Even though I'm an avid couponer, I don't always have time to plan my shopping trips to get the best deals and cut out my coupons (although I'll still have a grocery list). And sometimes, I'm just plain tired of dealing with coupons. However, my family still has a grocery budget that I need to meet. What can I do?
- Eat from your pantry - If you're an avid couponer, you probably have a stockpile of items on hand. Plan your meals around the items you already have, and you won't need to purchase much at the grocery store that week for meals.
- Only purchase items for use that week - Many of the items where I use a coupon are for my stockpile, because they are at rock-bottom prices with a sale and a coupon. If you're getting burned out on couponing, take a week (or a couple of weeks off from adding to your stockpile).
- Purchase store brand items - Without a coupon, store brand items are usually cheaper than the name brand items. Most of the time, the store brand items taste similar to the national brand...especially if it's an item that will be used in a recipe with other ingredients.
- Check your grocery store's sale flyer - You can take a cursory glance through your sale flyer to see if any staple items are on sale that you don't normally have coupons for anyway, like flour, sugar, eggs, meat, etc. You can still stock-up on those items if they are your target price without coupons.
- Use eCoupons - If you don't have time to mess with clipping coupons, you can always just load eCoupons onto your store loyalty card. There are several eCoupon programs - Cellfire, Shortcuts, P&G eSaver, and Upromise (click here for more information about Upromise and how to add the eCoupons). The disadvantage with the ecoupons is that they don't double, and you can only use them once (so if you have multiple identical items, you would only get a coupon for one of the items). But, they are easy to use.
- Use Printable Coupons - You're still using coupons, but you won't have to mess with organizing your coupons if you print out your coupons right before you head to the grocery store. Only print those coupons that you will use on that shopping trip, and you will save time on filing your coupons. Some printable coupon sources include: Coupons.com and Red Plum.
What about you? Do you always use coupons or are there times that you slack off a bit? How do you save money if you're not using coupons? For more frugal ideas, please visit Life as Mom.
Photo by zbyszek80