Meyer, and Costco but those trips are generally for specific items.

5) Be polite to cashier's and other people in line. If you have multiple transactions, go to the back of the line rather than holding everyone up.

6) Pay attention as your items and coupons are scanned. Make sure you are getting the correct price and that all your coupons scan. I am still kicking myself over a $5 coupon that got missed on a recent Target trip.

7) Have fun. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the savings!

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