Have you overspent this year on Christmas? Do you need to save money somewhere in your budget? If you are a regular reader, you know I started a coupon clipping effort in August to see how much money I could save. I never expected to equal the savings of those super shoppers on TV but I hoped for modest savings. Here is an update on my experience so far.
First, let me say I really hoped to do better. However, the fall months are always so busy with school, the kid's extra curricular activities and the birthdays and holidays, that I had a hard time with the coupon side of shopping. I was too rushed to visit coupon sites and I seem to have a problem using the coupons I've loaded on my Kroger card but haven't taken the time to figure it out. I still looked at sales circulars and tried to plan my menu around things on sale or to stock up when I saw a good deal, like the time when Kroger, then Target, offered Del Monte canned vegetables at the unheard of low price of 49 cents a can! Certain things like deodorant and shampoo I try to never buy without a coupon or it being on sale or both. So many items are on special during the holidays that it can be easy to save money on things like sugar, flour, canned pumpkin, green beans, etc.
Here are my savings in total for 4 1/2 months: $680.16. Coupons accounted for only $163.40 of that total, not too impressive. Still at the rate I'm going, I will save about $2000 for the year and that is a nice savings all together. I suppose the real coupon kings and queens would scoff at my tiny savings but I think some of them have a real problem so we're even. After all, how long does it take to use up 20 bottles of shampoo or who needs 10 lip balms just because you got a good deal? If you are looking to cut back next year or would like to save up for something, or pay off your Christmas debt, your food/toiletries budget does have wiggle room even if you think it doesn't.
To save money, I have done a few things I'd never considered before like trying brands I never would have before and finding some that are just as good. I have bought Tide recently instead of Gain and saved money for example. You can easily save money by shopping the weekly sales circulars and eating a vegetarian dinner at least once a week. Visit some coupon sites or read my previous posts on couponing for more tips. I intend to pick up the coupon pace again next month to see if I can increase my savings. If you really need to save money, this is one of the easiest ways to do it, you just have to make the time.
Thursday, I'll reveal the Christmas dinner menu I've been agonizing over.