Thanks To Couponing, I Finally Have A Savings Account!
I just wanted to share my experience, for anyone who is still wondering if all the planning and clipping is really worth it.
We are a military family stationed in Hawaii, and yes, the rumors about the high cost of living here are very true. Before I began couponing, our monthly bill for groceries, toiletries, and cleaning products (I make my own cleaners, but things like paper towels) was generally between $800 and $900 and often reached nearly $1,000. For two adults, a four year old, and two dogs who only go through one and a half bags of food a month. Oh, and my husband is the only meat eater and my daughter is lactose intolerant, so it wasn't even the usual meat and dairy expense issue. The day before my husband's first 2013 paycheck went into our main account, we had 37 cents in it and $4 and change in the other checking account, which was suppose to work as a savings account. We do not even have any credit cards or cable, and the only loan/debt we have is our car payment. So, after a sleepless night on YouTube led me to an old episode of "Extreme Couponing", I thought, "I can do this."
Here we are in March, and we have just over $2,000 saved up. As well, there is actually still $50-$100 leftover in our account the day before each pay day. I am nowhere near the "$700 worth of groceries for a penny" level (and I am not sure I would want to be), but on average I save between 40% and 50% per trip. I have even started using coupons and discount research to get things like a new bra at 20% off and a free pair of shoes for my daughter. This past weekend, I bought my daughter a new bed (on sale, of course). My husband asked, "How much does that leave in savings?" I explained that I did not have to use savings, because we could actually AFFORD it (I would not have bought it otherwise)! I have a small stockpile that is quickly getting too big for my kitchen. I do have things like chips, soda, and poptarts for my husband (things like that stay up out of the little one's eye line), but I mostly have things like rice, canned tomato products, dry and canned beans, frozen vegetables, cereals, oatmeal, soups, and other things for use in healthy meals. I then use part of the money saved to get our fresh produce. I also have a little stockpile of toiletries building up.
I am...a dreadlocks sportin', vegan food diggin', garden growin', floaty skirt wearin', bare feet steppin', from scratch cookin', non-spankin', homeschoolin', fiction writin', couponin', dog adoptin', displaced Texan, wife of a soldier and mother of a darlin'...