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New year is a chance to get back to couponing

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Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? I made two. My first resolution is to continue eating better and continue the weight loss I began last year. My second resolution is to get back on track with my couponing. Yes, you heard that right; the coupon lady hasn’t been couponing!

I had a good reason for taking a break. I stopped couponing in November to help my husband prepare to leave for a year in Afghanistan. He was scheduled to leave in December, but his departure date was delayed to the end of January, so we were blessed to have Christmas together as a family. We made it a priority to give our children a great Christmas and New Year’s with their father before he leaves.

In addition, we’ve also been busy preparing to move my father in with us from Alabama. We have spent almost every spare moment packing clothing and moving furniture to give him his own space in our home, so finding the time to go shopping was difficult.

However, we turned the couponing break into an opportunity to thin down the stockpile and make sure none of the food we have was going to waste.

I recently learned how to use Skype so, using the computer, the kids can see their dad during the separation. Thankfully, we have a great support network of friends, family and neighbors to see us through this year.

So, now that my father has moved in and we have another month with my husband, I am eager to get back in the couponing game. It is exciting to see those totals drop down to less than half of the original total. I love the impressed looks on the cashiers’ faces when they read out how much I saved.

I am the first to admit that couponing takes time, but in the end it is completely worth the effort.

I hated going to the store last month. It kills me to have to buy something that I know I could have gotten for far less had I waited to purchase it by couponing. I know I’m not the only one who has gone into the grocery store and wondered how in the world did the small amount of stuff that I bought end up costing a small fortune? Isn’t it much better to look at a cart and think, “I can’t believe I got all of this for only $80 instead of the regular price of $170.”

So, if you are a former couponer, I challenge you to get back on track with me in 2013!

If you’ve made a resolution to pay off debt or save money, I encourage you to give couponing a try.

First of all, you need to start gathering coupons. My rule of thumb is to get one Sunday edition of the newspaper for every member of your house. If you live by yourself, consider getting a friend to coupon with you and split the cost of the subscription. About 70 percent of my coupons come from The Augusta Chronicle. The rest I get from online sources, magazines, stores and product packaging.

After you start gathering your coupons, you have to figure out how to organize them. I use a coupon binder that I made, but there are many ways to organize your coupons. Once you have your system in place, it’s time to shop.

Until next time, happy shopping!


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