How Does Couponing Help Your Family?

shopperspotlight july2 I am guessing that if you read this site, you already coupon and I am just preaching to the choir. What I was thinking about last night was how lucky I was to have someone teach me how to coupon. At the time, it wasn’t what I thought was a necessity. If I needed deodorant, I went out and bought one. When that was gone, I stole my husbands for a day or so and then bought another one. My life has changed since then :) Now when I am out of deodorant I go to the bathroom cupboard and pull out our box of deodorant and grab a new one.

A couple years ago when I started to coupon, it was mostly because I just liked to hang out with my sister and we ended up shopping together a lot. I couldn’t help but start to coupon. My husband and I were both working, we weren’t making tons of money but we weren’t hurting either. I couponed for a hobby and because I loved the rush of getting a phenomenal deal. My first coupon trip was to Kroger. My husband thought using coupons was silly so when I walked out the door he said, “Don’t spend more than $50.” When the total got to $271, I started freaking out just a little bit. After some help from my sister and some coupons, my total ended up being $70. I was freaking out I was so excited. It was the biggest rush getting so much food for a fraction of the original price! Another trip I bought $50 in cereal but only paid $15. It was awesome.

We have been in school since August 2011. That meant we both quit jobs and are now living on what we had in savings and student loans. That doesn’t leave a huge budget for other things, and I am so grateful that we couponed when we didn’t “need” to. I also lucky that someone taught me how to do it right. Since we have lived in Lubbock, I have not had to buy the following items:

Hair Spray
Hair Gel
Laundry Soap
Fabric Softener
Dish Soap
Dishwasher detergent
Shaving Razors
Hand Soap
Body Wash
Face Soap (but I am almost out so I probably will need to soon)
Make Up (I have added a couple things here and there but I have SO much that I haven’t even OPENED yet that I don’t “need” any!)
Bar Soap
Canned Veggies
Tampons (except recently at Dollar General to make sure the coupon worked)
Pads/Liners (except for one time about a year ago)

We literally have not bought any of those items in over a year. Sometimes that amazes me when I think about that. We couponed enough before school that we had over a years supply of those items. I have heard a few people who say, “There are never coupons for anything I need.” And that attitude amazes me, because I know they’re washing their hands and their clothes… and there are coupons for those things. Even if you chose not to coupon for food, the list above are basic necessities that you have to buy anyway! I think every family should have some sort of “back up” for emergencies. I can think of times in my life when store shelves have been cleared, hurricanes, blizzards, water contamination, explosions in the gulf, and loss of jobs. Those kind of problems are unexpected and that is why you should have something to help you through those times. You already know this. I am guessing you already have a good stock pile. But do your neighbors? Do your friends? Can you help teach those around you the importance of having even a small stock pile? We can’t predict the future, but we can prepare for it.

I want to help you help your family and friends. Over the next few weeks I am going to have a weekly lesson on ways you can save money without having to overwhelm yourself too much. I hope you will share them with your friends and family and offer your help.

It has been such a blessing in my life that any time I need one of those items I just pull them out of a box in the back room or out from under the sink.  I want to help those around me have the knowledge of how to help their family, too.   We will be here in school until May 2014 (roughly). I estimate by then I will need to start couponing again for laundry detergent, deodorant, dish tabs, face wash, and possibly shampoo and conditioner. We will probably be able to make it the next 15 months on what we have of everything else. At least I hope. We will see!

Tune in next week for the first in the series!

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  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE This! It is so true, thank you for sharing!

  2. I can’t agree more. We are a family of 7. Until 2008 I had not had to watch how much I spent, not on groceries, clothes really anything. We had owed our own business since 1990 and had new cars, boats, RV all the toys a family could want. We got caught up in he financial crisis in the home building and ended up selling everything we could closing the business and struggling for the last 5 years. I went from spending about $1,000.00 a month on our groceries this was a total of all consumables for the house. I started couponing in February 2009 and gave it up after about 3 months I was so frustrated. In 2010 we needed to drop our $500. A month budget again I had no idea how to do it. I started couponing. The first couple of months we ate very inexpensve meals so I could build a stockpile we now spend about $250.00 a month and I have built my stockpile to about 2 years for dry goods, toiletries and laundry supplies. On occasion I have gone above the $250. Per month but the next month I may only spend $200. It has literally saved my sanity. I don’t worry about not being able to give my kids what they need, I can focus on rebuilding our financies.

  3. I’m not your “average” couponer in the sense that it is just me and my husband at home, but I still have stockpiles and use coupons ALL THE TIME. I stock up as much as I can on the things you’ve listed plus TP, paper towels, and a few others. Sure, we’re fine right now financially and I don’t NEED to coupon or “stock-shop” ~ but I love knowing if either (or both) of us lost our jobs suddenly, we could still eat, wash, & well…LIVE! Couponing also helps me be more charitable. Twice in recent months I’ve “shopped” from my own pantry for friends in need and sent bags full of groceries & pantry items to their homes. I give regularly to church pantries, too. I love knowing that because I coupon and buy 4 of something for the price of one, I can bless three other people. Couponing is smart money management. I always say, if I saw $5 laying on the street, I’d pick it up! So, why wouldn’t you use $5 worth of coupons at the grocery store??? Same difference to me!

  4. Janet McClelland says:

    I’m a single person with 4 kitties and I use coupons ALL THE TIME. I probably wouldn’t need to buy TP, tissues, paper towels, laundry detergent, shampoo, hair spray, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, coffee, soup, canned chili, printer paper, cat food, cat litter (glad I have a shed for the pails of Tidy Cat) and many, many more items for at least 2 yrs. – but I still can’t resist buying those items if there is a good sale and I have a good coupon.

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