frugal coupon savingsHey Girlfriend, do you wish you had more money to spend on things you want? Are you appalled at how much you spend at the grocery store?

September is a special month around Girlfriendology – it’s International Women’s Friendship Month (aka: #FriendshipMonth) and we’re celebrating with 30 great guest blogs filled with fabulous girlfriend advice and wisdom. Today we hear from guest blogger Chrissy Scott-Hynes who shares her girlfriend advice about finding huge savings through coupons (and without stocking the basement full of things we’ll never use!).

I have had a non-stop legal career for over ten years and have pretty much been married to my job. I finally decided to still be dedicated to my career, but to divorce it on the weekends, and do the things that I love doing for me and things that give me my own space and Zen of a sort. I have always been astounded by how much money just two people spend on staple groceries a week. Our grocery bill was adding up to over $800.00 a month. I thought to myself—there has GOT to be a better way. I sat down with my best girlfriend (who is also a newlywed) and we started to go over everything and racked our brains on where and how we could possibly save money.

Then it crossed my mind when I was watching one episode of Extreme Couponing. I thought “Hey ya know, I could do that, just on a smaller scale without committing to buying 76 bottles of hot sauce, which would definitely out live me.” LOL. So I started that weekend when my Sunday paper came. I saw some really useful coupons, so I sent my husband out for five more copies of papers, so I could have five of each coupon. Without hesitating, I ran to Office Depot and bought some baseball card holders, a pretty pink binder (of course, duh), grabbed the weekly grocery store add and started roaming through the aisles all by myself. I was a bit nervous at first wondering if I really knew what I was doing, but I thought to myself ‘you will never know unless you try and I am already spending $800.00 a month on groceries, so it can’t get any higher in price.’

I took my time getting familiar with what we used regularly, the store’s current sale, location of the items, and what coupons matched up. Then I was informed by a store manager that my grocery store also accepted Target’s coupons as competitor, as well as a Publix coupon along with a manufacturer’s coupon. I thought to myself ‘I have GOT to master this because this is a clear cut way to save money to buy all the nice purses and clothes that I have a knack for.’ Hey, as long as the extra savings is in my pocket and not the cash drawer—I’m cool with that! I continued to collect my weekly coupons, save them in my binder, and shop weekly. Saving more and more money each week! It was so unbelievable that I started recruiting my closest girlfriends. Keep in mind, I was getting better at couponing, saving more money, and getting the same amount of groceries we normally paid $800.00 a month for.

My best shopping trip to date has been a total of $394.11 BEFORE coupons. After coupons, the total was $74.25. That is a savings of $319.86, and let me tell you EVERY week it gets better! I have become so passionate about these savings that I even started my own very economical coupon clipping website where fellow girlfriends can choose their own coupons to save the most money on their grocery bills.

I am so ecstatic to pass this information along of all the basic starting information of this HUGE saving process that anyone can incorporate into their life. We all go to the grocery store, right ladies??

Follow the steps below to start couponing and see how much money you can keep in your pocket for all those nice little things you like to buy for yourself.

  • Grab a few Sunday newspapers and clip out every coupon in the paper.
  • Get a cheap binder at any Target, Walmart or Office Store and some sheets of baseball card holders.
  • Organize the coupons in the baseball card holders by your preference and layout of the food sections at your grocery store.
  • Go on your very first coupon shopping trip with your binder, extra time, and by yourself, so there are no interruptions and you can get a routine for yourself down without feeling rushed.
  • As you place an item in your cart that you have a coupon for, take the coupon out of the baseball card holder and place it into the front pocket of your binder. This will avoid any confusion at checkout and make sure your coupon is not missed.
  • Complete your shopping trip by heading to the checkout lane and handing the cashier the coupons from the inside pocket of your binder.
  • Make simple friendly conversation with your cashier and ask if they accept any competitor’s coupons or if they have a specific day where they double the face value of manufacturer’s coupons. (This will enable you to save more money if they participate in either practice).
  • Go home and compare the amount of groceries from a previous shopping trip where no coupons were used. Also locate and compare on your receipt the amount of money you saved with using coupons on your trip.

I can guarantee you that you will see instant results and get even better results the more you use coupons. Take a little time to educate yourself on your store’s practices and of any special days where they offer a better financial return on coupons. It is simply a no-brainer.  A lot of the money will go back into your pocket and you will still receive the same amount of groceries as before.

Chrissy Scott-Hynes is from Lake Worth, Florida, which is located in beautiful (and sometimes unbearably hot) Palm Beach County, Florida. She just celebrated her very first wedding anniversary with her husband. She is a mother to three furry angels: two Bulldogs—Jenna and Chanel, and a Siamese Cat—Carter. You can find her at www.couponclipshop.com or email her at couponclipshop@yahoo.com with any coupon questions.

Thanks Chrissy – that’s great girlfriend advice!

Do YOU Coupon? Any Couponing girlfriend advice? SHARE!

FYI – If you’re FRUGAL and busy, thought you might like the Frugal Mom’s Guide to Once a Month Cooking. Great girlfriend advice on reducing the cost, time, and effort in meal preparation. This is not just another cookbook! This unique guide provides step-by-step instruction, forms, and over 70 delicious recipes.

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!)

Note: It’s September – International Women’s Friendship Month (#Friendship Month) and we’re celebrating all month long! From this interview and guest blog by Miss America, to a month of women’s wisdom and 30 guest blogs, to our Newsletter Sign-up Contest and Facebook fun, and more! Don’t miss out on any of it! SIGN UP for our Newsletter and ‘Like’ us on Facebook to stay up to date with all the fun friendship festivities and more!

Our September Friendship Month Guest Blogs so far …