I grew up in a frugal home and learned to earn my own money from an early age so that I could buy my own things like school supplies and clothes. We never lacked anything, but every purchase was well thought out and necessary. Despite knowing how to save money, I have to admit that shopping was one of my favorite pastimes, and I didn’t always pay attention to the price tag!

Fast forward to 2011: I had just finished my bachelor’s degree in nursing and I was looking for a way to fund my bucket list when I stumbled upon The Krazy Coupon Lady. I absorbed the information like a sponge when I read 10 Days to Become a Krazy Coupon Lady. Instead of money flowing through my fingers, I could successfully use coupons to pay less and save more! All of a sudden, I could impact my budget without working an extra shift or cutting back in one area of my budget to finance another! It was definitely a lightbulb moment that has made a huge impact on my life.

Yes, there is a learning curve to this coupon-saving mission that will definitely require some hard lessons.  To say that I didn’t get discouraged would be an understatement, but I wouldn’t admit to defeat! Now, several years later, I can walk into my favorite store with coupons and walk out with money in my pocket! And I’ve managed to build up a savings account that provides financial security for my family and helps fund those items on my bucket list! Here are the three couponing mantras that I live and breathe by every day:

1. Never give up

There is a learning curve to couponing, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and think about quitting. No matter what, don’t do that! The more you practice, the more you will evolve into a couponing queen! There’s no better feeling than finding that great deal and having a coupon that matches it! When I get overwhelmed, I go to my stockpile and see all of my success! It’s like having my own grocery store at home. No more trips to the store for one item and no more running out of toilet paper!

2. Embrace each new challenge

The biggest challenge for me has been finding my voice. Interacting with the cashier, interpreting coupon policies, and learning the intricacies of each store has been an obstacle that I have overcome with a slow and steady plan of attack. My advice is to take it one store at a time.  Learn how its coupon policy is implemented, put on your best smile, and develop relationships with the store employees! This plan of attack has served me well in building up my confidence in my couponing skills! Karen at my local Harris Teeter is now a great friend, and I look forward to seeing her every week during my grocery run! I hope she can say the same about me because I treat her with respect and appreciate all of her hard work!

3. Share, share, share

This is my favorite thing about couponing. I love that I can give to others in need, I love that I can convert spenders into savers, and I love the satisfaction of sharing all that I have learned! I love to walk into work and say, “Try this–I got it for free at Walgreens,” or donate to a relative who has hit a rough patch. My friends and I trade coupons and share the great deals we find. That’s what networking is all about!

At the end of the day, I know I’ll never go back to spending without a purpose or paying full price for items I can easily get free or almost free! I’m looking forward to 2015 and putting even more money into my pocket!

 

This article was written by Tammy from St. Pauls, NC. If you’re interested in sharing your couponing story, please send your article to Contributors@TheKrazyCouponLady.com.