I firmly believe in using coupons for your whole foods diet and lifestyle, even though I’ve mentioned that they may not have incredibly dramatic effect on your overall budget.
Why, you ask? If the savings aren’t huge, are they really worth it?
Yes, and here’s why: Though there are some of us who have more money than time, I’d say for the majority of us average folks, the equation is flipped the other way around. Know that I’m speaking as a very busy mama, wife, homeschooler and blogger, so I don’t take the time available to me lightly.
Fortunately, couponing doesn’t have to take an incredible amount of time. There are many ways to streamline the process, and to allow it to become just another part of your regular routine, on the computer, when you’re meal planning, and while grocery shopping. For those of us who will pass over a good 75% or more of the coupons that are available, it can take even less time and effort than for most people.
There is still a small time investment, but there are real dividends on that investment.
Here are the 3 major ways that I save using coupons while still eating real, traditional foods and using natural, non-toxic products:
1. On General Goods
Things like toilet paper, baking soda, lightbulbs, razors, bandaids, etc. Finding coupons for these items is a cinch, and they can often be bought for free or very cheap, in the conventional style of couponing. Lightening up the budget by getting great deals on these kind of items goes a long way towards making higher quality food or other products much more affordable!
2. Using Organic, Natural Product Coupons
The same rules of conventional couponing apply (pair a manufacturer’s coupon with a store sale/coupon/discount, stack coupons when possible, stockpile and save!). The difference is that in the last several years, so many amazing companies have jumped on the coupon bandwagon and now this can really be done on a much larger scale!
The savings are not always as great as with conventional couponing, because the prices are higher to begin with. But when you can buy $4 products for $1.50, for example, it starts to really make a dent in your budget!
3. Cents Off
With the coupons that I struggle to stack or to use combined with sales or other discounts, I can simply use them towards full price items.
An example for me is the San-J Organic Tamari sauce that we love. I would still buy it, coupon or not. I happen to be able to get $0.75/1 coupons occasionally. I rarely find the sauce on sale or discount, so I just apply the coupon to the regular price. Yes, it’s a small difference, but if the coupons are available, I’d rather pay $0.75 cents less, wouldn’t you?
In my next three posts in this series, How to Start Saving, I will explore each of these 3 ways of saving by using coupons in more detail!