Crissy: On a Mission
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Crissy: On a Mission

Posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2011 at 11:58 am
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Marnie here: How much can you save with coupons when you are just starting?  My good friend Crissy is ready to find out.

After I spent months trying to convince her that grocery coupons are worth it, she finally agreed to take me up on the challenge. Crissy will be blogging regularly on how she saves money by using coupons.

I’m just amazed at how much she saved on her first shopping trip! Check out her haul!

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The Mission: To save as much as I possibly can while being realistic about my family’s needs.

The Goal: Pay cash for a trip to Mexico October, 2011 for a good friend’s wedding

I am a newlywed just starting out in this delightful economy.  My husband and I would like to save to buy a house but everything seems so expensive.  Fortunately I have a wonderful husband who is great with budgeting so we are able to save.   That being said, we are young and I have the travel bug!  There is No Way on our modest budget that we could travel and effectively save for a house.  That was when I decided to get serious about couponing.  Like most of you, I have seen the value of couponing but always seemed to be falling short of my potential savings.  In the last month I have adopted a new system and a new philosophy.

•    Buy what I need and what I will actually use
•    Research
•    Stay organized
•    Be realistic

Since we are all in this together I thought I would start out with you.  We can share tips, organizational tools and success stories! We could all set a goal and work on reaching them together!

I am a pretty healthy eater.  I also LOVE food so my shopping list usually consists of produce, dairy, frozen, organic, sugar free, gourmet and meat.  Since my husband prefers food that most of our friends buy for their children I also buy name brand snacks and children’s breakfast food.  These are not usually cheap items and a lot of them do not normally come with the deep discount coupons.  I am willing to change brands for a good deal but not start eating terribly unhealthy just so I can save $ now and end up spending it later on cholesterol medicine.

I have been clipping and printing coupons for about a month now and yesterday I went on my first real couponing shopping trip.
Groceries for my husband and myself for 2 weeks

Spent:  $76.64
Saved: $99.57

I felt very good about this trip!  I did not spend $6.25 and get $1,000 worth of groceries like the pro’s on Extreme Couponing but hey, this is not a TV show and I did save 67% on food my family will really eat.  In my book, that is a success!  The trip made me so excited to hear all of your success stories and hear any useful tips you may have for next time.

Mexico here I come!

(Marnie again. If you’d like to show off your own couponing trip, contact me, Marnie@freecoupons.com)

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.