Me:I saved 64% on my grocery trip today!

J: That’s great! So what did you get?

Me:Ice cream bars, popsicles, toaster strudels, eggo waffles, and some chicken…

J: Ok…

Me: And I still spent like $75…

J: Oh

Me: I think I just failed at couponing…


As the wife of a youth pastor and a stay at home mom I am always on the lookout for ways to A) make money or b) save money. When one of the ladies in our small group showed a knack for couponing I thought, well why not? If she can do it I can do it right? I started saving EVERY coupon I got and even paid for inserts so I didn’t have to buy the paper. I scoured websites and joined Facebook groups trying to figure out the easiest and simplest way to do this. I had piles of coupons, bought a binder to organize them in and got out my sharpest pair of scissors to make nice clean edges on this free money.

Trip after trip I would use my coupons with every confidence that I would save money this time around. Only to turn around and be disappointed by the 12% -20% savings I was seeing. “Saving is saving!” “Any amount you’ve saved is money back in your pocket!” This is what the coupon gurus told me. Except that it wasn’t true! On a typical trip to the store without coupons, when I have my list and I have my meals planned in advanced, I can get out of the store spending only $30-$60 for a family of 4 each week. I have averaged a total of $200/month WITHOUT coupons.

One of my few successful coupon trips. This was only a successful trip because the store was having a mega sale event.
One of my few successful coupon trips. This was only a successful trip because the store was having a mega sale event.

Please don’t misunderstand me. If you can coupon and save money, congrats because I’ve tried and I’ve failed. When I “coupon” I spend on average $50-$80 each trip and end up with things that I would’ve never even bought in the first place! I’ve have the frozen eggo waffles in the deep freeze for over a month because my husband makes us waffles once a week and we freeze/reheat the leftovers.

If you’re like me, do not feel bad because you’re like the coupon queens out there that have started their own blogs about how coupon savvy and awesome you can be. Plan ahead, catch the sales, make a list and STICK to the list.

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