One Sunday during last September, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my grandmother; she was reading the newspaper.  I began flipping through the inserts and saw that a lot of the coupons matched with sales for the upcoming week.  It seemed like a no-brainer to me to clip the coupon that correlated with the store that had the item on sale.

My mother and I sat down and made a monthly budget for our grocery bill. She challenged me to take our spending from $250 per month to $200.  After the first two weeks, I had saved us over $40.  When the first month passed, I had spent $175.  Mom took note of the large percentage of savings and decided to offer an incentive.  She promised that she would pay me half of whatever I saved.  Meaning, if I saved us $20 on one shopping trip, she would give me $10.  In the past year, I have saved my family around $610 and I have earned right at $300.

A note from us at I’m In:  We offer lots of ways for you to save on groceries at I’m In!

My couponing habits have gone farther than just the grocery store.  Now, when I need a new pair of jeans, I wait until JC Penny sends out a “$10 off with a purchase of $20 or more!” add in the mail.  My boyfriend and I use the “Ruby Tuesday’s” monthly mail outs when we want to go out for a nice date.  When I want to go buy breakfast on the way to school, I always have my sheet of Dunkin’ Donuts coupons handy.

Overall, my family still buys the same products and goes to the same stores we did before I began couponing.  But, we have shifted brands to those that are on sale or could be reduced by a coupon or waited to buy a product until it is on sale.  We have become more cautious on how and where we spend our money.  Through this, I have learned the “value of a dollar” and discovered a lifelong hobby.