Andrea's story is the 11th couponing journey we are sharing in our weekly series about how couponing works at your house. She regularly feeds a family of 4 adults and saves $30 or more every week! Here is her story and how she makes couponing work in her home.
My great thanks to Andrea (astamper on the blog) for sharing her story. I really like her words of wisdom for those just getting started on couponing.
I also want to thank everyone who has sent me their stories so far! I look forward to sharing them every week.
If you would like to share your couponing story, it's not too late. Just send me an answer to the questions below at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to read your story! To see the previous stories, click the links in the box above. As long as you all keep sending in your personal couponing stories, I will post them on the blog for everyone to enjoy.
Here is Andrea's couponing journey:
How many people are in your household?
4 - 5 (if younger daughter is home from college) Our older daughter and her fiance live with us.
2 guinea pigs
Why did you start couponing?
I was a stay at home mother and it was a way to help out. Plus I'm Scottish...we're a frugal people.
How long have you been couponing?
How much do you spend on groceries and non-food essentials per week?
$125.00 or so.
How much do you save each week?
At least $30.00
How much time do you spend couponing and shopping each week?
4 hours (I spend a lot of time at the store ... checking my coupon deals and looking for clearance items). I'm unemployed due to a frozen shoulder.
How do you organize your coupons?
In a binder that I bought from Faye when I attended her class - the inserts anyway.
Where do you shop for groceries and non-food essentials?
Mostly Harris Teeter but also Neighborhood Market (a mini Wal-Mart -there is one of very few near my house). Also Sam's Club and Walgreens.
Do you have a weekly/monthly grocery planning/shopping routine?
Wait for the sales to re-set on Wednesday and check Smart Shopper for best deals. I check Walgreens on Sunday.
Does anyone else in your household help with couponing and saving? If so, how do they help?
Very little, they'll sometimes hand me a coupon that they get from a package, etc.
What’s the worst part about couponing?
The coupon deal not coming out the way you expected; and the store being out of desired product.
What’s the best part about couponing?
Saving money of course, and knowing that it helps our financial situation. Plus I like the couponing "community." I look forward to Faye's daily e-mail.
Do you have a stockpile? Feel free to send a photo if you would like.
Yes, but it's not as impressive as some. It's mostly in our pantry, although I did have to clear some space in a bedroom closet for non-groceries.
Do you do any meal planning? If so, do you plan weekly, monthly or at the beginning of each day?
Mostly weekly...it's always based on what I've already purchased that I was able to get a good deal on.
I rarely think "Mexican sounds good" and then go out and buy based on that thought.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone just getting started in couponing?
Don't be overwhelmed by it...it comes naturally after awhile...and it's good for keeping math skills sharp.