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Couponing for Smaller Households

I asked fellow Cincinnati blogger Andrea of Saving LifeStyle formerly Mommy Snacks if she would would a contribute a guest post for singles, couples and small families using coupons. I have a couple of households in mind when I asked her, so I hope they enjoy this post!
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One of the questions I have been asked, “Is couponing even beneficial for a smaller family or household.” My answer is an emphatic YES! Do you use toilet paper, deodorant, or toothpaste? These items are used by most everyone (I hope) and can be FREE if you shop with coupons and follow sales. I have found that Health & Beauty items can be a big budget buster. But, if you buy them at the right time with the matching coupon, it’s FREE! Yes, it is beneficial and completely possible with food, health & beauty, and all other times!

Couponing for a small family or household is really the same as if you are a family of five like me. The quantities are fewer and your menu might be different. Here are a few tips to follow to Coupon and Save for a Small Family or Household:

Budget and Plan. Regardless of the family or household size, I would suggest the following considerations specific to your grocery budget:

  • Cooking at Home: What Meals and How Often? By identifying what meals and how often you will be cooking at home, you will have a good understanding of why your budget needs to be the dollar value you establish. Planning out your meals ensures you purchase those items needed for the week. Using coupons on your ingredients will help to achieve the budget you are working with.
  • Eating Out: How Often? While it may seem obvious, when you’re eating out, you’re not using the foods you have purchased. As you plan your week, don’t forget to consider the dining out which is NOT included in your grocery budget. This will help to allocate your grocery budget and eating out budget accordingly. Be sure to consider all meals and snacks for the day too.
Get some Coupons: Using coupons on frequently used items will often times allow you to purchase items for 50% off the regular price (often times more or even FREE). Two of the most popular places to find coupons are:
  • Sunday Newspapers. The most popular coupons Inserts are: Smart Source, Red Plum, P&G and General Mills. These are included in the Sunday newspaper following a publication schedule.
  • Printable Coupon Sites. Internet Printable coupons (IP’s) are now becoming accepted in most stores. There are several sites that are available for printing coupons. You can find a list of my personal favorites here.
Focus on One Store: Another important aspect to using coupons is knowing your store policies. Here is the best question to remember when you’re shopping:
  • Does the store offer double coupons? Many stores will double the face value of the coupon so that $.50 coupon is really $1 off your total. Some stores put a limit on coupons that will double. Kroger offers unlimited double coupons. Meijer will double two of the same coupon. Knowing this can be the difference of paying for something or getting it FREE.
Consumption and Stockpiling. This is where the biggest savings come in for any size family. Here are a few suggestions to help as you begin to build a stockpile on those highly consumed items:
  • Make a list of frequently used items. Be sure to include brand names if you are brand loyal to a certain product. Think about the items you have prepared or used in the last month. This will help you determine the frequently used items for your household.
  • Determine how much you will need. This is where the planning comes back into help. If you know you prepare several meals with pasta each month, then when that sale for pasta comes up, be sure to stock up for the weeks/months ahead. Choosing how much is an individual decision and can depend upon storage space options and expiration dates.
  • Watch for sales. You can find coupon matches at my site for the following stores: Kroger, Meijer, CVS, Walgreens and a few more.

    You will find that you are able to get many items very inexpensive or FREE just by watching the sales and using your coupons!

Try this for a few months and determine if your efforts are worth continued couponing. You will definitely find FREE items. As I said above, it doesn’t matter how large you family or household is. It all comes down to whether couponing is a money-saving benefit. I hope that you see that it is! Couponing and Saving for a Small Family or Household works – it’s just scaled down to find works best for you!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Meghan October 29, 2008, 1:39 pm

    Great article!
    Thanks!