I made my first post to kick off this blog a year ago. It's been quite an amazing journey...I never expected the blog to become what it has. I started it because I was realizing how much money my coupons were saving my family and how that could help others. I thought maybe a few friends would read it but really, honestly, didn't think it would go much further than that.
God has used this blog in amazing ways. It has been SO cool to hear the stories of real people that read this blog and use it in planning their shopping trips, some that I've maybe met one time at a class...if at all!
There are so many people out there struggling financially. If you are one of those, I would love for you to know that grocery spending is an area in the budget that you have control over. There are so many areas of our budgets that we cannot change. The amount you pay for groceries CAN be changed!
We are a family of 5, with 3 of those being growing kids that keep eating more...and MORE. Prior to couponing I was spending at least $150 - $200 (often more) a week! I love to cook and as money kept getting tighter I started to cook VERY simply. I was buying all store brand items and spending forever in the stores because I would spend so much time comparing prices and making sure I was getting the best deal. In a lot of my research, I have found that this is probably about the average amount spent for a typical family. But the problem with that spending, for our family, was that it was NEVER enough to get us through the week...we were always running out of something...usually cereal. I was telling my kids that they would have limited snacks or they'd have to find something else to eat for breakfast because we were really low on cereal and not enough for all of them, etc. It was heartbreaking to me that I had to tell my kids that.
What has God done with coupons? We have cut our grocery budget from the $150-$200+ a week down to $60-$70!! We have more food in our house that we've ever had. I have the freedom to give to others because we have more than enough (my kids have learned a lot about giving in this area and I find great joy in that!). And I buy almost all name brand items (which really is NOT important to me) rather than store brand. We are able to get name brand items CHEAPER than I was ever getting store brand items for. I've gotten TONS of FREE stuff too! My kids don't have to be limited so much on their options. God has really blessed our family in this area! We are so grateful!! And because we were able to cut the grocery budget so much this has helped us in so many other areas financially! And it's not that we have extra to blow now...but it helped us put money in other areas of our budget that needed more attention. It's been freeing in many ways!
I am hoping that over time I will be able to cut my grocery budget even more...I'm thinking down to $40-$50 per week...but I have to admit it scares me a little bit! I'm afraid of the limitation...that it might be too much. BUT I know it can be done!! After all, my cupboards are overflowing now with only spending the $60 - $70 per week. It will just require more discipline, and even more organization and planning on my part. It's a goal of mine...I need to put a date to it so that I have something to strive for. :)
Have you been able to cut your grocery budget? Do you have goals for you and your family that you're working toward...or want to work toward? I would love to hear your stories...as I'm sure many others would love to read them as well. So please share!! I think we can all learn from others. It's also encouraging to read the accomplishments of others because then we realize if that person can do it...then it's very possible for us to do it too!
If you ever have questions regarding using coupons and saving money at the grocery store I am more than willing to help you! I have offered coupon classes in the past to aid in this area and hope to continue to do so in the future...this just seems to be a really crazy time of year for people, including myself. I am open to speaking to groups to share about what I've learned and help you learn how you can do it too! If that is something that interests your group, please let me know.
Feel free to email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I sincerely pray that God will use this blog and that it will continue to be a blessing to others!