As she’s become an adept couponer over the last two years, our debt has shrunk, our savings has increased, and out-of-pocket grocery expenses have decreased tremendously, without a dent to our actual lifestyle or meal choices. She's simply learned how to shop smarter.
To continue on our path to being life-long savers, I've realized there are things I need to do, as well. Even though I am not the primary shopper or chef, here's what I do—and what I suggest other non-couponing partners do—to support their KCLs.
1. Share your Facebook
I'm as amazed as my wife to see how many printable coupons, product vouchers, sweepstakes, and even rebate opportunities are available simply for "liking" a company on Facebook. Sometimes, the deal is so good that my wife wants to get it twice. I've learned not to mind having an extra company "Like" in my collection for the sake of accessing the deal she wants. I've even enjoyed stumbling across the occasional exciting Facebook offer that she hasn't yet seen.
2. Double up on samples
My wife has taught me that many companies that send free samples in the mail do so with an accompanying coupon. Some offers have a "one per household" limit—but the fine print of other offers shows two are allowed with separate email accounts. As I do with my Facebook page, I donate my name and email to the cause (though she's usually the one to input the information). And the funny thing? I actually enjoy seeing what free samples come in the mail every day just as much as she does.
3. Shop with her
I'll admit: the idea of walking into a store with a calculator and coupon binder was, at first, very unappealing to me. But I've made an arrangement to grocery shop at least two times a month with my wife. Not only is the extra set of hands nice for her, but we can break up transactions (something she taught me) to take advantage of product and coupon limits. We're still by no means "extreme" couponers—but it's rewarding to get deals on products we use often.
4. Make room for a stockpile
Though I initially mourned the loss, I gave up part of my beloved garage (and my shelf in the bathroom cabinet) for our growing stockpile. But, truthfully: a bit of dedicated space to store products we both use that sometimes cost only pennies? Come on, guys: this one’s a no-brainer!
5. Avoid impulse purchases yourself
Perhaps old habits die hard, but I couldn't quickly shake my bachelor tendencies to just buy what I needed when I needed it. Whether a pack of gum from the convenience store, a fast-food item (without a coupon), or a full-price shirt at a retail store, impulse buying was just how I shopped prior to my marriage. Now, however, I have learned the value of waiting for a sale and stocking up on certain items (like candy and drinks) so that they are available before the urge to consume them strikes. My wife's even shown me how to save at convenience stores and how to print a retail coupon for use in a clothing store (like Old Navy).
6. Make her matter
My wife loves saving money, she spends a lot of time to make it happen, and she's good at it. I tell her how much I appreciate her efforts and how she is contributing in a big way to our financial bottom line. Gentleman, don't overlook the hard work of the KCL in your life; acknowledge her money-saving savviness and show her you appreciate her.
For now, I'm not ready to turn into a KCM (Krazy Coupon Man) myself (maybe one day?). Until then, I know I can support the KCL in my life in a series of small ways that make a big difference to our family overall.