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Moms Talk: Coupon Clippers

Coupon clipping moms are taking over the world-- and the grocery stores. Extreme couponing is all the rage. In this week’s Moms Talk, we ask about the things you do to make yourself a better home economist.

A major part of being a mom and running a household is managing groceries and the monthly food budgets. The kids need to eat, after all. 

The lure to save money on the grocery budget is strong. I mean, if you're not coughing up the full price for chicken breasts and organic milk, you could have more shoes! Or fancy coffees! Or books! Whatever blows your skirt up.

Thus, the couponers. These women are serious about savings, and they have a new, high-tech way to get them.

Gone are the days where clipping coupons meant a lazy hour in front of the TV with the Sunday paper and a pair of scissors in your lap.

Now there are entire websites devoted to couponing, local classes on couponing strategy, printable coupons, smart phone coupons, downloadable coupons and coupon swap meets.

I see women in the grocery store with baseball card binders FULL of coupons, and they mean business. They always seem more than eager to rattle off how much they’re saving to complete strangers, and it’s impressive. I ran into a lady in Publix earlier this week who was taking advantage of BOGO and using coupons on the free items. She said she normally buys $200 worth of groceries for about $75.

I’m intrigued. My couponing usually consists of flipping briefly through the store circulars I get in the mail and using the time I spend waiting in my kids’ school carpool lines to snip out the ones I think I’ll use.

I’d like to save more on groceries and household products. That's the line item responsible for the biggest chunk of change in my family's budget. So, as usual, I turned to the internet for help.

A brief perusal of the search results from my “couponing moms” query has me even more interested. The stories they tell on these couponing forums! Fifty cents for a jumbo pack of diapers? What a glorious difference that would have made in our household budget when my munchkins were babies!

I’ve talked to several of my coupon-frenzied friends, and they all recommend the website couponmom.com. The site offers printable coupons plus restaurant, drug store and grocery deal searches by state.

I don’t think I’ll ever become one of those binder-toting coupon women, but I like to save money as much as the next gal. I’m gonna give it a try.

How do you save money? Are you a couponer? Got any tips of the trade to share with the rest of us?

Robert Thomas. Sr. April 21, 2012 at 07:23 PM
What a sad commentary on our country compared to places like Europe where most everyone has a small refrigerator and shops daily for fresh food. I look at coupons regularly and what I find is a lot of it is second-rate stuff they can't sell, with good reason - secondary brands, etc. In these days of rampant American obesity why would anyone want to stock up on food? Also, will the people that do so find themselves eating a lot of out-of-date food? What makes more sense is buying from the perimeter of the supermarket as often as possible, and if you're really worried about a famine buy one of those 5 gallon 10 year life pails of dry food for about $75.
Raven Nichols April 22, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Robert, I was referring less to extreme couponers who stockpile food and more to moms with families to feed who want to save money on the food and supplies they already buy. I agree with you-- I try to buy as much fresh, locally grown food as possible and use everything we have before shopping for more. But I would like to pay less for what I do buy! :) Thanks for your input. I love getting different opinions here!
Raven Nichols April 22, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Thanks for the tips, Joann!
Alice Tian April 23, 2012 at 08:42 AM
the way that I use to save money is the same as you, I am a couponer too, I like shopping online,because I found that it is more convenient and money-saving, I am also a coupon hunter, I search on these websites more often, because it can provide me coupons and deals. such as Savings.com, or couponsnapshot.com, in these sites,I can get discounts and deals.
GoodStewardess.com April 25, 2012 at 02:03 AM
There are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of coupon blogs out there. Finding one that covers your local area is the best bet, since weekly ads and newspaper coupons can vary greatly in different regions of the country. I've seen Kroger stores just 20 miles away from each other whose weekly ads were completely different. Simply type "coupon blog" + your city and/or state, and you'll find plenty to browse! (I publish a blog that primarily covers stores in Northwest Ohio/Souteastern Michigan.) FYI - you can print coupons from any blog. Printable coupons are pretty universal across the country, though they can occasionally have regional restrictions as well.

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