Savings Made Sweet

By Heather Brickell

Have you ever found yourself needing to make a quick trip to the supermarket to pick up that loaf of bread you forgot to pick up the day before? You’re in a hurry, and as soon as you get to the checkout line your mind is racing with everything that you need to get done at home. You thought you picked the shortest line in the supermarket only to notice that the crazy lady in front of you has what seems like hundreds of coupons.

Well, that crazy lady may have been me!

Couponing and searching for bargains is a lot of fun, but BEWARE, it can become addicting! My husband is grateful for all the money that I save, but even he laughs at my excitement over spending $10 for $100 or more worth of groceries!

Many of you may think that couponing and bargain-hunting is time consuming. I will admit, that in the beginning, couponing and searching for those die-hard bargains takes a little time; however, once you master the basics, you’ll be amazed at how much money you’re saving every month! Once you’ve developed your own system you’ll be prepared for your plan of action each week. I like to tell people that, “Time is money in your bank account!”

To be a successful “couponer” and bargain-hunter, it’s important to have a strategy.

First of all, plan ahead! Did you know that many stores and couponing forums now offer online Sneak Peeks of upcoming weekly sales? This is such a time-saver for me as it allows me to organize a list and prepare my coupons in advance for each store. This also allows me to be prepared so that I know what coupons to be on the lookout for! For example, if I know that CVS will have my favorite brand of toothpaste on sale next week and there will be a coupon available for it in Sunday’s coupon inserts, I’ll plan on buying several newspapers that Sunday so that I can stock up!

Second, make a list of the things that you need for that week and organize your coupons. You can use envelopes, a binder, or whatever other creative way that will keep your coupons organized.

Lastly, stick to your plan of action! Impulse buying is definitely not something that I or any other bargain-hunter would recommend! Sticking to a plan not only allows me to stay within my budget, but it also keeps me accountable.

Want to know what types of coupons are available and where to find them? Stay tuned for next month’s article!

For more savings advice, visit Heather’s blog at

Gulf Coast Family Publications - Encouraging families along the Gulf Coast in Pinellas County