I love couponing! It's a wonderful way of life. But I've also encountered the negativity that surrounds couponing. I have lots of friends and family who roll their eyes when I discuss couponing, or kind of brush me off. But the deals I get far surpass all of that negativity, and the money I save puts a smile on my face! Even my husband tells everyone what great deals I get.

I used to go to the grocery store and easily spend over $100 for four bags. Now I use my coupons on top of sales and promotions and come home with eight bags of groceries for less than $50. That's a pretty convincing argument for me!

And not only do we enjoy more variety, we don’t have to make those last minute dashes to the store and pay full price because we’ve run out of something. One of my favorite moments was when my hubby called and said that he had run out of toilet cleaner and just walked to the stockpile to get another bottle. He said it was like going to the store without getting out of his pajamas!

It’s easy to enjoy the benefits of couponing, especially after learning the truth behind the following myths:

“It takes too much time”

I'd rather work to save money with coupons than work an extra shift at the hospital (I'm a nurse). And I can sit in my home with my family and enjoy this little passion called couponing! I've used coupons to buy wedding gifts, baby shower gifts, and Christmas gifts. It's not just about buying food and cleaning products. It's a whole new way of thinking. For instance, I recently needed a baby gift. My local grocery had double coupons up to $2. I got two packs of diapers and two packs of Pampers wipes for $10.98 (plus tax). Before couponing, I would have bought pampers and wipes for the full price (around $25.96). So, couponing saved me about $15 for this gift!

“It takes too much money”

How much money can it take to start? Consider this: $20 is a great investment to save money for the rest of your life. It's changing your thinking about how you shop and where your money goes. Determine how many tubes of toothpaste you really need, and stop at that number. How many liquid detergents do you need for three months? Asking these simple questions keeps your budget intact! I admit I spent more than I was saving in the beginning building my stockpile, but it's because I needed to learn the craft! Now I don't buy every item on sale, just the products I need.

“I’m not that organized”

If you run a household, you can coupon! It's all about organization. Most of us keep a mental to-do list. Think of it as another obligation you have to do for your family! I have a ritual at CVS: I get a buggy and put my coupon tote bag in it, go to the MCM and scan my card. I get the items on my list first, working left to right in the store, and then I look for clearance items if I have time. It's as simple as that! Don’t be afraid to ask for help: The clerks know their merchandise and what is in and out of stock! Consider using your phone as a timer and give yourself a time limit to avoid getting overwhelmed.

“I don't like that brand”

Sure, I've tried some things that I didn't like, but I just didn't buy it anymore. I wait to buy a favorite brand when I have a coupon. Changing your mindset rewards your pocketbook.

This has been a guest post by Tammy from North Carolina
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