I hear it. I see it. Those glares and whispers when I walk into a store with my binder in one hand and my calculator in the other. There are still a lot of people out there who have never used a coupon in their life, or just simply don‘t know how to use one. And there are others who are just too embarrassed. The fact of the matter: coupons really can save you money.

In the beginning, my husband hated, and I mean hated, when I used coupons. He fit into the “too embarrassed” category, mortified every time we would hold up the line at our local grocery store. He kept saying that it was a waste of time, and he thought it was pointless for the couple of dollars that we were saving.

So that’s when I came up with the idea of opening up an online checking account with ING DIRECT. They were offering a $50 bonus for new Electric Orange Checking Account customers (who make 3 signature based debit transactions in 45 days). Simple, right? I could do that. I then decided that every time I would grocery shop, I would transfer the amount I saved into my online checking account when I got home.

After a matter of weeks I already had a little over $500.00 in my account. Finally, something I could rub in my hubby’s face. I introduced this idea to my mother-in-law, and she loved it. She had never used a coupon before, but she knew she had to try something because of her rising debt. After only a month, she had $800 in her account–all money from her coupon savings. She never knew she was wasting so much.

If you’ve forgotten how much coupons can do in your life, or if you’re a skeptic from the get-go, put this method into practice.  Simply transfer your coupon savings into a separate account like I did. I know there are a lot of people who save around $500 plus every shopping trip. You don’t necessarily have to transfer all your savings from that trip. You can use a percentage system if you want.

Just remember: every little bit adds up in the end.  You’ll have money to pay off debt, take a vacation, or a cushion for a rainy day. The choice is yours. But if you have never used a coupon before or feel that a couple of dollars is worthless, just ask my mother-in -law. She was able to pay off all her credit cards in a little over a year with the help of coupons.

The glares and the whispers don’t seem to bother my husband anymore. He has accompanied me on EVERY shopping trip since then. I have even caught him red handed, checking our online statements.

This has been a guest post by Mary Lou from Grand Prairie, TX
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12 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing: How I Watch My Savings Grow”

  1. Anonymous says:

    That’s great advice but I would rather pull out my fingernails with pliers than go shopping with my husband (and he feels the same about me) lol!  He does his grocery shopping & I do mine, completely separate So kudos to you to take yours with you :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why would someone be “embarrassed” to give couponing a try? It doesn’t mean one is cheap, if that’s the reason. In today’s economic climate, it’s crucial that we coupon, and then set aside the savings.

    I know that if people were to make some snarky remarks as they stood in line waiting behind me, I’d flash a generic checking or savings register under their noses to let them know this is why I use coupons. I’d snark right back at them as they stand there with eyes wide open and mouths agape.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have been keeping track of my savings since November 1, 2011 and include all store savings, rebates, e-coupons and of course regular coupons.  I have saved over $2100 since then.  It is actually more because Fred Meyer doesn’t do a good job noting how much you saved on their store sales on their receipts.  My husband now gets his own paper (he works 160 miles away and is only home two days a week) and I tell him the best deals at our local stores because he wanted “in on the action”!  The kids think everyone has a stockpile like ours and when they find out that they don’t, it is show and tell time.  

  4. Anonymous says:

    This came right on time. My boyfriend and I went to Target last night and he kept making fun of me because i would only buy things I had coupons for. He also got upset that I refused to buy ketchup. I told lets wait until Sunday, and of course not only its it on sale because of Memorial Day but there’s coupons now too.
    I live by myself so I don’t buy/save hundreds on groceries but this is a great idea to see just how much I’m saving. (and flaunt it in his face)

  5. sully says:

    great advise saving aren’t savings until you actually start putting that money away instead of spending it in something else. im gone practice this from now on.

  6. My husband is still to embarrassed to come with me and he knows how much I save! Great idea thank you 

  7. Aj Lee says:

    This is a great idea!

    I don’t know how many of you have been keeping track of how much money you’re saving each week/month/year.

    I’ve been keeping a record ever since I started couponing (2 yrs) to see how much I’m saving.
    It ranges from $500-$1000

    It’s amazing how much money we spend on stuff we don’t need.

    Just like Jennifer, I do the same thing with money saved except it’s fast food.

    • sully says:

      i keep track of how much i spend on groceries on a montly basis , the amount i redeem in coupons. it has really help i redeem about 300-400 dollars in coupons each month.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is a great idea! I can’t afford to put my coupons savings into a separate account but I am going to start writing it all down so I can see how much I am saving. I have 2 roommates and they hate going shopping with me and my coupons but they certainly enjoy when we get toilet paper for free or have more food in the house because of my coupons!

  8. lyth dumler says:

    The Yahoo posting, a while back, that had 10 or so reasons not to coupon argued that you didn’t save money.  It stated that you just end up with more food.  Well of course I do!  I’m on food stamps.  It’s not enough to keep food in the house.  I could go from food pantry, to pantry asking for help, but I’m more self sufficient now.  Also I don’t need to go without shampoo, razors, or worry about T.P.  So I don’t save money like the women that wrote thisl does.  I am able to take care of my family, and that’s what matters.

    • Anonymous says:

      Me too, Lyth! I used to think “oh… that’s only a dollar!” but then it clicked one day. HEY! I may not be like some people and walk out with $900 in food for $2, but nowadays, $1 is a $1!! ALSO [with the food stamp thing], I try to tell everyone that has them as well as I do, that if you are in need of toilet paper, and you have coupons for your food, sometimes the coupons roll over onto the paper or non food items! I used to think “where am I going to come up with an extra $4 a week for newspapers when I can barely make it week to week” but NOW I see I should’ve been doing this a LONG time ago! As for the haters, they can keep snickering and laughing when I walk into a store, because unless THEY want to give me money to not coupon and feed my family, it doesn’t bother me! Keep doing what you’re doing… you are SO right- family is ALL that matters!! :)) 

  9. If I have to take my kids with me for a long morning of couponing, we keep track of how much I’ve saved.  Once we reach about $15-20 saved, I will say, “Now we’ve saved enough to pay for our lunch.”  We still keep shopping, but the kids know that they will get to have lunch out at restaurant.  It makes them more willing to come with me, and I’m teaching them about budgeting.  Now my kids ask “how much did you save?”  They also love scanning my card at the CVS coupon machine.