I’m watching Extreme Couponing as I write this post and I continue to be disturbed by this show. Umm…who needs 250 bottles of body wash? Shows like this could lead many people to assume that couponing is only practical for people with big families and A LOT of time on their hands. However, couponing can be a fantastic way for single people to save money and it doesn’t require a big time commitment. Just because you live alone doesn’t mean you can’t save money with coupons.
I’ve been couponing for the past five years because it gives me the opportunity to save a lot money on things that I regularly buy. Before I discovered how to effectively use coupons I was spending about four times as much as I do now on groceries and toiletries; the extra room that couponing makes in my budget adds to my ability to stay out of debt, save and give to others. I’m a huge believer that couponing is great for singles, so here are some tips for single people interested in saving money with coupons:
Embrace Drugstore Deals
Toiletries and makeup be a significant source of spending for single women, but CVS and other drugstores offer savings programs that allow you to get a lot of these items for free. I haven’t paid anything for tampons, mascara, soap, razors, lotion, cleaning supplies, toothpaste or mouthwash for the past two years. Learn how to play the drug store game and you can get these things free too.
Use Smaller Sizes to Your Advantage
Buying in bulk isn’t always logical for single people. If you only have one mouth to feed and limited space to store your purchases, don’t feel pressure to buy bulk and stockpile. The great thing about a lot of coupons is that they don’t require you to buy a certain sized product. You can often get the best deal on a product if you buy the smallest size.
When deals are buy one, get one free I often just buy one of the items for half-price (you don’t really have to buy two items in most places to get the deal) because I know I won’t use both items. If an item is free it’s always nice to buy items that can be donated to charity, but don’t get focused on stockpiling items unless they’re for things you use often.
Forget About Using a Coupon Binder
A lot of “extreme couponers” use coupon binders, but I don’t believe in spending hours a week clipping coupons. You should get the Sunday newspaper to get a good supply of coupons, but you save a lot of time by not clipping coupons until you’re ready to use them. Check out websites like Coupon Mom to see what is on sale in your area each week and how the coupons from each week’s paper match up to the sales. Sites like this will give you the date of the coupon insert you need to get good deals, so it isn’t necessary to clip all of your coupons and carry them around with you.
So single folks, are you ready to become couponers?