Housewife MacGyver: Save Money with Couponing 101

Today I am thrilled to introduce you to Stephanie from Couponing 101:

Stephanie is a young Christian mom of two who generously shares all of her couponing and money-saving know-how with all of us through her blog at Couponing 101.

What does couponing have to do with becoming a Housewife MacGyver? In a tough economy, I often feel like I've cut back on unnecessary expenses and reined in other expenses, but still wish I could spend less money on the things that we HAVE to have -- things like groceries and household cleaning supplies. That's where couponing comes in -- allowing you to stretch that dollar a little bit farther, and buy more with your money, as well as building up a stockpile of the items that your family uses regularly to save on the the last-minute and potentially costly costly I just need one thing trips to the grocery store. 
Couponing 101 is one of the first couponing sites I started to follow when I decided to try the couponing thing almost 2 years ago, and it's still one of my *favorite* sites. It's a great place both to get started learning about couponing and to see the latest and greatest deal matchups and freebies.

Stephanie has a fantastic Getting Started section on the site that really will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about how to start couponing, including what every couponer needs to know, a beginner's guide to couponing, and couponing terms and abbreviations.

In addition to giving readers the best deals at many national stores, Stephanie also does an amazing job of teaching us how to find deals on our own, in our own local stores. The Teach a (Wo)Man How to Fish series explains
One thing that really sets Couponing 101 apart from many other couponing sites, in my experience, is that it is SO well organized. Stephanie does a fantastic job of organizing all of the information and weekly deals so that they're easy to find, easy to understand, and easy to know what dates they are valid. She also maintains an *awesome* coupon database so when you are thinking that there must be a coupon out for that -- just check the database and you'll know!

I asked Stephanie a few quick questions about couponing and her experiences:

What do you see as the biggest misconception or "myth" about couponing and couponers?

The biggest myth would probably be that all coupons are for junk food! I recently transitioned to a whole foods diet and I am still using coupons! I definitely don't use as many coupons as I used to, but I still use them regularly. I have found coupons for fresh or organic products like eggs, cheese, flour, pineapple, lettuce, clementines, milk, and many others! You don't have to live on a diet of sugary cereal and toaster pastries if you're interested in couponing!

Can you share your best or worst couponing experience with us?

I've had plenty of bad couponing experiences, but I like to focus on the positive! I actually had a wonderful coupon experience lately that was due to a very sweet cashier. She actually got excited over my coupons and made me feel like a rock star! I wish all cashiers had such a positive attitude about coupons and saving money. She totally made my day!

What one piece of advice would you give to beginning couponers?

Start slow and don't expect to save 90% on your first shopping trip.
Many beginners see the successes of veteran couponers and expect to be able to achieve that same level of savings on their first trip. When they don't, they get discouraged and quit. It takes a little while to build your coupon stash and grocery stockpile before you can start seeing regular high savings. Just remember, even if you only save $1 this week, that's still saving your family money! Be proud of every dollar you save!

Thanks, Stephanie -- and be sure to check out Couponing 101, whether you're an experienced couponer or just wanting to get started.

For more information about the whole Housewife MacGyver series, see this post.


Amy @ Increasingly Domestic said...

Great post Lu! I am bookmarking her site so I can learn more when I have some time to really sit down and go through it.

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Can't wait to check out Stephanie's blog. I'm great at carrying coupons around and them throwing them all away after they expire... I always forget to use them!

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