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Print Your Coupons
The end of the month is just two days away. Print your coupons before they're gone. New coupons will be listed on November 1, 2010. I've printed some favorites and will hold them in hopes of a sale. Print this one out for some cheap sugar: Smartsource: Dixie Crystals Sugar $0.75/1 This will double to $1.50 at both Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter. The last time I had this coupon, ...
Kraft Shredded Cheese for $0.88 a Bag
I've told you before and I'll tell you again- I LOVE cheese! I don't think I go a day without eating some type of cheese. And usually I have 6-8 different types in my fridge at a time. Cheese is pretty pricey so anytime I can get a good deal on it, I stock up. This week there's a great deal going on at Lowe's Food stores. So here's the steal: All bags of shredded Kraft Cheese are on sal...
Harris Teeter Super Doubles!!
It's happening again! Harris Teeter is doing “Super Doubles” from November 3-9. With plenty of advanced notice, now's the time to gather all your high value coupons so that you are prepared next Wednesday. For those of you that are new to couponing, “Super Doubles” means that they will double any coupon up to $1.98. However, the upc barcode on the coupon must begin with a number ...
LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle
So my little "Harriet Potter" has been having a BLAST with the PS3 Lego Harry Potter game and as if that wasn't enough, my In-Laws got her the coolest Lego set around. It's the Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle! This isn't the ordinary "Lego" set that I grew up with. This Lego set has hinges and doors, flames on torches, stairs that swivel, and much, much more. It's AMAZING! My In-Laws had as...
Happy 5th Birthday, Emma!!!
My baby is turning 5 today. She is SOOO excited about this age, and the fact that the dentist told her 2 days ago that her two bottom teeth were loose. I keep telling her she's going to look like a jack-o-lantern but she doesn't seem to mind:) I received the Picaboo book in the mail yesterday and it's all wrapped up and ready for Emma to open up. It came out REALLY nice. Can't believe I...
Free Picaboo Photobook!
I just found out from My Baton Rouge Mommy that Picaboo is offering new customers a FREE large Classic book from October 15 to 25th by using code FALLBK. I'm a little behind on my photobooks these days, so I spent the day today working on Emma's birthday party from last year. I've always loved scrapbooking but can't seem to find the time lately. Making a photobook is similar to scrapbook...
How to Get 5 Packages of Cheese for $3.38
I LOVE cheese! I should have probably been born a mouse:) It's one of those foods that I can eat every single day and I never get tired of it. I was thrilled to get 5 packages of it at Harris Teeter for only $3.38 today. I picked up 4 bags of shredded cheese and 1 package of Cracker Barrel Cheddar slices. All of them were on sale. The shredded cheeses were on sale 2 for $4 and the...
Groupon: Top Deals for September 3
I LOVE Groupon! I purchased 3 different ones this year.  The first was for a 90-minute massage from Massage Envy for only $49 (Retails for $114).  The second one was for a Gap store certificate for $25 (Retails for $50) and the most recent one was for Papa Murphy's Pizza.  This one was only $8 and it retails for $20.  Someone's having pizza in the next couple days! Here's the list of th...
Vita Mix Blender – The Kitchen Appliance No Home Should Be Without
I've got to be honest with you. I hate infomercials. I also don't care much for sales Kiosks where fast-talking snake oil salesmen wearing headset microphones attempt to mesmerize you with their clever words and trivial knowledge. In fact, the Vita Mix blender Kiosk at our local Costco had been up and running for several months before we finally approached it during one of our latest visits. Prior...
Today Only: Get $50 Worth of Gap Apparel for ONLY $25
Groupon is having a wonderful deal today. You can get $50 worth of Gap Apparel (including sale items) for ONLY $25. This deal is valid at all the Gap Stores. Don't miss out- you can use this for back-to-school shopping or even for holiday gifts. The certificate is valid for use through November 19, 2010.

Where Do I Begin?

Posted By: Elena in Budget, Getting Started - Comments: 1 Comment »

“Couponing” can be overwhelming when you are first starting out. Give yourself plenty of time to learn. I will help guide you step by step. Before you know it, you will be teaching others how to clip and save:)

Step 1. Create a budget.

I have been using Quicken to track my spending for the last 13 years so I know exactly how much I spend on groceries per week (on average). If you know this amount- wonderful! If you don’t, you might want to shop like you normally do for 1 week (saving all your receipts) and this should give you a good idea of what your spending habits are like.

Note: Obviously the more information you have the better. One month’s overall spending totals are a better assessment than 1 week, but if you wait one month to figure this all out, you will forget why you were doing it to begin with. Looking at past receipts is also another way to figure this all out in a short time.

In the past, my average “grocery” spending was $100 per week. That’s A LOT of money on food for a family of 3. After seeing other “couponers” save tons on their groceries, I was inspired to do the same thing for my family. I set out to take a “Coupon class” at the local community college and learned some great savings tips that I will share here with you.

I set a goal to spend 40% less on my groceries than I had in the past 5 years. So, my weekly grocery budget went from $100 to $60 per week. With time and some tweaking, I hope to lower it even more. However, this was a great starting goal for my family.

The importance of cash

In order to stick to my budget, I recommend using CASH ONLY. I normally use credit cards for everything, because I don’t like to carry cash around and I earn money back at the end of the year by using my credit cards. However, I have learned by using Quicken, that when I have a specific goal and use cash instead of my credit cards, I can stick to it because when the money is gone, it’s gone. With a credit card on the other hand, you charge large amounts and you don’t FEEL the pain of handing over cash. $100 on a credit card just requires a signature to go a long with it- no pain. Handing over $100 cash HURTS!

So, do the numbers and get your grocery budget figured out. Next, do the same thing for “supplies” and “eating out”.

Obviously family size and income vary. Make a budget that works for you that is realistic. If you try to feed a family of 5 with $20 a week, you are probably going to fail. It’s better to start off by trying to save 20-25% off your normal spending totals at first. Once you start implementing the “coupon strategies” that I will teach you here, then you can tweak your budget and aim higher (or rather LOWER).

What do I consider “supplies”?

Supplies are a very broad category. I buy “baby” supplies such as wipes, night diapers, Band-Aids, etc. I also buy “bath” supplies such as shaving crème, toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, soap, razor blade refills, toothpaste, etc. And I also buy “household” supplies such as cleaning products, paper towels, laundry detergent, Ziploc bags, paper cups, etc.

What falls under “eating out”?

This one is pretty self explanatory, but for the sake of completeness….I consider “Eating out” EVERYTHING that you eat outside of your home- Fast food, restaurants, even a soda at a baseball game.

Here is my weekly budget.

Budgets Weekly Amount
Groceries $60
Supplies $40
Eating Out $25

Once you have figured out all 3 budget amounts, get the cash for your first week and place it in 3 different envelopes.

This is what mine looks like:

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