25 Things I Have Learned about Coupons & Money Saving

The following things I have begun to learn from my personal attempt to save money over the last 6 1/2 years of marriage.  The couponing stuff I have learned in the last 3-6 months!   What can you add to this list?

  1. No matter how many free sticks of men’s deodorant I receive, my husband is still allergic to them and can only use two brands that rarely go on sale.
  2. No one noticed when we changed from name brand salt & baking soda to store brand.
  3. The 2-year-old doesn’t mind generic “Hoot Loops,” but my husband and I sure can tell a difference!
  4. Start with one store brand can of vegetables to make sure it’s not full of stalks, sticks, or leaves–really happened to me!
  5. My family just doesn’t like off-brand Doritos.
  6. If I can get them to eat sandwiches by purchasing the expensive deli sliced cheese, that is still cheaper (& healthier) than hitting the drive thru!!
  7. Most Aldi brand foods are delicious—not their version of Sun Chips, though.
  8. Doing a serious evaluation of how many cell phone minutes we REALLY need saved us about $40 a month.
  9. Two words: Thrift Store–not only a fun outing for the little guy, a great place to find gently used (and sometimes new) books, toys, household items, & clothing.
  10. Using a good coupon match-up blog or website really saves me time in planning my menus.
  11. Right now, with our current schedules, planning several new meals during the week is a recipe for Eating Out for us!
  12. If you drink enough generic brand Cola, the “Real Thing” tastes really strong!!
  13. Not buying colas to save money leads me straight to the drive-thru or gas station for a drink almost daily. I do better to buy cans.
  14. You do get faster at combing through coupons the more you do it…but I am still pretty slow!
  15. It’s okay to let coupons expire.
  16. Coupons are only a good deal if you buy items that your family will use.  Not to say you can’t use them to try new products, but buying 10-12 of an item that you might like is a pretty big risk.
  17. If chips go on clearance for $0.79 and you buy 50 bags, there is a pretty good chance the last several bags will be stale when you open them!
  18. Not everyone in my house appreciated bags of $0.79 chips popping out of every nook and cranny of the house…like under the bed, tucked in between the towels in the linen closet, and under the couch.  In fact, without a detailed list (or map), you may just not find one or two of those bags until you move a year later!
  19. Keeping my sanity is worth quite a bit of money to my family!
  20. You get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you get to the checkout and realize that your rare, hot, $5-off diapers coupon expired YESTERDAY!
  21. Seeing the coupon savings printed on my receipt makes me smile!  The best ones go on the fridge next to R’s art!
  22. Never let a 2-year-old practice his cutting skills on coupons you would like to use…I think that’s pretty self-explanatory.
  23. There are some great toy coupons out there that I never would have expected!
  24. If you buy 9 containers of powdered lemonade  for about $0.90 each with a sale and some great coupons, you have to expect the preschooler to make a tower with them!
  25. FREE food just tastes better…need I say more?
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