I was going to wait until the end of the year to write about my coupon savings plan, but I had an incredible month in October and just had to share the news. I've always been a coupon clipper, but I also was very sporadic about it. Some weeks I'd cut them and remember to bring them to the store, but most weeks I just didn't get to it. In mid-August I decided in earnest that I needed to clip and use coupons regularly. As an incentive to help me keep up with the cutting and organizing, I started writing down in a (Scooby Doo) notebook the exact amount I saved everytime I went to a store and used a coupon. This tactic really helped because as I'd see the amount I saved get bigger and bigger, I wanted to save more and more.
My rule for coupons is that any coupons I had to cut out count, but the coupons stuck to the milk because it is expiring in two days don't count. Those are just bonuses. The same goes for "clipless" coupons, or sale prices on items at stores. They don't count towards my total. I also didn't count my Entertainment Book savings, because although I had to cut those coupons out, I had to pay for the book initially (it was a good investment, I saved at least $38 after re-couping my $20 investment). But anything else, if it came in the mail, a magazine, or in the newspaper was fair game.
My October total of money saved was $76.05! Never did I ever expect to save so much in one month! And I don't use coupons on anything just to use them. I use them on the things I always buy, and occasionally to try something new. I doubt I'll equal this month anytime soon, I saved $16 just at the new CVS, using special grand opening coupons that were only good there. But, people who say coupon cutting isn't worth it aren't shopping at the same places I am. Since August 18 my year to date coupon savings are $134.70. Pretty impressive. I think Brendan, the kids and I are going to do something fun with that money.