Couponing in 2015

By ERIN TURNER

The New Year is upon us and with the ushering in of 2015, it’s time to make some resolutions about saving money and couponing.  As I sat with my pencil ready to make some goals about couponing, one of the resolutions was about time management.  If you have been a couponer, then you know how much time it can take each week.

Five years ago when I started couponing, I had a preschooler, a 2nd and a 4th grader.  Plus, our farm was just in its infancy.  Since I was giving up my part time job, we needed to replace that income plus I just flat out had more time back then.  Nowadays I have a high schooler, a middle schooler and a grade schooler who are all very active and involved with a number of extracurricular activities.  In addition, our farm has grown by leaps and bounds and for 9 months of the year, it is a full time job for me.

While I still am passionate about saving money and getting the very best deal available, how I save money looks different than it did 5 years ago.  I spend a lot more time baking and cooking items which I would have normally bought at the store.  Things like cream of mushroom soup, ranch dressing, taco seasoning, breads, muffins, chicken broth, burritos and the list goes on, are all things which I save lots of money making instead of buying.

couponing in 2015I was so happy to run across a video clip on one of my favorite couponing websites: Krazy Coupon Lady.  These ladies had a similar approach to couponing for 2015…still couponing but in a different way.  Like them, I have discovered a new obsession with Amazon.com.  With their coupons, sales and discounts I am saving money like I would at a local store with coupons.  Another advantage for me is the convenience of ordering my items when I have free time.  Plus, the less store time for me the less chance of spending money on unnecessary items.  I love their Subscribe and Save program, their Amazon Mom program and their Pantry Essential program.  Plus, I log in under one of my favorite local non-profits and when I make a purchase on Amazon, Missoula Writing Collaborative gets a % from Amazon.  How awesome isthat?

Like the Krazy Coupon Ladies, in 2015 I will be utilizing some technology in my couponing.  A few weeks ago I wrote about FAVADO, the new app which tells you which coupon to use and which store has your item for the cheapest.    This saves a lot of time and effort on my part.    I also love Cartwheel through Target and also Checkout 51.  I’ll be getting my money’s worth out of my smart phone this year as I fully utilize these apps to my benefit and save cash!

Many of the standby couponing strategies will still be at the top of my list in 2015.  Things like stocking up on items when they are at rock bottom prices and using store rewards stacked with other coupons and sales are all smart methods of saving money whether you are an extreme couponer or just an occasional couponer.  Also, shopping seasonally for produce and cashing in on post-season mark downs are some of my favorite ways to save cash too.  Plus, stay tuned for my family’s annual Pantry Challenge where we eat only things from our freezer or shelves for a month. We save hundreds of dollars during those months!

Even though my couponing looks different than it did in 2010, I still am saving well over 50% off my grocery bill each month.   Saving money like this has allowed me to be a stay at home mom for 5 years, purchase our washer and dryer with the cash I saved from our grocery budget and to appreciate our food and be more attentive to what my family is eating.

What are your goals for saving money this year?  Does your couponing look different this year than it did last year?

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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