If you were going to build a house, would you run out and start building on the first plot of land you saw without blueprints and no regard for cost? Of course not! Building a home is a project and all projects require a budget and a plan. Couponing is no different. You must plan for couponing success.
Before you jump into clipping and organizing, take some time to plan ahead by considering your budget and preparing your shopping strategy.
2 Ways to Plan for Couponing Success
There’s no way around it. I have to use the “B” word. I strongly suggest you set a weekly or monthly household budget that includes groceries as well as cleaning and laundry supplies, health & beauty items and other miscellaneous products you use.
It’s all about boundaries; we all need to know our limits. And couponing success depends on it.
It’s really easy to get caught up in the euphoria of great deals. Trust me, I’ve been there. If you start using coupons but have no guidelines set for spending, you’ll likely end up overspending instead of saving.
To set a budget, start with what you’ve been spending on average on a weekly basis. Stick with this for the first couple of weeks, incorporate what you learn about planning and coupon use and see how it goes.
Then, as you feel you can, work to lessen this amount by increments of $10 or $20 per week.
Be sure to take baby steps so that you do not get frustrated which leads to feeling defeated.
It is also important that you maintain realistic expectations. Just because super blogger with a family of four spends only $40 per week on groceries doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do the same with a family of six. Likewise, those on all organic or allergen-free eating plans should expect to spend more than those who eat mainly convenience foods.
But be encouraged….no matter how small/large your family is or what your nutritional requirements, you CAN save money on groceries and you CAN plan for couponing success.
Set a realistic budget and incorporate what you learn in the following articles and before long, you should start to see your household expenditures decreasing.
Planning your meals is paramount to your money saving success. Why? Because it will be easier to stay within a budget.
Even if you choose not to use coupons, menu planning can save you money. It helps you to be able to calculate approximately how much you will be spending before you go to the store and how much cushion you may have.
Menu planning will help eliminate impulse buying or buying unneeded ingredients.
It will also cut down on how often you eat out because you can’t figure out what to make for dinner.
If you pick a month’s worth of tried and true recipes, not only will you avoid impulse buying, but you’ll know what ingredients you use on a regular basis. This enables you to stock your pantry with the things you need when they’re on sale and keeps you from paying full price.
Menu planning will save you money! Especially when you use it with “the pantry principle“ (read this next).
So now, do you have an idea what your grocery budget will be? Will you plan your meals weekly, bi-weekly or monthly?