I did this while my husband was in graduate school, after we had our first child.
And let me tell you: it was a bit of work…but it was worth it.
At my prime, I was able to get over $300 worth of groceries for $75. I was able to stock us with free toothpastes, lotions, deodorant, ketchup, jelly, mustard, meat, ice cream and more, so we could spend our money on other things…like rent. And that was awesome.
Couponing was also super awesome for us back then because….I’d left my three jobs to be a stay at home mom so we didn’t have the extra income and in addition to that….we were not budgeting back then (which was stupidly ridiculous of us) so sometimes…those coupons helped us to make sure we had food!
(Having your PhD is all well and good, but while you are a PhD Student….you can be super poor, let’s just put it that way 😉
So, if you enjoy the thrill of the hunt and have time for a hobby….or if you just really need some free groceries; try couponing.
How do you do it?
Well: it can be confusing. But I will break it down for you, easy peasy.
1. Start getting 2 copies of the newspaper.
Either have it delivered, or go out and buy 2 newspapers (with coupon inserts) every Sunday.
Couponing is like poker (never played it, but I’ve heard a few songs about it)
But basically, you need to get the coupons and save them.
(You can put them in a folder; you don’t really need to clip them yet)
2. Then you wait
Let your coupon collection grow for about 2-3 weeks.
Meaning: every Sunday for the next 2-3 weeks, you will buy 2 newspapers with coupon inserts.
3. Next, go to Couponmom.com to see when and where you can get grocery items for free or for super cheap.
Couponmom.com is the BEST WEBSITE EVER if you want to coupon.
It tells you what you can get for FREE every week.
You just have to have the right coupons to make the magic happen.
But HEY! Don’t think you can just pick up next Sunday’s paper and make it rain coupons….and thus, free food…
Oh no. You’ve got to make a collection of coupons before you can get the good stuff.
After you have a couple of weeks of coupons saved…THEN you can get free items. WHY? Usually you’re waiting for an in-store sale + a coupon or some other type of magical money-saving situation.
Couponing can be a side-hobby… or it can even feel like a part time job; depending on how many store items you need.
Also, be ready to travel to multiple stores in your town in order to get the best deals AND know that there are a lot of couponers out there. If there is a Triple Hail Mary coupon deal on Milk, where you can get milk for free, you can bet your bottom dollar that the veteran moms, dads, and hoarders know about it and will clean the place out (milk freezes don’t cha know!). So you have to keep on top of sales and get there early.
But you know what, if money is tight; it’s worth it.
Here are the sites I used for coupons back in the day. Also, many stores have their own in-store coupons and sales that can save you even more money. If you’re interested, just get started. There’s a small learning curve; but it’s fun.
You can also apply similar tactics with saving gas/getting gas points, and other things.
CVS was an awesome place for couponing….seriously. With there amazing in-store coupons, newspaper coupons and sales…I was wracking up some serious savings and freebies.
Ahh…the good ol’ days.
Maybe I’ll get a newspaper this Sunday…just for old times!
Couponers everywhere: “oh yeah! “The coupon queen is back!”
Here are my tried and true resources. Keep them on the DL. 😉
ps. If you see words, posters, or links in my post, those are things that I’ve handpicked and put in my blog especially for you. They lead to more information and if you like, you can buy what is featured; it’s usually a book, an online movie rental, or a cool product.
All giphs (moving video clips) courtesy of me or giphy.com, unless otherwise stated.
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p.p.s © Tiana and The Elegant Parent, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without acknowledged written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tiana and The Elegant Parent with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
p.p.p.s…Tiana and the Elegant Parent assumes no responsibility for injury or damage to any person or property that arises as a result of reading this website or using the advice therein. As in, if you coupon and burn down your house, you cannot say that it was my fault. Please, coupon under supervision if needed.