Published on February 18, 2013 inParenting on LandOMoms.com
My story with couponing started five years ago. I had recently quit my job to stay home after our second child was born. To supplement my income, my husband and I started building spec homes on the side. The first house we built sold before we finished, so we decided to build two the next time. Almost as soon as we broke ground on those two houses, the real estate market bottomed out. Guess what happened, those two houses………well they sat empty for two years. Including the house we lived in, we ended up with three mortgages for two years. If that wasn’t enough, during that time my father had been diagnosed with incurable brain cancer. The day after his funeral my husband lost his job in pharma sales due to a merger that closed his entire division. We had three houses and no income. I had to figure something out.
After lots of research and trial and error, I started couponing. As I began to save a little each week, my savings began to grow until the amount I was saving was comparable to a part time income. Had it not been for couponing during that time I don’t know what we would have done. Since that time, we have faced two additional unexpected job losses. When I say that I understand what it’s like to NEED to save money, I do.
Although most people would like to cut their grocery bill in half, the perception that doing so would require investing tons of time keeps many people from trying. You know what? I understand! I don’t have time to spend hours each week cutting out coupons or scouring the internet looking for deals. In fact, I don’t like coupons. That’s right, I don’t like coupons. I do however, like to save my family money. Coupons just happen to be the tool that allows me to save my family hundreds of dollars a month.
Personally, I spend less than an hour a week preparing to go to the grocery store. Is it worth it? To my family, yes as doing so has cut our grocery budget in half. I am not an extreme couponer. My philosophy is simple, whether I save $5, $50 or $100 dollars I am still saving my family money. Here’s the thing. If you need to save your family money but were a little weary of couponing, remember it needs to fit into your life….not become your life. My hope is that you learn to coupon effectively in a way that you can maintain. One that allows you to save money, shop wisely and find that all important balance.