I admit, I used to be a wholesale club and Walmart shopper, dropping hundreds of dollars thinking I was saving money! Spur of the moment trips to the grocery store for two bags of groceries costing $50 was a routine occurrence for me. When I first got married, we were on a tight budget and I took a calculator to every grocery store visit, but I began to move up in my profession and forgot about a budget and ditched the calculator.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself spending more and living paycheck to paycheck, which necessitated my conversion to being a KCL. After becoming a couponer, I realized that shopping smart, using coupons, and stockpiling would have the largest impact on my long-term financial goals.

Here are five ways you can start thriving and gaining your financial freedom today!

1. Meal preparation based on current sales and coupon offers

Sure, we occasionally get takeout, but our meals are centered around what’s on sale and what’s healthy for my family. For example, if sweet potatoes are on sale this week, that’s what I’ll feature on the menu at least twice that week. If strawberries are on sale and in my Checkout 51 offer, then I’ll choose those over apples.

Plan your meals around what you intend to purchase on sale with coupons, versus walking in the store and paying full price for an item. One of my favorite things about coupons is how hot new items always get the high-value coupons, which provides a great deal of variety for my family.

2. Keep a positive attitude

I feel like I could negotiate a contract with Donald Trump because I’ve conquered the skills necessary to have a successful interaction with a store manager. Plus—I can consistently juggle all of my apps, sales and coupons to master a moneymaker. My organizational skills have blossomed, and my ability to identify additional ways to save money has sky-rocketed. Being confident in my skills goes a long way towards keeping a positive attitude (and making a successful transaction).

To be a successful couponer, I know I need to do what works for me. For me, I need a grocery list with my coupons attached, I have to limit my shopping trips to twice a week, and I need to be immune to store marketing strategies. My master negotiating skills have been fine-tuned to deal with even the most negative cashier; there’s nothing like a smile and a little charm to get a legitimate coupon pushed through. Keeping a positive attitude goes a long way in the couponing world!

3. Take advantage of multiple ways to hide your money from yourself

I have my money in several different places to keep it out of reach of spending. One great way to divert the money you save when couponing is to make a deposit in your savings account with the amount you saved in coupons. For instance, I used $5.75 in coupons at Walgreens. I transfer the specific amount of coupon savings into my savings account. When I decide to cash out with Ibotta, I transfer what I earned to my PayPal account and keep it there. When I receive a rebate in the mail or a check from Checkout51, I deposit it in my Capitol One 360 online account. Another example is to save any moneymaker amount. If this week you managed to save $8.00 in moneymakers, designate that amount to a savings account. Your savings will add up quickly all by using your coupons!

4. Find ways to generate or save extra income

You can earn extra money super easily by taking surveys or simply using an app. Check out some of these past KCL articles for more on how to earn from home!

7 Super-Easy Ways to Earn Cash and Rewards

Snap a Selfie and Get Paid with Stylinity!

Want to Get Paid to Get Healthier? 4 Ways to Earn While You Burn!

7 Sites to Get Free Samples Without Filling Out Surveys!

You can then learn how to reinvest those savings so that you can earn and save even more with this article.

5. Purchase your family’s clothing with coupons

My closet is brimming with current styles because I’ve committed to shopping only with store deals and offer-specific coupons. By saving where you can (especially on expensive things like clothes) you can really cut costs and get out of debt. Here’s a great example of a recent transaction at Kohl’s using three promotional codes.

Men’s shirts: $12 each( 3) Reg. $30      $36

$10 off coupon of $30 purchase            – $10

$10 Kohl’s cash for $30 purchase          – $10

Extra 20% off  code                                  – $7.20

Ebates                                                        – $1.84

Total cost:                                                  = $6.96 for 3 men’s shirts