I coupon!!! It really doesn’t take long if you stay organized and on top of it. I clip from the weekly newspaper inserts only the coupons for products I would potentially use, and I also print and clip from a few online coupon websites (Coupons.com, Couponnetwork.com, redplum.com, smartsource.com and bettycrocker.com). The key is having no brand loyalty and to be willing to go without certain items if you can’t get them for the right price.
I organize my coupons in a little file pouch, and organize it by product type (ex: “cereal,” “dairy,” etc…) Every week I go through the circulars and match up items I use that are on sale with coupons that I have. This really doesn’t take long because I have a really good memory and tend to remember what coupons I had clipped. I then organize which coupons i will be using that week by store and take the circular with me when I shop which I have circled all my purchases in.
Find out if stores in your area double coupons and make sure you learn their couponing policies. It sounds overwhelming, but it really isn’t. Every store has a slight variation, but most are very similar. Using doubled coupons combined with items already on sale has allowed me to get a ton of food for completely free! You just need to know your prices so you know when you’re actually getting a good deal.
I don’t eat a lot of packaged food either, but there are a ton of items you can get with coupons that are very healthy. I get healthy cereal (Kashi, Cheerios, Fiber one, etc) usually for about $.50 a box, yogurt for $.25 each, bricks of cheese like Cracker Barrell or Cabot for $.50. I got Simply Orange Juice last week for $1.00 each. I get Barilla whole wheat pasta for free all the time.
You just need to make it a priority to save money and it’ll happen. It really isn’t hard. It actually takes less time for me to go to the super market with the coupons than without because I only grab the few specific items I went for, so I’m in and out pretty quick. I do keep some “stockpiles,” but nothing like what you see on Extreme Couponing (I live in a one bedroom apartment, and looking around my apartment you would never know I’m a “crazy couponer”).
A good resource to get you started: Livingrichwithcoupons.com
They do circular matchups for a ton of different stores. Though they do sometimes miss some good deals, so I use them as a guide and then look for my own, but it is a great place to start for a new couponer!