Couponing is something that has become a hobby for me. It is something that I have done casually for many years. After the birth of my first child, I really got into the habit of using them every time I shop. Now, I can't even imagine shopping without them!
Here is the story of how I got started.
I didn't take a class to learn about them and didn't look it up on the internet, I basically taught myself. Thanks to the emergence of television shows and a number websites dedicated to couponing, I've expanded my savings and my stash of products that I keep on hand at home.
There is nothing worse than being out of diapers in the middle of the night or needing something to make for dinner on an extremely cold day and you don't want to go outside.
By having a stockpile at home, I can reduce the number of trips that I must take to the store.
I do not keep 100 jars of toothpaste or spaghetti sauce at home. I usually keep enough to carry my family through a few months. Any excess I donate to local charities. There are starving families and people in need, so I don't feel right keeping extra products that I barely paid anything for in the first place. If someone else needs the help and I have the ability to help them, I'm going to do it.
I keep a stockpile of grocery, beauty and health care products at home. It feels like our own miniature store!
The size of my stockpile had to be downsized recently. My husband and I used to own a house with a large lower level that was filled with shelves along one wall. I used many of those shelves to house paper towels, shampoo, boxes of cereal or any other item that I'd purchased at a significant discount. We moved to a new state for a new job and are renting an apartment that is about half the size of our house.
While I enjoy deals and using coupons, I am not one of those people that can buy $900 worth of products and pay only 21 cents for it. I don't have products stashed under my son's bed or in my living room. I simply keep enough around that I'd need for a few months.
When couponing, there is an important thing to remember: only buy the products you'd normally buy. Don't waste your money on products that you won't use. Just because it is a good deal, if you're spending $6 on something you won't, you're just wasting $6. Unless your plan is to donate the product, don't buy it.
In a future article, I will detail how to get started with coupons, where to find them and how to maximize your savings. I hope I'm inspiring you to save money and being couponing!