Last month I put a request out to the Oh Amy, Dear Facebook community: tell me why you coupon. Why did you start couponing? Why do you continue today? And how do you get through coupon and rebate fatigue? I got some really great responses on that post, and I’ll share them below. What I want to start out with is telling you a short story of my couponing journey.

Truly, the story starts back in 2009 when my then-boyfriend and I were on unemployment, trying to make what income we could, and living in an increasingly expensive rental market. The recession was in full swing and Oregon was feeling it. My SIL introduced me to couponing and I did try to make it work. A dollar here, 50 cents there… It was a little savings and it helped our beans and rice budget. But unfortunately, I just didn’t keep it up.

One or two years pass, and it seemed like every time our income went up, more bills presented themselves. I hadn’t been as responsible with our spending as I should have been, and I was tired of it. I started couponing more regularly, got a pretty accordion file to keep on the go with me, and used rebates as often as I could. I never took a grocery trip that didn’t use coupons, so I thought, “Hey, my couponing may not be extreme, but it’s extremely helpful for my family!”

Then-BF and I got engaged Christmas day 2012 and I soon realized just how expensive this whole wedding thing was going to be. This was the impetus for the original Oh Amy, Dear blog (my first post). We scrimped and saved, I entered every giveaway I could, and we were still going to come up short. Through a series of events, we were given incredible help from both sides of the family, had to change our wedding location (a blessing in disguise), and everything turned out well in the end. Blogging through all of this really helped me focus on the mission I was trying to achieve – how to have a wedding at a fraction of the cost of the average American one.

Now married, the focus was on creating a home – saving all the while. Oh Amy, Dear turned from “a bride on a budget” to “a wife on a budget.” I went a little crazy with my couponing, but that craziness turned into a great little stockpile, some serious learning about store coupon policies, and a verifiable coupon habit. Coupons are cash to me now, and my coupon book and wallet are both as important to have in my purse. I don’t coupon as heavily now, grabbing things here and there. I use rebate apps regularly, always redeeming the “any brand” offers. While my couponing originated out of necessity, my purpose now is to earn things by saving – I use Ibotta to get work clothes, I take surveys to earn gift cards, and of course, I use coupons to cut our grocery budget to allow us little luxuries.

I hope you saw some of yourself in my story. I’ve gone through many phases of saving, and every step of the way I was able to save theΒ way I could save. The moral is that couponing shouldn’t have to be extreme to be extremely helpful. Do what works for you – 5 minutes or 5 hours will still save you something. Now let’s hear what YOU had to say!

 

why you coupon

 

Jessica W.Β from Oregon is a coupon maniac! She puts me to shame with her stockpile. Check out her savings story:

  • What are your favorite things about couponing?
    • It feels good when I have Christmas finished by Thanksgiving. It’s nice being able to keep a budget and have a full freezer. I’m able to donate to friends and others when they need the extra help.
  • Why do you keep going, even if you don’t have to save as much?
    • I slowed way down, but going from spending $3-$5 on laundry soap to now spending $.50-$1 is why I keep going. I even stacked coupons to purchase my appliances and other household items … I’m always looking at clearance racks.
  • How are you able to stack coupons on appliances?
    • I got my patio furniture at Fred Meyers on a deep discount where they were giving away a $100 GC with purchase and I used a 20% off coupon. I scored the table and a bistro set (free with the patio set purchase) for $399.00 and I got $100 GC. The set was $799 [retail] at the beginning of summer! … My Dyson was on sale for $499.99 and I got a $100 GC at [Fred Meyer] for that as well. My washer and dryer were on sale for $799.00; we used a 10% off coupon and a 10% off store employee discount. We paid $647.19 each and they were $1099 regular price.
  • What are you able to find on clearance to help your budget?
    • I pick up Barbies and other toys weekly on the clearance racks for $5 or less. I keep a big tote in my garage for Christmas/Birthday gifts. I shop Amazon for DS games when I find them for $10 and I will spend up to $20 for the 3DS Games. I found Lego Batman for the 3DS for $7.99 a few months ago . I stock up when I see cheap video games because I have a son and nephews.

Wendy S. from Missouri has three kids, with one close to college. Here’s what she had to say:

  • How did you start couponing, and what keeps you going?
    • I started because I didn’t want to do cloth diapers and I had to figure out how to save money. College fund helps me keep my expenses down. Plus the price of food! Watching the prices rise is crazy.
  • What would you say to someone who was getting burned out on couponing?
    • I do get discouraged from time to time. Sometimes I just say, “I may not be saving as much as I can or used to and it is better than full price and I WILL get back to couponing more.”

Sierra T. in Arizona is a mama on a mission! She and her husband are planners, and with three little ones, it must be a lifesaver to their home.

  • What is your motivation for couponing?
    • Ben and I are becoming debt free, so we follow Dave Ramsey’s plan. Since I don’t work outside of the home I looked for way to save more of the money we do bring in. Meal planning and coupons to me go hand in hand. We spend 120-150 a week in all house hold needs for a family of 5. That includes diapers, food, hygiene stuff, cleaning products and even filler stuff like hand towels and stuff as needed.
  • How does couponing help you achieve your debt goals?
    • Coupons allow us to keep on track with budgets that we have. We have paid off almost 14 G in just over a year. Coupons have been a big part of that.

 

Do you having a savings story about why you coupon that you want to share? Sound off below or on Facebook!