Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Starting off: Goals

If you are new to this couponing world, you are probably wanting to start because the idea of cutting your bill in half or more sounds like a GREAT plan. But, it takes baby steps. Start by setting your own goals so that this won't become overwhelming and it by giving up or not saving as much as you could. Here are some things I did when I started:

1. Know what you are spending currently.
For a family of 3, I used to easily spend $400-$500 on food ALONE (this does not include household items, toiletries, diapers, etc!) every month. My first goal was to cut that in half.

2. Keep tabs on what your spending.
I have an excel file that I update everytime I shop that shows what I spent, what I saved, and the total cost (spent + saved). I also have the percentage saved for each shopping trip and totals of all categories at the bottom. This may seem like a lot of work, but if you put in formulas, you should only have to type what you spent and saved (should be on the bottom of your receipt). Everything else totals on it's own.

3. Organize!! Organize!! Organize!!
Did I make my point yet? Buy a small coupon holder for starting off (you can get them at dollar stores) and makes labels. I currently have the following labels:

Store only (coupons designed for specific stores)
cold goods
out to eat

4. Last but not least, get coupons!
Where do we get these coupons? Newspapers, online, and two new features: you can load coupons onto your store card AND at some stores you can sign up for text coupons.
I buy two Sunday papers for coupons, you may need more if your family is larger.

5. Follow me and other bloggers to lead you to awesome deals!
There's nothing better than someone helping you along the way. When I started, I as only using printable coupons and going off what bloggers showed as good deals.

So start small, get a feel for it. I will go into everything mentioned in more detail at a later date.
Hope this will help you for now!

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