This post is part of the first ever Yakezie blog swap. You can see my post on the same topic at Bucksome Boomer.
As a young wife and mom, money was tight and my mom offered me some advice. Like a lot of young adults I did not listen to her, or at least not right away. What was the advice? To use coupons.
No Time to Coupon
My mom had been in the same situation as me with even less money and more kids and knew couponing stretched her food budget. I was certain going through the coupon fliers and cutting out the out the ones I would use would required too much time. After all I had my husband, two sons, home and an full time outside job that took all my time.
Things change. My husband and I divorced and suddenly our incomes split across two households left me with too little of it. My mom gently advised me again. This time I listened.
Starting to Coupon
I have always been a newspaper reader so the coupons came every week. Instead of throwing them out, I started to go through them. Taking these to the store and seeing how I had $5 to $20 more each week by using the pieces of paper made a big impression.
This one action resulted in us being able to comfortably afford necessities and maybe even spend some on entertainment or some other luxury. I learned how to organize them by category and combine coupons with sales for even more savings.
This happened 20 years ago. Today you can have coupons added to your grocery store loyalty card. There are blogs that will identify the best coupon match-ups to sales at a variety of stores. Even though I'm remarried and at a much higher income level, I'm still couponing.
Unfortunately, I'm not so organized that I could provide a spreadsheet detailing the thousands I've saved since that advice. If I saved $5 a week it would be $5,200 and it would be nearly $21,000 when saving $20 every week.
Obviously, I'm not ready for prime time on extreme couponing. But this amount of money made a significant difference at a time in my life when I didn't have much. Moms really do know best.
Get the FREE Personal Profitability Playbook
Earn more, spend thoughtfully, grow your wealth, and live a better life through mindful personal finance.