Is Couponing Really Worth It?

Today Pam and I set out at 6:30 am to our local Harris Teeter to double team Harris Teeter’s Triple Coupon week. We spent yesterday getting coupons ready and a list together for our early morning trip today.

You see, Harris Teeter, like many other grocery stores will double coupons up to $0.99 on a daily basis and routinely they will run special weeks where coupons will Super Double or Triple. On a Super Double week coupons up to $1.98 will double in value and Triple Coupon weeks allow all coupons up to $0.99 to triple.

Triple Coupons is a huge week to take advantage of for coupons under $0.99. Pam and I sat down last night, spread out our coupons and set an attack plan for the next day.

Pam and I set out to show the best deals we could get from Triple Coupon week with items we actually use. Since Harris Teeter only allows 20 coupons per household each 24 hour period we each had a selection of 20 coupons and list of items to purchase.

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I will be honest though, couponing can be stressful. We are still in the first six months of our couponing adventures so we’re still searching for the best way to tackle our couponing trips. Currently, we are using slightly different methods but are slowly fusing them together to find the easiest and least stressful approach.

For a regular shopping trip we would not be this out of sorts since we each have our own systems we use. However, since this was Triple Coupon Week we wanted to make sure we got the most out of our coupons to showcase how much one can save. We initially felt overwhelmed. There was a moment when we both sat there, cross-legged, surrounded by coupon clippings, head in our hands going “where do we start?” It proved hard with both of us trying to make one list together and eventually we needed to separate to our own homes for quiet time to breathe and form a plan.

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I realized last night and this morning that couponing is not only an effective tool to save money but a hobby and an art. To coupon you must be dedicated to organization. Without organization, you are sure to feel and be overwhelmed. Some might be so overwhelmed they start to question if it’s even worth it. I know I questioned it myself last night. This morning I saw how much it paid off. On my transaction alone I saved a few pennies shy of $50 — I got roughly $64 worth of groceries for $13.96. I was shocked and realized all the planning was totally worth it.

As I mentioned in a previous article I found myself tight on money this past week due to spending more than expected at wedding recently. What I didn’t realize until this week is that I’ve been couponing and stocking up so well on food and household supplies that I hadn’t gone grocery shopping before this morning since three weeks ago. Three weeks and I’m still going strong on food! So strong in fact that when I ran into a sad and empty wallet this week I never once worried about what I was going to eat, I had plenty of food. It’s a liberating feeling. To know that I’m shopping about once a month, never spending more than $200 and have a solid safety need on my food supply. It sure takes the edge off of other money woes that go through your mind in times of monetary trouble.

If you are not an organized person you’re going to find couponing difficult and frustrating, but that being said, websites such as Coupon Mom, Coupon Teacher and Hot Coupon World will help make the coupon journey easier. These sites are not faltless but give you a great base to work with.

Also, if you have the ability on a store’s website to do online shopping it will be easier to find base prices of items you’re going to be shopping for. With these base prices you’ll be able to line up your list and coupons to see about how much you’re expecting to spend and get. Make a list of the items, prices and coupons and bring them in store when you go shopping. This will make your life MUCH easier, trust me!

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Soon, we will be releasing a Guide to Couponing, where we will show you step by step how to set up your own coupon binder. While we work out the last few kinks in our systems please leave a comment with questions, concerns or tips you may have about couponing!