|One step in the evolution of my coupon holders|
It's been about 2 months since I stepped up my coupon game. In the beginning, I was constantly looking for sales, coupons and deals and going after as many as I could. Sometimes I'd go to several stores, days in a row, and probably did a little too much. I've heard this is normal in the beginning.
My coupon holder went from a little handheld thing to a Longaberger basket to a plastic bin to a Vera Bradley lunch tote. I've now figured out a way to keep all my coupons handy and easy to find when I go to the store - have a secondary coupon holder in the car. No binders for me!
These last couple of weeks I've finally seen what I've heard about - coupon cycles. Some of the flyers seem to be near repeats from a few weeks ago. Ho-hum, clip 'em and save 'em and hope for a deal. I've also accumulated enough in my pantry that we can eat from it without having to run out to the store for stuff. It does mean we plan our meals differently - by what we have on hand instead of what recipes we want to make.
I can wing it now in a store, if I just run in to kill some time waiting for hubby. I can recognize deals and know which ones I have coupons for, what are steals and what are duds. There are still many items and deals I'm discovering along the way. My focus used to be so narrow that I didn't see the other brands and items on the shelves. For example, I've never heard of the Lindsey brand, but there it is - in the olive section. And with coupons, I can get a can of olives for about $ .30.
No longer do I run to the store for every "hot deal." I may already have enough on hand or can wait until the next one that comes along. My spending has also dropped a bit. This week I've spent about $25 after a trip to Target, Walgreens and Walmart. I have a couple more trips planned because we need cheese and I want to bring my MIL couponing, but I don't think I'll get to our weekly budgeted amount of $50.
I'm settling into a little rhythm, though is a bit more harmonizing to figure out. I may even be ready to take on CVS or Rainbow soon and move onto more stores.