Thursday, February 16, 2012

Extreme Couponing

  For the past few years, I have seen people post pictures on Facebook, displaying the awesome deals that they earn from couponing.  Since I will be staying at home full time after this school year, the skill of couponing has intrigued me.  I want to be good at it.  I want to help my family save as much money as possible.  So, I decided to start a quest to be a successful couponer!  My first step was to seek counsel, so I emailed a couple of friends who are really good at it.  While waiting on their responses, I decided to take the initiative by reading blogs and watching tutorials on YouTube.  I saw videos of people who actually got paid for buying products.  One girl spent about $.27 on $98 worth of stuff.  I want to know how to do that.
     I understand that some women do it to honor and serve God financially through saving money for their families, which is why I want to do it, too.  I want to be faithful in my role as a stay-at-home mom.  I am not staying at home to sit around and enjoy the ride.  I have a job to do.  Along with raising Nora-Kate, I believe my job is to organize my home, make it functional, and save us as much money as possible.
     Anyway, last week, I decided to read blogs, watch tutorials, and do whatever I could to learn the art of couponing every night from 8-10.  I sacrificed my workouts and school work to learn how to coupon.  We had to make a shopping trip that week, so I took the advice I read on the blogs and used the weekly ads to plan our meals and grocery list.  Then, I proceeded to get my coupons together.  Once that was finished, I added up the cost so I would have a good idea as to how much to expect to spend once I got there.  I pulled all my coupons and packed up my weekly ads with my coupons.  Friday night I went shopping.  It was my first attempt at couponing.  I only saved us $70.  I spent the same amount that we normally spend; I was disappointed.  I was expecting this really awesome amount of savings, like I only spent $50 for $150 worth of groceries.  I guess I need more practice.
     After a week of studying the process of couponing, I have some questions I'm wrestling with.  I understand the concept of honoring God with my money, but what about my time and health?  It seems that the couponing process takes a lot of time.  Of course, it may not actually take that much time once I get practiced at it.  It also seems that the products I get the best deals on are not very healthy items, such as breakfast foods filled with sugar and potato chips.  I don't want my family to eat sugar for breakfast and snack on chips all the time.  I like our healthy meals.  I'm wondering if there is a balance in the whole thing.  The fact that it's called "extreme couponing" makes me a little skeptical.  The only thing I want to be extreme in is my relationship and love for Christ and others.  With everything else, there needs to be a balance so that it doesn't become an idol.  I did see some healthy foods on sale, though, such as cereal bars, healthy cereal, whole grain pasta, etc.  So maybe I just have a lot to learn.  Maybe once I get some practice and get used to the process, I will become quicker and quicker and save us more and more money. 
     If you have any comments or thoughts about the whole couponing thing in light of honoring God with your time and health, I would love to hear them.  Maybe it will help shed some light for me and give me a new perspective.  I'm looking forward to what I have to learn!


  1. I have been staying home with our kids since Chase was born over 2.5 years ago. I tried couponing and just couldn't get the hang of it. Now I cook as much as possible from scratch, plan meals off sales, and avoid all convenience foods and we do well. We also use cloth diapers which we got when Kole was little and have saved us a ton of money through all three kids.

    1. Thanks, Emily...I'm trying to plan meals off of sales and I've also been researching cloth diapers. We're not pregnant now, but I know we would like to have more kids, so I'm trying to plan ahead. I'm also planning to try making our own laundry detergent. I think I may be getting into this homemaker stuff! :)

  2. Be careful to read the fine print as well. I know most of our coupons had in small print that they could not be combined with other offers and coupons so that can hinder you accomplishing your goal of reducing your costs. I think there is nothing wrong with utilizing this tactic, although it is time consuming, it can greatly benefit your helping out with saving in the long run and you are putting your family first which I would have to believe honors God. I, as always, am so amazed at your faithfulness and your way to find ways to always put God at the center of everything. God bless and know your family is in my heart always.