With the help and teaching of my great friends the Clipping Queens, I have now learned to effectively coupon. In a nutshell, it is similar to what they do on TLC's show 'Extreme Couponing' without the need for a separate storage unit or basement.
A bit of personal history...just after Ross and I got married, we moved to Atlanta. Ross was looking for a job but it took a few months for him to land a permanent position. So while we were living off of my small income, we didn't have much dinero with which to work. I began to coupon just buying a paper every week to help make ends meet. We definitely made a lot of sacrifices during this time but we reached our goal of not accruing any debt during this tough time. In short, I started using coupons to help save a few bucks here and there. I was unaware of the amazing savings that I was missing. Yes, I was doing good by getting coupons but I was not using them to their full advantage.
As time went by and Ross settled into his job, we stopped "needing" to be as frugal. It was kind of a relief to actually have the funds to buy the groceries and personal items that we needed. So I got lazy with my coupons and just stopped all together.
Last fall, my great friends Ali Kusky and Melanie Ford started discussing this effective couponing that Ali had been doing. Melanie was immediately hooked. Now they have combined forces to become the Clipping Queens!! They provide workshops and private lessons to teach people how to effectively coupon and get the most for their buck. I was able to attend one of these workshops last month and it has completely changed the way I purchase groceries!
So you may be wondering, how do I do it? Well, I could tell you, but it would take me a long time in a blog post. If you are interested in learning how to coupon effectively and save 50% and more on your grocery bill, please let me know or contact the Clipping Queens. You can "like" their page at www.facebook.com/atlclippingqueens to get updates on upcoming workshops or to possibly request a workshop of your own.
So now I coupon to save money on the things that we use on a daily basis. It is being frugal, actually even more than I was before. The difference now is that I get to do it for fun and not necessarily out of necessity. I like to tell people that it has become my hobby or part time job. It is exhilarating to come home and know that I saved 50% or more on my groceries and everyday items. My competitive nature is driving me to save more and more with every trip to the store. And I can't complain...we actually have a full pantry and we eat at home more often. Another advantage is that I am buying more products but spending less money! My weekly budget for food can really purchase a lot! So now I am typically under budget and I have a box of items that I am building up to donate to charity! It is a win-win!!