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I admit it, I coupon! I know it’s not perceived as the most "MANLY" thing to do, but that doesn’t stop me. I still get embarrassed at times when I see people I know, but I do it anyway. Not for me but for my family. We are, by no means, rich. For years we’ve struggled to pay the everyday bills and still be able to put food on the table. Finally my wife and I decided that enough was enough. This is our…err, my story.

We sat down one day and watched "Extreme Couponing" on TLC and instantly a light went on. We need to do this! I didn’t mean to the level that they show on TV.  But if we could save even 30% on our grocery bill that is a huge amount of money for a family of 4. So my wife decided she would take over getting the grocery list together and matching up coupons. There was NO WAY that I was going to do it. It’s not "cool".

A month later, I got sent to the 2nd shift at work which gave me all this free time during the day.  I figured I might as well help out a little by cutting the coupons and putting them into the binder. Two weeks later, I decided the binder needed better organization, so I touched it up a bit. My wife then stared working 7 days a week. We fell behind, started slacking on our couponing, went out to eat a lot, and made those quick grab-and-go stops at the store. I then decided I could make one trip a week to the grocery store, but NOT with a "ton" of coupons. I soon realized that I was doing a better job at this whole coupon thing (no offense to my wonderful wife). So I made the decision to take it over 100%.

My Coupon Success:

Over the last month, with me taking over, we are saving 43% on our grocery bill! FORTY THREE PERCENT! Our biggest obstacle is that we only have 1 grocery store that will double coupons and will only double 4 of each item per transaction. As I stated above, I coupon, but I have what I call Grocery Aisle Etiquette! I am not going to run 5 separate transactions so I can use 20 coupons that will double! I REFUSE! This leads me to my 1st topic:

MY GROCERY STORE ETIQUETTE

  • If there is someone in line behind me with only a few items and I have a bunch of coupons, I will let them skip ahead.
  • I also will NOT clear shelves. I never buy more that 10 of 1 item. If they only have 10 left I will buy 5 and either check another store , stop on my way to work the next day to see if the shelf is restocked, or ask for a rain check.
  • I only do ONE transaction. As stated above, there are 2 grocery stores on my way to work, I just stop again if I need more items.
  • If there is an issue with my transaction I fix it at customer service. I am not going to hold up the entire line because 1 set of coupons doesn’t want to scan, even if I know it is legit.
  • I don’t make this big scene like  “I JUST SAVED 50% BY USING ALL THESE COUPONS". Instead I politely run my transaction, hand over my coupons, thank the cashier (and the person behind me for their patience), pay my bill, and walk out the door.

Remember, there is already a stigma associated with couponers; why add fuel to the fire?

This has been a guest post from Topsham, ME
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